The first time I used one was during my very fist visit to Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1974. My good friend Bob Mc (all my friends seemed to be named "Bob") and I made the trek to Cape Cod because we heard that the gay life was wonderful. Well, we found that to be true.
We both loved Cape Cod and Provincetown from the moment we entered it on the main street which was called Commercial Street (not a whole lot of imagination here) on a crowded, summer night. We couldn't believe the number of people walking in the street but we soon got used to it.
The next day while were were scoping out the situation we stopped at one of those Olde Time Photo shops and got this picture done. All we needed for props was the cowboy hats. We already had the western shirts and leather vests. Remember, we were making our grand debut in the Gay Disneyland of the East Coast. That's another whole story which I will probably tell in a future blog.
Well, all these many years have passed and I never took advantage of getting another Olde Time photo until yesterday. Last year I noticed in Rehoboth Beach there are two Olde Time photo shops. I made a mental note to stop in sometime before the kids got in there. I don't take good pictures when there are a lot of jumpy and screaming kids around. That is exactly what happened this past November when I went to J.C. Penney's in Dover to get my Christmas card pictures. While they were taking my pictures, there were two screaming (and I mean screaming) little girls in crinolines doing cartwheels in my line of vision while I was having my picture taken. Not a good way to get your picture taken.
Yesterday was different. After my walk on the boardwalk (which was over about 8 am), I hung around (actually walked around town) for a couple more hours until the store open at 10 am.
I was their first customer. I was in luck. I assumed that I would do the western look again until I saw the range of costumes they had. So I opted for the Civil War. The very accommodating young lady asked me "Confederate or Union?" Well, Union of course. My great-great grandfather John Tipton was a Union soldier during the Civil War. He lived in the hills of western North Carolina and was recruiting his fellow neighbors for the Union Cause when he was ambushed and killed by a Confederate Calvary headed by a Colonel Wichter. I have all this information because his widow, my great-great grandmother Martha "Patty" Bailey Tipton supplied all this information for her application for widow's benefits at the end of the Civil War. One of her nine children (they had a lot of kids back in those days to help out with the farm work) was my great-grandfather Hiram Tipton. One of Hiram's sons was my grandfather Fieldon Tipton. And of course on of Fieldon's eleven sons was my father Isaac Walter Tipton, Sr. So here I am in honor of my great-great grandfather John Tipton 1830-1863.