Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

August 31st, 2009:

Scans of Odd Things, Part 2


Some time in the early-mid 1930s, my father’s family went on a trip to California. While they were there, they went on a tour of the MGM Studios, and while on that tour had a chance to get autographs from a number of MGM stars. My aunt and godmother Kathleen Duntemann was perhaps 13 or 14 at that time, and we have a photo of her with her arm around Mickey Rooney, who (I see, thanks to Wikipedia) was three weeks younger than she.

Of course, from my father’s perspective (being an 11-year-old boy at that time) the really big draw would be Frankenstein, hence the above photo of Boris Karlov signing Aunt Kathleen’s autograph book. (My father is the boy to the left of Karlov, in a maternal hammerlock well suited to his unruly ways.)

The autograph itself did not surface when Gretchen and I were sorting Aunt Kathleen’s effects after her death, more’s the pity, but the shot you see here has always taken the cake as the oddest family photo in the three boxes full that have survived.

And while we’re talking family photos, I have some advice: Write the names of the people shown in the photos on the backs while you’re still alive and remember who’s who, what was going on, and when. You won’t be the last person to look at those photos, especially if you have children or grandchildren. I have huge numbers of very old photos of people lined up somewhere, and have no clue who they are nor where they were taken. I have a photo of my father in uniform with his arm around a girl in August 1942, which would be just before he left for Italy. No idea who the girl is. My father took photos of steam locomotives, and never failed to carefully write on the back what model, and what railroad. Girls? How could a girl stack up to a C&NW 4-6-0?

Tomorrow: Duntemadmann!