Sunday, August 22, 2010

Seattle photos, nerding out

I'm not sure if it's the fact that it's three in the morning, or the dreamy voice of Ira Glass echoing in my head, or if I just truly am this entirely helpless, but I've spent the past few hours getting all mushy about history.

I stumbled across this wonderful photo archive on Flickr while I was definitely NOT searching for old photos of local libraries on a Saturday night, and I couldn't bear the thought of not sharing some favorites with my three loyal blog readers.

Lake Forest Park School students collecting scrap metal during World War II, Lake Forest Park, ca. 1943
Just some kids having a scrap metal drive in fabulous Lake Forest Park, WA during World War II. Just like children today would!

IBM 1620 data processing machine on display, Seattle World's Fair, 1962
The 1962 Seattle World's Fair, blowing your mind with the future.

Playland fire with firefighters battling the Old Mill blaze, Bitter Lake, August 20, 1953
Always ablaze, that Playland!

Children in Halloween costumes at High Point, Seattle, 1943
Too much wonderful for one Halloween photo!

I stare at old photos so dreamily, like a torn-out magazine page of Justin Bieber in my locker, wishing so hard that I could be there. But for the most part, this was just everyday life for these people. They didn't think, "This is SO 1946, what we're doing! Can't you tell, all the design elements are there, and our clothes, they are spot on mid-1940s!" They were just being alive.

Who is to say these moments weren't mundane? Something so mind-numbingly unexceptional that it would be seem totally ludicrous to think of someone seventy years down the road caring in the slightest, let alone wanting so badly to be there!

I sometimes forget that people still worried about money and relationships and their jobs. That behind these faces are real people, who had problems of their own. It wasn't all tasteful typography, homemade Halloween costumes and grandiose visions of our technological future. After photos are taken, these people didn't disappear (well, maybe some of those Halloween kids did, they're spooky!), they went on with their lives.

Sometimes, though, it's fun to forget historical context, reality and the complexities of emotion, and look at photos like these and just imagine that life really was one big, beautiful metal-pilin', amusement park-burnin', ginormous computer-seein', 24/7 Halloween party, and that no one ever worried about paying their electricity bills or putting food on the table.

I guess I should go watch some Jersey Shore or something.


  1. Oh, no, NOT Jersey Shore!

    Thanks for finding & sharing those great photos & moments in time.

    That's what they were for those people, just another second or hour passing. Marking them as important points in the river of history just doesn't register.

    Like most of us living now. And like you said.

    Dana "who clearly has not been spending enuf time here" Graves