Monday, December 21, 2009

My Life in Postcards

Main Street, Eketahuna, New Zealand, circa 1909, Muir & Moodie. 
click on any of the images for a larger view

Welcome to My Life in Postcards: an account of parts of my life expressed through postcards or how I'm living the postcard life.

Being the shy, retiring type, I've selected the image above as my first postcard to share with readers of this blog. From the very first moment I viewed it, I was struck by its existentialism. Who is he? Why does he keep his back to us? What is he walking away from? Or walking towards? Why is that horse in the left middle distance apparently crossing the street unaccompanied?

You'll have your own answers, no doubt. By all means, suggest a few in the comments below.

What I can tell you about the picture is that it is of the Main Street in Eketahuna, Wairarapa, in the North Island of New Zealand. Taken in 1909, the view was published by Muir & Moodie, a company that produced high quality postcards during the Golden Age of postcard collecting in the early 1900s. George Moodie was dispatched during these years to photograph town views throughout New Zealand.

There is a very good chance that the figure pictured is indeed George Moodie, perhaps using a time-release shutter or having an assistant take the shot. Alternatively, Moodie may have had an assistant.or a ringer pose as "The Man".

Eketahuna has long been referred to, unkindly perhaps, as a one horse town. It is the "Podunk", the mythical town name used in the U.S. to express the same idea, of New Zealand. One of my brothers once wrote on a postcard sent from Kurow in the South Island of New Zealand, that it was a "half-horse" town that barely had one street, the state highway running through it. But Kurow will have to wait for another day for its turn on this blog.

George was busy with his camera in Eketahuna back in 1909. Here are a couple more examples of his craft, one with that chap walking away from us or pacing the train to the left.

For now, please sit back and enjoy the view. If you like what you see of New Zealand, you might step over to the sister blog, The New Zealand Journal, for a look.

Railway Station - and that Man!, Eketahuna, circa 1909, Muir & Moodie.

 Panorama of Eketahuna, circa 1909, Muir & Moodie.

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