Pam’s Pictorama.com: even by my standards this is a pretty goofy photo. Extremely faded at the bottom left it says, Barker School and on the other side barely legible, May 31, 1928. Written on the back in pencil is Woodland, Maine and Halloween Costumes – which clearly they are not since we know it was taken in May.
Even in my wildest imagination I can’t figure out what kind of school play might have given birth to these costumes – from the strange dark masked characters which look like Zuni dancers, to the weird scarecrow type figure the jolly bunny and a sad little turtle boy thrown into the mix. A pretty dark fairy tale.
This card was never used and my sense is that the writing on the back is a later addition although in two different hands so maybe added at different times. It is a bit bleached out so I have increased the contrast a bit with some computer magic. Even with that it is hard to figure out what the heck is going on here.
There is a small figure in the middle with what appears to be a parasol, also dressed in black that looks a bit cat like. My feeling though is that it is some sort of spring planting festival with the scarecrow and bunny – somehow the figures in black are reminding me of corn? The figure in the lower left is a complete mystery – no idea what he or she is about although a happy looking character.
Below I share a more or less contemporaneous photo (via a photo postcard) of the Barker School. I cannot seem to confirm if it exists today or not. It may have been renamed.
I would have loved to have been in school plays like this and perhaps that is part of the appeal of such photos for me. I was always up for dressing up and putting on a show. Combined with this lovely day in Maine in May seems almost irresitable.
PS – I am feeling better today. Tummy winced at my morning coffee, but definitely better.