Sunday, January 6, 2013

This Is The Truth

Many many years ago I was speaking to Kingdon Lane, an active amateur photographer who shot the Ringling Brothers circus alongside Weegee, the famous and we were discussing the iconic Betty Page. He said Weegee had photographed Betty Page. I was floored...Its equivalent to Elvis dating MM. Kingdon gave me Wilma Wilcox's telephone number.

 (Wilma was the palamour of Weegee's when they lived together on w. 47th st in Manhattan.) I read where Julian Templeton wa maing a major film on Weegee starring Joe Pechi (sp). I felt, most likely WW would be hesitant to work with little old me,

 a man without a major Hollywood studio behind him. Instead she invited me to come look at Weegee's girlie work. She had no idea who BP was but offered to help. I arrived and she took me back to her kitchen and on the kitchn table were a pile of Weegee negatives. I looked...I found. She said take what I needed and make prints. It turned out Weegee had been the official photographer for a nudist camp in NJ. I made the BP prints from weegee negs and I began selling them. I also printed Weegee's distortion negatives. Back in the early 1950's he felt he was an "artist" if he held a coke bottom glass between the negative and the paper. The distortion negs weren't particularly popular but I was able to sell other original Weegee's I had. This was in the late 1988's.

Wilma was a Quaker and at one point flew back to Africa to work as a missionary. When she returned months later (we used to eat Peruvian food near her house) she moved using two canes. I asked her how old she was and she said if she told me it would affect our relationship. I said "no way" and she said "94" and I blanched and said "wow". Then months later someone mentioned Wilma's funeral. I miss her. Her down-2-earth self.
Flash forward to me bringing some of the Weegee originals and pieces I had printed to Terry Etherton and he liked them and is taking them to LA to sell. He even wrote me a check in anticipating sales. I was able to pay my overdue electric, water and gas bill.

Anyway a day after he took the Weegee material I visited Christa, another elderly woman, who runs her deceased husband's paperback bookstore. I try and buy from her every week becasue I'm a hopeless "picker" and I wanted her to make some money. She has a row of a thousand weather and beaten girlie mags and I have gone through them.

 This time I grabbed a  1956 Look magazine with a young Queen Elizabeth on the cover.

I thumbed through it and came upon COLOR Weegee distortions!

Danny Thomas

 I had never seen them before. There is a God but there is no such thing as a Santity Clause.

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