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Author Topic: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)  (Read 7863 times)

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Offline dj

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Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2013, 05:29:42 AM »
I doubt it's a wedding.  the grouping of people is all wrong for that type of picture, and you'd think the bride would have some kind of flowers if this was indeed a wedding with such a large, well-dressed gathering.  And it's not a mass baptism, because nobody's in baptismal dress.  My guess is a dedication/rededication of the chapel.  The building doesn't look new, so if my guess is correct either it was a chapel the congregation had been using and it was recently repaired and painted (so a rededication) or it was a chapel previously used by another (probably white) congregation which had recently found new and better quarters and the current black congregation is moving in and dedicating the chapel for their use.  I think indications of this interpretation are the overflow size and very proper dress of the congregation, the man on the chapel steps holding his hat out in front of the building as if to say "look at this", the prominence of the church Bible in the center of the picture, and the man to the preacher's left holding another book (probably the register of baptisms, marriages, and deaths in the congregation.

On the other hand, there's the three very old men standing in front of the congregation to the right of the picture.  They could just be the church elders given a position of prominence, but the fact that they're out in front and the preacher is looking at them might indicate that the gathering was in honor of them in some way.

Chances are miniscule that there's anyone known to us in that picture.  But it's a beautiful picture of an event that obviously had some large significance in the lives of the people pictured.  It's worth seeing even if the guy in question is John Doe who ran a store in town.  I'm glad to have been able to see it.  thanks for posting it.   


Offline CF

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Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2013, 05:55:50 AM »
Does not look like Patton. Wishful thinking methinks.
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Offline Randy Meadows

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Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2013, 11:08:14 AM »
I think it has enough merit to be above wishful thinking.
It seems full of questions that may put some dots together...
It deserves to be considered.

Ive studied descriptions about him directly from the pros and this certainly fits most descriptions of him...
The CD makers seek to thin his face out with every cartoon rendering they make...

Seeing that the portrait drew more positive likenesses that the studio pic...

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Offline Randy Meadows

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Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2013, 11:17:58 AM »
If you look at the big photo,
Notice the space between the man sitting and the man in the pinstripe suit on the ground...
Behind the preacher's leg seems to be the curve of an instrument, like a guitar between them...
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Offline Stuart

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Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2013, 11:53:23 AM »
Thanks for posting the photo, Randy. There are similarities between the fellow in the photo and the well known photo of Charley, to be sure, but I wouldn't bet the family jewels on it being the same person--there's just too much uncertainty and other possibilities--and differences.

He could have been sitting for various reasons--so his face wasn't obscured by the Good Book, or perhaps because he was tall and although the photographer wanted him up front, he didn't want him blocking the people behind him. Or perhaps he was simply unable to stand (having lost the use of his legs due to Polio, etc.) and was placed in front, seated on a chair. The woman's clothing doesn't seem different by that worn by others in the crowd. Perhaps they were honored guests or visitors at the assembly.

It would be great to know the complete story behind the photo, but I sincerely doubt that will ever happen.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 11:55:28 AM by Stuart »

Offline misterjones

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Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2013, 12:26:05 PM »
The picture is too fuzzy to conclude it is Patton.  By the same token, I don't see how one can look at the picture and say it definitely is not Patton.  I don't see the guitar, but the man's Caucasian features and the bowtie really stand out.  I vote for "it could be Patton".

Offline Randy Meadows

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Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2013, 12:49:20 PM »
If you follow the stripes on the left leg down, you see the left leg...
But it seems to be a shape in front of his right leg, propped towards the center slightly...
If you notice, there is not a person between them.... only this space shown..

I believe that they took more than one photo (various poses_) with the preacher scooted over, etc...
This one copy just happened to survive....I think there are more of this scene...
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Offline dj

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Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2013, 01:56:44 PM »
Quote
and the bowtie...

I see at least two other men with bowties in the picture, both over to the far right.  Must be Patton's father and brother.   :P

Seriously, we have one picture of Charlie Patton wearing a bow tie.  We have no idea if he ever wore a bow tie at any other time in his life.  The bow tie means nothing.  I'm sure everyone reading this would love to have another picture of Charlie Patton.   But looked at dispassionately, there is probably less than 1 chance in 1000 that Charlie Patton is anywhere in this picture, and we will almost certainly never be able to be certain if he is or isn't there.

Randy, if I'm looking at what you're looking at by the preacher's elbow, it looks to me to be part of a pew/bench/lectern.       

Offline JohnLeePimp

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Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2013, 02:03:29 PM »
Wow that's some cool stuff Randy,

Now I'm no Columbo but I think that this guy looks rather like Patton - not that it's definitely him, it probably isn't - but looking at pictures of black people from the era (which is something of a pastime for me) I can tell you that few have that kind of look... it's distinctive, that guy's face stands out from the others' in the picture

But then some people say his eyebrows are too thin and his neck length deosn't match... so who the hell knows
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Offline onewent

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Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2013, 02:32:33 PM »
Randy, if you in fact can confirm the chapel, county, town and the time period, why not search the relevant records, like the church records, county records, newspapers and so on?  I don't have an opinion on the Patton connection, but the photo sure seems to record a special event.  Two facts that jump out are that two men are holding 'books' of some type, but you can only assume one is a bible, and the man holding it is a preacher.  But the man to the viewers right holding a 'book', the 'book' looks a lot like a ledger used to record business transactions, or weddings, funerals etc in a church.  Our church has dozens of these.  So, this tid bit lends some support to the idea of a wedding or the move into a new church for this group, more likely the latter.  Interesting photo regardless of the Patton connection.  Tom

Offline bnemerov

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Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2013, 02:57:17 PM »
What Tom (onewent) says makes sense. If you want to know, go.

I went to Ozark Alabama 50 years after a singing event recorded and photographed by professor John Work and showed the photos to some old folks there who had no trouble identifying most of the singers.

Granted, this time-lag is longer, but there's a good chance that relatives of the pictured folks know who's who in Randy's picture---and it's just possible some of the kids in the picture are still alive.

Speculation is easy; Research am hard.

Offline Randy Meadows

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Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2013, 04:23:00 PM »


He doesn't seem that tall to me at all.
The woman on his lap is short. His foot to knee length is barely any longer than hers..

Preacher is taller than him by a few inches easy.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 02:50:58 AM by RSKKZ- Randy Meadows »
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Offline Rivers

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Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2013, 06:55:20 PM »
I find the shot pretty interesting at face value, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who has noticed this little observable fact.

He's by far the whitest individual in the shot, is placed front and center, and there's a pretty black gal sitting on his knee.

And this was taken in the deep South, in the first half of the last century.  :)

Plus I don't think it's a chapel, there's no religious iconography visible on the building. More likely a country village hall.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 08:25:46 PM by Rivers »

Offline onewent

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Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
« Reply #43 on: January 12, 2013, 06:49:33 AM »
I was thinking that it would be difficult to 'prove' that it's a church, but if you look in post #14 photo, the window left of the door, bottom left pane, there appears to be a cross.  Also, if it's a country village hall, where's the village?  One would expect more structures in the background/periphery.  Also, it's a pretty large structure.  If I had to venture a guess, I'd say it's a black congregation moving into a new-to-them church, hence the 'preacher' with the 'bible' and 'elder' with the church 'ledger'.  But that does not explain why Charlie Patton is sitting there with a woman on his lap.   >:D 
I believe, that if the origin of the photo is known,  some leg work in various archives of the area could prove fruitful.  Tom

Offline Rivers

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Re: Man sitting by Preacher while everyone else stands- 1920s-(Patton?)
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2013, 07:04:25 AM »
Ah yes, I see the cross in the window, thanks. Environs are not unusual for a hall, for example there are a lot of them dotted around Texas that stand apart, well away from houses.

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