From: "Robert Borski"
Subject: (urth) the dog-boy of Carnies Past Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2002 01:25:46 -0500 Adam S. pondering: "And why does Charlie not mention the second picture in his letter?" Not sure if you think we don't know what is in the second photo, Adam, or simply that Charlie Turner never mentions its contents. The first one, obviously, is of stripper Candy. Says Charlie: "The other girls in the show all consider this a pretty modest picture because as you have probably already seen, she is wearing a G-string and pasties, which is as far as they are allowed to strip in Sunday School towns where our patch can't fix the cops much." Secretary Hadow looks at the photo and says, "Well, the woman is an obvious tramp, though I must say her face reminds me of Carole Lombard's--do you remember her?" [The heyday of Lombard's file career was from 1934-1942; she died in a 1942 aircrash.] Then, though neither she, Den, nor Wolfe say anything, she looks at the second photo, saying, "The tall man--well, what can you say about him? He's terribly tall. I don't think that other man with him is really very tall, but still that other man must be--oh, I don't know. Six foot ten? Perhaps more." (Why would Candy, attired so scantily, have a picture taken with the two men, anyway? As Charlie notes, "Candy had pictures of _herself_ taken" and they appear to be self-promotional glossies or souvenirs--possibly for sale to lonely horny men.) Den asks Miss H. if she believes the pictures are of living people and she uses the plural in refuting this idea: "Well, for one thing, the pictures just look old." She then first describes the clothes of the two men since they are in the uppermost picture, the one she has just looked at; then she shuffles the pictures (again, without comment) so that Candy's is again on top and describes her as having "an old-fashioned kind of hairdo." The dated aspect of clothing and hairdo, plus the sepia tone of the pictures, suggests to me that both pictures are from a much earlier time--and clearly predate the Golden Year, when supposedly the encounter with Charlie Turner takes place. Moreover, the second male figure in the photo is described as being not "really very tall," implying rather he is simply tall. Roy has suggested that this mystery figure may be Julius Smart, but Julius Smart is so small he has to buy boy's shoes for his tiny feet, whereas Den, as we know from his medical checkup, is 6 feet tall. (President Smart is also described as wearing old-fashioned clothes: "He wore a vest, and a gold chain across the front of it during that period when it seemed the vest had vanished never to return." Compare this to what the tall man--Tom Lavine--in the sepia-tinged photo is wearing: "He's even wearing a vest with a watch chain across the front." But are his clothes contemporary or hand-me-downs from a long-ago era?) The fact that Miss Hadow does not recognize photo-bound Den further indicates some passage of time--as anyone who's been to a high school reunion or two knows, some people look exactly the same as they did when they were younger, while others morph into something else altogether. Den lies when he says he's never met either figure in the photographs--i.e., Candy and Tom--perhaps not wishing to be tainted by association with "the obvious tramp." But he's also never met the third figure in the photographs--since it's impossible to meet yourself. And if the second picture is a snapshot of Tom and Den--taken after the latter possibly checks out the carnival as potential home for his illegitimate child, or after having trysted with part-time hooker Candy--this might explain why Charlie sent it to him. Robert Borski --