Alone in a Crowd

Couple at party c 1965For a guy who made a living shooting photos that told stories, sometimes I have to admit that I don’t KNOW the story in some pictures.

This was a single frame that was on a roll of Harris Motor Car fire photos from sometime around 1965ish. It must have been taken at some kind of party: I see crepe paper decorations in the background and the players are dressed up.(Click on the photos to make them larger.)

The couple on the couch doing some deep eye-gazing are oblivious to me and the other people in the room, including the person whose legs are sprawled out next to them. The kind of dorky-looking guy (and as one, I can identify one) appears to be frozen in front of a closet or divider door. I started to crop out the overexposed woman (girl?) on the right as distracting, but then decided she was part of the strange tableau.

When I blew the negative up enough to snoop the bookshelf behind the couple, I spotted a Better Homes and Garden New Garden Book, some Reader’s Digest condensed books, some Reader’s Digest magazines and several novels, including Back Home, The Way WestThe Fires of Autumn and Chips Off the Old Benchley. There are two boxes with latches on the shelf. One of them has a label “Annette (?) Platter Pak.” I wonder if they might have held 45 RPM records.

Here’s your assignment

Couple at party c 1965Come up with a story that explains the elements in the photo. I’m not sure if I’ll add or subtract bonus points if you can actually identify the characters and the location.

It’s almost more fun if you come up with a Rod Serling Twilight Zone twist about space aliens who launch a powerful pulse of energy that freezes all human movement so the space folk can wander around doing things like reading our bookshelves without being detected.

Now that I think of it, I ran photos of another party that generated more questions than answers. Maybe that’s why I didn’t get invited to many parties.


10 Replies to “Alone in a Crowd”

  1. The people in the picture were the type of people who believe that the numbers that make up a date have great significance in relation to the end of the world. Thus, they were certain that 6-5-65 would be the end of the world. On the eve of that ominous date, they threw an “end of the world” party. Buzz and Natalie spent the evening melodramatically staring into each others eyes. Buzz spent the evening trying to work up the nerve to kiss her. Natalie, while enamored with Buzz, was not so enamored scent of the Wimpy burger he’d eaten earlier in the evening. Albert was easily the most terrified of the group, and spent part of the evening pacing. Eventually he came to a complete stop in front of the shutters that had been installed over the glass patio doors, wondering what he would see when he opened them at one minute after midnight. Would the world be in flames? Or completely dark? Would it still exist but be overrun by scary giant clowns? Charlie was kicked back on the end of the couch wondering if he could spike the punch, but he hadn’t been able to find his way around nursing student Penelope who was standing in front of the punch table. She had worn her most dazzling white nurse-dress so that she’d be easily recognized as being able to help in an emergency. The only problem was she’d actually failed most of her nursing classes, especially those that involved any spillage of blood.

    1. Yes, that is Barbara Seabaugh, my CHS classmate from ’67 and Sunday school classmate at Grace Methodist Church. Now retired from teaching math at Jackson high school. Educated my son very well, he is now teaching mathematics at UCLA, Los Angeles. Noting quite like vicarious living through our children. Thanks Barbara!

      Fred Williams CHS 1967

  2. I do think Jesse’s eye sight is getting to be 20/20 in his august years….and THAT IS Jesse’s foot and leg in the picture, I am sure, because only Jesse painted his legs with shoe polish to look like socks, so he did not have to wear them. Roger is trying to get the booze from the closet but after 3 Tom Collins he is not having much luck. The picture right after this is Jesse getting up from the couch and helping Roger find the Tom Collins mix and then yelling at him for not bringing enough Vodka. Yes, it was a pretty good night.
    The look of love on Barbara’s face? That is only the look right before she passed out and ruined the girl in white dresses night too….I told you it was pretty good night.
    Jerry? well he never moved from that spot or that position until the morning, when Mrs. Perry (Lila’s Mom) threw him out with the rest of the trash.

  3. OMG-that’s the couch I got from Goodwill and Jerry and Barbara are still on it. Not sure what happened to Jesse. He might just have used the shoe polish on the rest of himself and disappeared.

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