Thursday, January 21

Monday, October 9

Seeing = believing. To look at Gus, knowing he was a Chicago “contractor”, it’s easy to suppose he was just another goon, shaking down the local grocer. But that face was sculpted by an auto accident, something that could of happened to anybody. Fact was that Gus, while indeed a murderer, was also a clever fellow, who played off the cops and gang bosses like Dillinger for years. But yeah, his end came, as he knew it would, in a hailstorm. He may have had the last laugh, because years later, G-man #1 Melvin Purvis would shoot himself (accidentally or on purpose) with Gus’s pistol, given to him by the F.B.I. as a souvenir on his retirement.
There has been a lot of spilt milk in America this year, as dairy farmers strive for higher prices. Here’s a photo of cops forcing strikers away from a gate, presumably to allow dairy trucks to make deliveries. I wanted a close look at that guy with the light colored hat behind the cops- he seems to be reaching for, or holding, a gun. With the shadows, it’s impossible to see exactly. Dressed as he is, I suspect he’s either a detective or a company agent of some kind- but he’s scared, and that’s the kind of guy who can start real trouble.
On the other hand, the cops have their billies in hand, but they aren’t in an aggressive posture- yet. They’re just playing football, like in high school. I enlarged the central figures here to see if I could see what the detective was holding or reaching for when I noticed the retouching, some of which which I’ve highlighted. Just to go all meta on you, it’s important to know that a lot of photos were hand retouched in 1933. In this case it’s really obvious once you are aware of it, and it’s only being used to define the edges where people’s outlines were running together, or running into shadows. Not all retouching was done to make things clearer, of course.
Iconic Coit tower in San Francisco is seen here before the shrubbery took over. It has an interesting beginning.

don’t overlook it.

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