Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: Buried deep in the pages of this blog, this photo decorates my brief auto-bio and it has long been one of the favorites in my collection for years. I thought I would pull it out over this July 4th weekend. (If I can’t be on a boardwalk we can at least look at one!) These two fellows are in spiffy, if slightly bizarre, attire – speaking at least for the guy with the striped tie and ill-fitting tweed jacket. The gent with the pipe seems to be giving the photographer a dubious look, What the hell are you doing? While his friend is giving us a bit of a smile.
This card came from England and I have always imagined this is Brighton or the Isle of Wright. Like almost all of these cards, it was never mailed. When I first saw it I thought that maybe the guys were sort of scamming by getting the photo with Felix, but not paying for it. However, clearly they appear to be taken by surprise. My guess is that, perhaps on slow days, the photographer would take candid photos and offer them to the people for purchase later – someone did this to me years ago when I got off a plane in Peru. (Sadly it was a positively wretched photo – probably due to the 10 or so hours of flying I had just completed – and I really did not want it. The process and method of finding me later fascinated me however and I admired their industriousness.)
My favorite part of this photo though is, not surprisingly, Felix. He has a sort of brother can you spare a dime? look about him, and he is sort of looking over his shoulder. (As some of you know, it is my life’s ambition to own one of these giant Felix-es, several would of course be even better…) PHOTOGRAPHS is written across the doorway to the building and must lead to the studio. I would love to see inside. And oh, on a beautiful summer day, to stroll the and pause to have your photo taken with a giant Felix the Cat doll!
Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: One of my New Year’s resolutions is to get more of my Felix photos onto this blog. While organizing and recording them was one of the prime motives behind starting it, I realized recently that I have barely scratched the surface of my collection in this area. I have allowed myself to travel down many tributaries, but 2016 will be the year of Felix photos!
There is something a bit homemade about the Felix doll this very lively group is posing with here. One of my never-ending fascinations with Felix toys and photos is the huge variation of the off-model Felix-es one sees. Mickey Mouse can have a similar quality but Disney sat on pikers pretty quick and hard so there is less to choose from. But Felix, hand-made in factories in England, tends to have a wide variety of expression – most often goofy, sometimes downright insane.
Each and every person in this group, shown in their period swimming togs, seems to be enjoying this photo and their day at the beach. Even the fully suited gent in the back is smiling on them. The sun is glinting in and it looks like a raucously good time at the beach today.
Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: This was the second of two recent purchases. It took a long time to get to me, but it was well worth the wait. Felix strikes an especially good pose. It is as if he is saying, “Come on Jack, let’s blow out of here and find some real fun!” The man seems to be fully at ease – this despite the fact that he is wearing a suit at the beach. Looking further into the background we have lots of women in long cotton dresses and hats – it was a beach with a dress code I guess. A lovely looking beach resort, somewhere in Britain, roaring away in 1920’s full cry. Felix seems to have interrupted this man’s newspaper reading, but no mind – perhaps they are discussing the day’s racing results together.
This postcard is unused, undated and with no indication of location. I have found that these Felix photo postcards are rarely postally used, written on or dated. Clearly you had one taken and kept it for your own enjoyment. I saw my first version of these postcards in a book (the definitive book really) about Felix call Felix: The Twisted Tale of the World’s Most Famous Cat, by John Canemaker. That one, and the ones I was to subsequently find and purchase initially, were people posing with more or less human sized Felix-es. Some even made me wonder if there was a small person inside a Felix costume. In recent years I have found more photos of the sort shown here – larger than a large toy, but definitely not a midget in a Felix suit. Easier for an itinerant photographer to wander the beach with his tripod and camera equipment hawking a photo with Felix I suppose. You had to be set up in a stationary place to set up with the really big fellow.
Unsurprisingly, I have long searched for one of these giant Felix doll props. I came close years ago when someone I was conversing with on eBay said he had one in a storage locker – and then he disappeared! Oh the frustration! You know though that I plan to hunt one down one of these days – and if you stick around you’ll all know about it.