the 4th revisited

re: the July 4th photos I posted yesterday.  

July 4th is a street photographer's working holiday.  With Robert Frank's photograph "Fourth of July - Jay, New York" in mind, and camera in hand,  every year I walk through a world of flags, patriotism, parades, and hot dogs looking for one more shot to explain it all. 

July 4th,  1980 - Middleboro, Massachusetts

This photograph from the southeastern Massachusetts town of Middleboro is one of my favorites.  Middleboro, as it turns out, is the hometown of Lavinia Warren, who was married to  General Tom Thumb (yes P.T. Barnum's Tom Thumb) in 1863, at Grace Church in NYC.  So every year, they would commemorate Lavinia's wedding ceremony in Middleboro's 4th of July parade.  You really can't make these things up.  Taken 30 years ago, I can't help thinking that these kids, pretending to be dwarfs, are in their 40's now. 

From Harper's Weekly 1863

July 4th, 1975 - Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts

This photo, which I didn't post yesterday, is also one of my favorites.  I took it on a very hot summer night in the beach town of Nantasket, Massachusetts - site of Paragon Park.  This was the summer before I moved to NYC. This night photograph, with these gypsy types lit up by the amusement park lights, precedes and points to all the hand held 35mm night shooting I would be doing the next year on the Bowery.  

July 4th, 2010 - Onset, Massachusetts

And then there's this year's July 4th picture.  Actually shot on July 3rd, I believe it still qualifies for a July 4th pic if it's taken at the July 4th fireworks. This is the beach town of Onset, Massachusetts nearby to Cape Cod.  Standing atop the bluffs overlooking the beach, I shot this hand held night shot at 1/8th of a second to get the crowded beach lit up by fireworks. Totally a guessed exposure, I pass this info on for the benefit of all so inclined.  

Gotta go barbecue. A final July 4th roundup tomorrow...