A black family’s photo album
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    Auction Finds

    Photo album of soldier’s memories of women he knew

    When I first saw the scrapbook/photo album, I didn’t expect to find much in it, probably just some photos from a trip long forgotten. Photo albums/scrapbooks turn up like weeds at auction because they usually hold memories of people no longer around, and those they left behind seem to find little use for such nostalgia.

    But I opened it anyway, because I never know what I’ll find inside items at auction, and I’m just plain curious. Flipping through the pages, I saw photos of women, most of them African American, and a few from other countries.

    Photos presumably from a soldier's photo album.

    Photos presumably from a soldier’s photo album. “Princess: Intelligent and Magnetic and Cute. Sade: Pretty is, as pretty does (inscription: ‘To Frankie from Sade’). Nannie: How quiet, How Neat, How Sweet.”

    Then I started reading the captions, and saw that these appeared to be the memories of a soldier and the women (and a few men) he knew. The photos appeared to be from the 1950s. Beneath each of them, the serviceman had written comments about the personality of the women (including his aunts) – none degrading but pointed, and several rather whimsical. Some of the pages were missing photos but the captions remained.

    He also offered comments on some of the countries where he was presumably stationed, including France, England, Germany and Panama.

    Several photos were inscribed to “Frank” and “Frankie,” so I assumed that this was his album. I’ll let you hear from him through the photos and his observations:

    Photos presumably from a soldier's photo album.

    Photos presumably from a soldier’s photo album. “Dot: She’s bubbling over with jive. Audrey: She is the life of any party (the inscription on the photo mentions ‘sister’). Irene: Serious minded and studious.”

     

    Photos presumably from a soldier's photo album.

    Photos presumably from a soldier’s photo album. “Nannie: friendly, vivacious and very entertaining. Elizabeth: The Towns biggest flirt. Naomi: Naomi is very quiet and apparently unconcerned.”

     

    Photos presumably from a soldier's photo album.

    Photos presumably from a soldier’s photo album. “Florence: She is kind Hearted and sweet and cooperative. Wild Bill and Friend (inscription: ‘With all my love your sister’).” May: I can’t decide about may but I wish her success.”

     

     

    Photos presumably from a soldier's photo album.

    Photos presumably from a soldier’s photo album. “Marseille France you can find every kind of peoples in the world here.”

     

    Photos presumably from a soldier's photo album.

    Photos presumably from a soldier’s photo album. “Germany. $65.00 fine to talk with the Germany peoples, specially with the women. ‘nogood.'”

     

    Photos presumably from a soldier's photo album.

    Photos presumably from a soldier’s photo album. “Panama,” in photo at left. “The Making of a Cayuca (or Cayuco boat) – Panama.”

     

    Photos presumably from a soldier's photo album.

    Photos presumably from a soldier’s photo album. “Douglas: He looks as if he just stepped from a comic book. Norris: He was a hip cat before Sam got him. Nora: Ain’t this something, trying to look Cute, ‘uncle.'”

     

    Photos presumably from a soldier's photo album.

    Photos presumably from a soldier’s photo album. “Mozelle, aunt: She is strictly Copasetic. Sarda, aunt: She is really on the ball. Mable: A Classic jitterbug without her, there is no fun.”

     

    Photos presumably from a soldier's photo album.

    Photos presumably from a soldier’s photo album. At left, “To Frank with Love.” The inscription marked over at top and bottom: “From your daughter Princess, To: Mother & Daddy.” At right, “To Frankie From Charlotte.”

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