Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sepia Saturday - Hangin' Out

This picture, backed with an unused postcard, is from my father's side of the family. The child seated front and center looks a bit familial, but like much of our family information is lost to history.

I love the swaggering poses of the fellows in the back row and that Charlie Chaplain look-a-like. Are they hanging out with the usher because they want to audition their "Vaudeville act"? - get a free pass into the movie? The usher looks like he knows he's the best looking guy in the group. And the only one with a uniform. And the only one with a real job. And makes $2.00 a week.

Those barefoot lads in the front look like they're just happy to be able to hang out with the big guys without getting whacked on the head or having their hats thrown up on a roof.

The Davison Theater, on Davison Street is long gone, and I could find no information about it. Davison Street, named for Jarad Davison, an early settler, has an interesting history. The street ran through Highland Park, a Detroit suburb, which like Hamtramck, is completely surrounded by Detroit.

Davison Street was the only major through way in Highland Park that ran end to end into Detroit. It was gridlocked during rush hours.

Progress and the need for access to the defense plants during WWII dictated the demise of the old street and - perhaps - the Davison Theatre.






The Davison became the first urban depressed freeway in the United States. Depressed, because it was dug below road level to allow for overpasses. It opened without fanfare in November, 1942. The Davison has been widened and extended over the years and continues to provide access to Detroit and the huge spiderweb of freeways in the Detroit area.

Stop by Poetickat's Invisible Keepsakes for more Sepia Saturday!

10 comments:

Martin H. said...

Great postcard. Don't you start wondering what lives these lads led in the years that were follow?

Poetikat said...

Fabulous picture of the gang in front of the theatre, Cynthia. I love the little Hitleresque-moustache on the Chaplin fellow.

Of course, I am fascinated by the whole "Davison" element since that is my maiden name. (I spent years correcting people to get them to remove the second "d" from "DaviDson".)

We never came across many Davisons in southern Ontario, so to find there was not only a theatre, but even a street, in Detroit is quite exciting. I do know that there is a town of "Davison" near Flint, isn't there? Perhaps Jarad had something to do with that as well? (Or another relative.)

Kat

Barry said...

What an amazing group of characters, but what a shame the neighbourhood became a freeway.

But that's life, I guess.

Betsy said...

How cute..that first pic...love the attitude of the guys. ;)

Stephanie said...

They are a cute bunch - lots of swagger! Some of my family photos are postcards - must have been the custom of the time as cameras would have been uncommon. I surmise...

L. D. Burgus said...

I do speak. It is an unusual photo. It looks like a guy was just bringing a bunch together off the street to take their picture in front of the theater. That is amazing that you can follow the history to a depressed highway. I like your blog.

Jeanne said...

I never realized you live in Detroit. Love the postcard -- and the term "depressed highway." Seems appropriate for Detroit (and the rest of the rust belt).

lettuce said...

there are some great poses here - fab. photo. I like all the hats

steviewren said...

Love the way most of the boys in front are barefooted. As a child, I went around sans shoes all summer long. I still toss off my shoes the first chance I get everyday.

tony said...

When I was very little I remember asking My Mum "Did People All Walk Like That In The Olden-Days?"as we watched a silent movie on the telly.Me 'Thinks the Charlie Chaplain look-a-like must have thought the same!!!!