Found Photos #5

I love nothing more than a good found photo. I'm a scientist by trade, and so I guess it's not surprising that I like to reason what's going on in a photograph using often subtle clues. The one above is the bar upon which all found photos should be judged - it is the high water mark among lost and anonymous vintage images.  The personal dynamics going on here could fill a book.

Take for instance the couple in the foreground.  They seem like an average looking pair; perhaps a potential relationship caught at its moment of conception.  They stand too far apart to really know each other well.  Their choice in checkered clothing, lack of noticeable jewelry and their plain haircuts suggest like minds.  In stark contrast are the couple in the back.  She is an absolute knockout, posing as if on the cover of a fashion magazine. He, on the other hand, is just straight up uncomfortable.  The Tetanus Rictus grin, the awkward limbs, the pained stance..... he will not be hooking up with the girl to his right.  Not now. Not ever.

Someone help me out here.  Amid a luau, a man in a crew-cut has his tie sliced in two, much to interest of the younger more attractive youths. A prank on dear ol' dad, or merciless humiliation of a neighbor? I'd like to think it's the former, but none of the onlookers seem to be laughing.

Jarts were basically giant darts with a heavy duty sharp metal point that could slice through human flesh like a hot knife through butter. Next to cage fighting and playing with broken glass on a busy street, Jarts ranks as one of the most dangerous pasttimes ever.  Judging by the girl's expression, that airborne Jart is about to impale an innocent bystander.


  1. 2nd photo theory. It's the last day of school for those teenagers and the Lu'au is a valedictory party to celebrate. The man in the crew cut is their form teacher who was very fond of wearing that tie. Every day. For 5 years. Teacher has lost a bet to Blonde Guy and the tie was put up as a stake. Now Blonde Guy has collected on the bet by cutting it in 2. Blonde Guy also has a towel in his back pocket which suggests water and shaving foam are in the equation at some point of the Lu'au. Miss Lovely Legs to the left either has great respect for the teacher or lives in fear of retribution from him judging by her uneasy expression. Maybe Blonde Guy was trying to impress her with this stunt. He has failed.

  2. Expert analysis, chadwick. Hadn't thought about the towel fitting into the equation. And I agree, Blonde Guy has failed.

  3. Jarts – along with Clackers, the '70s deadliest toys!

  4. Damn I miss flinging Jarts as high as I could straight up into the air.

    I wonder what was being kept in the little pen back there with the kiddie pool shelter.

  5. AnonymousMay 11, 2011

    Top photo early Seventies Swedish group Immateriella Sexuella Idrottare, overshadowed by Abba

  6. Image #1 - The 2 women are sisters. Not quite dragged to the adult mixer at the parents social club or church. They are the 4 youngest people there and have just met. Checkered jacket is screaming to pair up but has neither the will or the strength (notice the down turned hands in a meek position - his defenses are down). Checkered sister is happy and confident to be herself and is in no way threatened by the awkward moment. She already has a boyfriend and plans later on. Hot sister is ovulating and desperate to pair up and has just fired her rockets across the bow of the photographer. They will meet later and exchange pheromones, marry in 6 months and have 3 kids. Unfortunately for Bill Gates Jr, his only hope is to have a snifter in one side of that Sears jacket and a lid of Maui-wowie in the other. Without that he and Checkered Jacket will refine the art of hangin' every Friday and Saturday night until one of them finds a steady. It's life in the 'burbs.

  7. Jarts were a favorite at my family gatherings! When my parents moved about 8 years ago, they gave me their set of jarts, but warned me that they were now banned in Pennsylvania!

  8. AnonymousMay 15, 2011

    Cutting the tie is done as an initiation to the Kentucky Colonels.

  9. AnonymousMay 15, 2011

    I think in the cut tie picture they were re-enacting the famous meeting between Nam June Paik and John Cage, wherein the former used a pair of scissors to bisect the latter's tie.

    Either that or was just some drunken jackassery.

  10. AnonymousMay 16, 2011

    Top to bottom:
    The kid in the blue shirt... wow, I really feel for him. He could be the picture in the dictionary for "adolescent awkwardness".

    Adding to Chadwick's theory about the second pic, maybe the guy with the scissors is the only graduating senior in the shot and the other onlookers have to look forward to at least one more year in this guy's homeroom?

    It says a lot about Jarts that they were actually banned in the late 80s at the height of Reagan-era deregulatory mania...