porch steps

Posted by Ellen

It's Saturday, a good day for bananas!

Approximately one hundred years ago, circa 1917, four people posed for this photo on the steps of somebody's back porch, probably in Minnesota. We can surmise that the house was heated by wood and had no running water–but yes, they sure had bananas.

The gentleman in the upper left is Bernard Burch, who in the 1920s was elected mayor of Wadena, Minnesota. As a young man, he ran his family's department store, "largest of its kind between Duluth and Fargo"; in his later years, he managed the town liquor store.

We do not know the identities of the happy banana-peelers he was hanging out with.

Posted by Ellen

If it's October, there must be a pumpkin. This assemblage–which was first featured about four years ago in a predecessor to this here blog–dates back to the time when the brick steps in the photo led up to a house we lived in on Columbia Road in Portland, Maine. In addition to the pumpkin, the still life includes a non-blooming potted geranium and five quinces. The petrified tree stump, which is approximately 200 million years old, is something we found in an abandoned coal mine in Walker County, Alabama; it now sits near our back door in Philadelphia.