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2009 Top One Hundred Countdown # 100: "here's how it is done" | by mrwaterslide
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2009 Top One Hundred Countdown # 100: "here's how it is done"

We're somewhere in Iowa, I think. The name of the woman taking the photograph is Bee Snedeker. At least, on the album page right beside this photo is a photo of Bee Snedeker and she looks much like this woman, though the dress is different.

This photograph was taken by a woman named Mildred. I know her last name, information I chose to withhold.

Bee Snedeker is a stylish woman, for her time and place. Mildred, though she comes from a fairly-well fixed middle class family, is, shall we say, less stylish.

Her album depicts school chums (I think she was in nursing school), friends and family, swimming, tennis, ping-pong, people and places in Winterset (birthplace of John Wayne, though, alas, he is not represented), Grinnell, perhaps, Des Moines. We could argue about the relative merits of the rest of the album---you'll have to take my word that it is not that absorbing---for the moment, this is the only photograph from it I chose to post. Again, it is purely my opinion that this is by far the most interesting photograph in the album. I think that Bee is the woman Mildred wished she were, wallflower Mildred, her dance card perpetually unfilled. Mildred's photographs are serviceable, usually nicely framed, in focus. Only here, when she photographed not only the real world she inhabited, but also the fantasy world she could only look on from outside, did she transcend herself.

The caption is written in a flowing white ink, the standard ink on this sort of album with its black construction paper pages. At the end of the caption, Mildred appended a dramatic "M" with a tail that curls around and frames it. This little detail seems poignant to me, but perhaps that is just how I see things.

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Uploaded on September 1, 2009