Anyone remember the names Alberto Vargas and George Petty? No? I'll bet anyone who remembers WWII will; art work from these gentlemen graced many an airplane, army barrack, and ship bunk at that time, and calendars featuring their paintings hung in barbershops and garages across America. Because of that, their art was called "pin up," and the beautiful women they painted were "pin-up girls." Betty Grable's famous poses (remember her?) were modeled after Vargas and Petty art, not vice versa. Petty and Vargas did for women in the 1940s what Charles Dana Gibson had done in the 1890s; idealized, stylized, provocative.
And what does all this have to do with the price of tea in China or the goings on at Farview? I can't even remember what project I had in mind yesterday or what caused me to open the first box I found while looking for something else, but open it I did and fell right down the rabbit hole. Back in the day, I always got double prints when film was developed so I could share and compare with others. Digital cameras, desktop printers and scanners were as far in the future then as space travel, only to be imagined. I've always taken a lot of pictures. There are shelves of albums and boxes and boxes of prints. Whatever it was I'd planned for the day went by the wayside and I spent the afternoon with grandbabies on their first birthdays, at parties with dear friends, watching my grown sons' hairstyles change from year to year (Dave once had hair down to the middle of his back, a far cry from the buzz-cut he has now), and with Steve on vacations or building something. He was always building something. In amongst these memories were tucked my old pin-up pictures. Since the boxes I went through were mostly extra prints, it would have been easy to pitch them all. I certainly didn't remember tucking my photos in with the others (I'm usually the one behind the camera). Photographs do what memory can fail to do; remind us what we were like back in the day.