Friday, February 4, 2011
In search of a posting
This photograph enthralls and has for some time. When in need of a posting, I return to it again and again. Somewhere in my memory, perhaps folded into reverie, perhaps behind one of those storefronts, lies a tale that I might link to my past and then to the photo. But such can be elusive.
The location is the Midwest, the village probably Brooklyn, Michigan. The main or "high" street, as our English friends would call it, is quite ordinary. The movie theatre is the Star. I am told the year is 1941, a peaceful yet ominous time. The storefronts are not quite discernable from the camera's point of view. Might one of them initiate a reflection from my past? I could map out a probable store-by-store makeup based on memories of small towns, or from films or photographs from a similar time. And from that map I might locate a misplaced memory: something to take me back to that time, yet to a different place. But such is not likely.
So, I have been unable to find a personal connectivity. And, perhaps, that is as it should be. Seventy years have passed and each enthralling photograph does not a posting make. I will let it stand on its own, still more than six hundred miles away from the Bronx, to a region near Lake Erie, where it will always be 1941 -- before December came.
I will seek no further memories from the townsfolk shown, or their surroundings. I will leave them stranded in time in a long-ago yesterday -- with Fritz Lang’s Western Union playing over and over at the Star. And the photograph will remain in search of a posting.
An afterword on the photograph. It is from l'art et l'automobile. A brief caption provided the state, the year and the name of the film. Cinema Treasures helped locate the village as Brooklyn (known better for its New York manifestation).