Borderlands

Dad loved landscapes and believed the best ones showed some touch of mankind. “God made the earth for man,” he would say, “so a nature photograph that doesn’t show the hand of man is like a half empty cup.”

While he did not consider himself a portrait photographer, his portraits seem remarkably honest and revelatory to me. His subjects were often strangers to him and many times they did not even speak his language. Yet somehow he disarmed them and they stood there before him willing and transparent. Nobody could pretend before his lens; nobody wanted to.

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Hats Off…

Charles Schuler
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Downtown Dallas, 1955. I love the stance of Officer Friendly as he watches to keep the pedestrians safe at the crossing. Notice the lack of hats. In the 1920’s no man or woman would have ventured outdoors without one but this is the 50’s. The derby, the fedora and the homburg are gone, along with the panama and the bangkok, the snap-brim and the porkpies, and all the wonderfully fashionable women’s hats of earlier times. Today, the heads are bare, except for the officer’s. Never fear- 1939 saw the advent of Little League Baseball and in another decade or so the ubiquitous baseball cap will outnumber people! Who would have guessed?

Magic Toes

Charles Schuler
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She lived in my aunts’ Old Folk’s Home in Hot Springs, Arkansas during the late 1950’s. How many of you remember the iron lung? It breathed for her. The doctors called it state of the art health care – how quickly the world turns! I don’t remember her name anymore, but I do recall her smile and her sweet spirit, content and undefeated. Her upper body and lungs were paralyzed but her feet worked fine so she taught herself to paint and sew with her toes. Magic! Dad bought one of her paintings and proudly displayed it in our home for many years but it is lost now, a victim to time. It was a seascape of waves crashing against the coast. I wonder if she meant it as a self-portrait? Her spirit, brave as the sea, threw itself indefatigably onto the rocky shores of her life. Valiant lady!

Young Girl – Dallas School For the Blind

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She would be my contemporary and I can’t help wondering who she has become. Scanned from Dad’s original prints of the Dallas School For the Blind.

One Room Schoolhouse

candelaria--2Where teaching was a less complicated profession. Her workspace is neat and organized. Look at the feathers on her desk.

It is a small room and she has only a few students, each hard at work. It is hot along the river – I wonder how she wears a sweater and shawl, but her students are dressed for heat and the door is open in hopes a breeze can find its way in. Outside the heat rolls of the land.