Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sailor Suit Saturday

On my way home from work yesterday, I was met with more than the usual Friday-afternoon traffic.  Our annual Rose Festival is in full swing: A celebratory week of often-rained-upon parades and overpriced carnival rides, of which I've never quite understood the allure.  One element that I find strange, yet never fails to draw me from my desk to the river-facing windows in our office, is the arrival of several extremely large battleships that float down the Willamette and drop anchor for several days.  Doubly incongruous to my  day-to-day experience in Portland is the sudden appearance of dozens upon dozens of sailors sauntering down the city streets, dressed in their tidy white uniforms and iconic round hats.  Their unmistakable congregations can be seen outside of bars, gentlemen's clubs, and tattoo parlors even at 4 PM.  I've always liked a nice sailor suit, though admittedly, I associate them with cute little children, and sometimes find the look to be a bit out of place on a burly young man.
In any case, seeing so many white-capped men on my way home made me think of a neat vintage photo album I have on my bookcase.  Most of the pictures are of "Betty and Bob" -- wartime sweethearts from the Pacific Northwest.  Betty probably put the album together, as there are many photos of her posing with expressions of melodramatic longing for her overseas Bob.  I imagine they were photos that were included in letters to him, surely bringing a smile to his face.  The album was never finished, but hopefully the two of them were reunited after his service and lived many happy years together.
Here are a few more of the photos.  I especially like her yellow socks in this shot taken in front of Multnomah Falls: