Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sepia Saturday: 31 August 2013


Our theme prompt for Sepia Saturday 192 features a wonderful 1947 portrait of the jazz musician Stan Kenton by the noted photographer William P Gottlieb. The photograph forms part of the Flickr Commons collection of the Library of Congress - indeed if you are a lover of classic jazz photographs there is an entire Flickr stream dedicated to Gottlieb's work. That is Kenton in the middle of this trio, dressed in typical 1940s style with his striped trousers held high with the obligatory suspenders (or as we call them here in Europe, braces). So there is your first possible direction of travel, but you may also choose to go with neckties, jazz, men sat down or  ... anything you want to. 



From Tom McLoughlin's collection
Tom McLoughlin was my maternal grandfather.

I think this is him in these photos.  

From Tom McLoughlin's collection

From Tom McLoughlin's collection
From Tom McLoughlin's collection

If it's not, it's probably one of his brothers - there were six of them as per this photo....

Top to Bottom and Left to Right as per my mother's handwriting on back of photo:
Vincent, Francis (Frank), Patrick (Pat)
Joseph (Joe), Thomas (Tom) and John (Jack)

Mateship is pretty important in Australian culture....and it seems my Grandfather had a few mates.  Unfortunately I don't know the stories behind these photos but it looks as though they enjoyed good times.


The traditional greeting among Australian blokes is "Maaaate" reciprocated by an equally long "Maaaate" and then a deep silence full of inarticulate deep thought peppered with dry observations on the Herculanean efforts of footballers/cricketers or if desperate, the weather.

Here's another photo aptly titled by my grandfather as Annual Smoko - Christmas drinks I'm guessing.  I don't know if these are work colleagues or just friends.  No idea where it is taken but I'm guessing an RSL somewhere in the western suburbs of Sydney...probably near Summer Hill.




That's my grandfather on the right with the glasses.

I have blogged about my grandfather a few times.  He loved chess and reading...oh and the ponies.  Many of my books are from him over the years.  He was a big Readers Digest fan and loved doing the Word Power in the back of their little magazines.  He bought me many encyclopedia sets and left yet another set of encyclopedias to us....with some money cleverly hidden under M.  He liked clever jokes.  I remember he particularly liked the movie The Sting with Paul Newman and Robert Redford.  He thought that was very clever.

Mateship forges strong bonds between Australian men (and dare I say women) - asking for loyalty that often goes above and beyond the call of duty, as exemplified in the award-winning short film Mate embedded below from Queensland filmmaker Evan Clarry.  I don't know what my grandfather would have thought of this.  And I don't know what you will think of it either.

Warning: Do not watch this film if you object to strong language or are in the slightest bit squeamish.  

It is not for the faint of heart.  

But I still find it very funny and Damien Garvey's performance is fabulously under-stated.  
The french sub-titles (???) add a certain "Je ne sais quois"!





For more Sepia Saturday fun head here....


47 comments:

Jo Featherston said...

Tried to post a comment but hasn't worked, so here it is again, and can be deleted if it appears twice:
I love your insightful comments and photos on mateship, and that video clip is an absolute classic, complete with Ted Egan soundtrack - hillarious!

Alex Daw said...

Phew! I was a bit worried about posting it and causing offence. I don't mean to cause offence. I just loved its silliness.

Nonnie said...

your grandfather- quite a handsome man! I love this meme, getting to see loved ones from quite some time ago. please, what is an RSL? not ringing a bell (I live in the USA.)

Jo Featherston said...

Some people might be offended, but not me :-)

Alex Daw said...

Ah Nonnie - silly me - RSL stands for Returned Services Leagues Club - so set up for those who served in the war. RSLs are pretty famous for lots of what we call "pokies" or poker machines, cheap grub (food) and a never-ending stream of cheap beer. "Has been" acts or acts from yester-year tend to perform there too. Tends to be the kind of place I'd rather be seen dead in but .... they serve a purpose I suppose.

Titania said...

Enjoyed the smart mates, smartly dressed men, fedoras, ties and braces.Your grandfather must have been a very clever man. Now, I watch the film,I have not seen before.

Queen of the Tea Cosies said...

VERY FUNNY Olix.
VERY FUNNY SHORT FILM!!!!

Alex Daw said...

It's a great short film isn't it? I remember going to the AFI Awards in Sydney at Darling Harbour the year it won and being so excited. Bruce and I were sitting together and roaring with laughter when they screened it. Evan's a lovely bloke.

Alex Daw said...

Thank you Titania - I hope the film didn't scare you off.

Alan Burnett said...

A homage to mates : and the whole idea of mates - the solidarity of friendship - is something that deserves an homage.

boundforoz said...

I haven't heard the expression sad sack for a long while, as per back of photo. Great photos.

Alex Daw said...

I agree Alan ... what would we do without our mates indeed.

Alex Daw said...

Poor bloke does look like a sad sack too doesn't he?

Deb Gould said...

The movie didn't run for me (drats! everybody thinks it's great, too); but the photos are wonderful...lots of drink, smoke, back-slapping stuff there, too, I'll bet. I love that first shot of him by the water...

Mike Brubaker said...

Great photos! Tom looks like he rarely was without proper tie and hat. The group photos are especially good for defining the concept of "mates". I liked the film too.

Alex Daw said...

Oh Deb what a shame...I wonder why the movie didn't run for you. It's on You Tube if you really want to dig around for it just search by Mate and Evan Clarry I suppose. That first group photo interests me in that there are so many of them...all dressed up...and to all intents and purposes, smack bang in the middle of the bush.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Mike. Thank you. I'm glad you liked them. I only wish I knew more about them. They all look like a bunch of larrikins to me !

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

Love the photos!!

Postcardy said...

I especially like the photo of the six brothers. The way they are lined up made me think "as alike as peas in a pod."

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Jackie!

Alex Daw said...

I love the pencil thin moustaches!

Jackie van Bergen said...

How great, you combining a Sepia Saturday complete with tie and braces with a Father's Day blog.
And the film... Thanks for putting it up, I'd never seen it. Having come from the country, I actually know guys that are like that!

Alex Daw said...

Hi Jackie - yes as I said to my husband, that film really captures a few golden Aussie moments.

Boobook said...

Wow, I'm not surprised you're not entirely sure about identity. Those brothers sure do look alike.

Sharon said...

Love the photos but sorry not the film.

I am definitely not offended but I am too serious for my own good. My husband and kids can be laughing their heads off at a film, but not me.

I couldn't watch Jerry Lewis for years. I thought it was stupid but now don't mind it. Yeah, maybe I am the stupid one.

Anne Young said...

You did really well to find some lovely family photos with shirt sleeves and braces :)

Little Nell said...

I like the look of Tom, especially in that second photo.

Alex Daw said...

Sharon, never stupid. Humour is a very touch and go thing I find. It is often on the knife edge of tragedy and usually at the expense of someone else's pain or verging on the horrific which I think this is. I find Fawlty Towers hilarious but I know another couple who cannot find the humour in it at all and yet I know they laugh heartily at other things. I used to roar laughing at The Young Ones but now I find most of it too crass/immature. So...I think one's humour can change too depending on your circumstances/experience. I find it a fascinating topic to consider.

Alex Daw said...

Thank you Anne. It's not always easy this Sepia Saturday stuff so it's good to succeed some weeks :)

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Little Nell. It would be nice to know one's grandparents at a younger age I sometimes think. Time travel would be a fine thing...as long as one could "get back" when one wanted to do so.

Nancy said...

The mates in these photos look like they're having a grand time. You said at the top that you thought the man in the first three photos was your grandfather but it not, it was probably one of his brothers. Comparing the photos, I'm certain that is your grandfather. I think it's interesting how, decades ago, men seemed to wear suits and ties much more often than they do now.

Alex Daw said...

Yes Nancy. I agree. They seemed to like dressing up whereas now it's like they've gone in completely the opposite direction and we have to beg them to put on a shirt and discard the ubiquitous thongs. How do you spell that word????

Karen S. said...

I actually saw this last night and tried posting from my phone, but I don't see my comment. These are all such great photos, you are lucky to have these. If only we did see a bit more of this fashion, ha ha! That would be the day.

TICKLEBEAR said...

Alright, you win the gold medal this week in the weird category.
That video... well, weird!!!
:D~
HUGZ

Alex Daw said...

Hi Karen. Thanks for this. I always have trouble when I do stuff from my phone. I try to publish comments but my fingers are so fat that I often end up deleting them! Wouldn't it be fun if men dressed like this more often.

Alex Daw said...

Hoorah! A medal! My precious! Shuffles off stage left clutching it to her bosom.

Wendy said...

Your grandfather sounds so cute -- leaving money in the M book, so funny. I like "The Sting" too.

The patterns of the ties show up very well in your photos. I had a hard time selecting pictures because the ties all look void of any pattern.

Mary-Ann said...

Hi Alex
Thanks for the sepia photos, their great. Your grandfather Tom was my uncle. We were searching for McLoughlin family history and came across your blog.

As to the six brothers photo.
The left to right names in the back row would be Vince, Frank and then Patrick (Patrick was my father).
So the names in the front row may also be reversed?? I'd need to check with uncle Joe and Uncle John's offspring.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Mary-Ann

Hello!!!! Thank you so much for commenting on my blog. Please do check the names because I would like to have them in the correct order. It was a bit hard to tell which way I should be reading the names so I would appreciate some verification.

Mary-Ann said...

Hi Alex
I will forward the page to Joe's daughter.

marilyn sanderson said...

Hi Alex,
Here I am! I am Joe (Joseph McLoughlin's) daughter. Joe is on the bottom row on the LEFT while Uncle Jack (John ) is on the RIGHT. I have a photo of a very young Uncle Jack looking not unlike Bob Dylan with a smile. It is taken in Sydney Harbour (North Head I think.) In the photo taken by the water I think your grandfather was posing for Jack who became a professional photographer. I think the photo I have of Jack was taken by Tom. The boat "Nymph" was built by Jack and a friend, also called Jack. Tom may also have been in on the project. I have a photo of them rowing it from another angle. I am not sure with which of your mother's cousins you are in contact but I think we are due for a reunion. Aunty Kath (Mary-Ann's gorgeous mum) and Uncle Pat hosted a few at Castle Hill in the past. Uncle Jack's son Kerry has more photo and film records I have been keen to view.

Anonymous said...

Dad(Patrick from your group photo)said they used to hire a car and drive to the mountains for a day out. I suppose if we have a day out wedress up for it too.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Marilyn - Thanks so much for responding to my post and clearing up the names for me. I shall amend the post now accordingly. Yes - I'd love to have a reunion. That would be fun. So pleased to know more about "Nymph" ! :)

Alex Daw said...

Dear Anonymous - This is true. We like to look our best don't we. I just sometimes think the older generation were better at it than we are today :)

Alex Daw said...

Yikes, I mean Mary-Ann - sorry ! Always was a bit slow to catch on but I'm there now.

Sarah said...

There is a story that the police raided the house because so many young men - the brothere plus friends were going in and out of the house. It looked suspicious. Sarah M

Alex Daw said...

Hi Sarah! What a great story :) Welcome to my blog.