Saturday, 30 June 2012

What A Raquet

An entry to Sepia Saturday. "Using old images as prompts for new reflections".

 Photo of 1880 from the International Centre of Photography, New York
Subjects and photographer unknown
I came across this photograph by chance while looking for something else, irresistible to use this week. I can't decide if this is a hallway or a backdrop but they are having fun with this whimsical shot.  Who knows they may be about to run out of the door and start batting balls about.  Peering through those strings is a similarity of face that makes me think they are a family.  The boy's clothing at the back makes him looks as though he could have wandered in from the 21st century to join the photographic experience.

From one posed shot to another
which featured in the Picture Show Annual 1938 captioned "Dolores del Rio and her bull terrier, Michael, are inseparable, and he even accompanies here to the tennis courts".  Maybe a pooch like this is also useful for retrieving tennis balls.

Dolores del Rio (1905-1983) had a long career in film, theatre and television although at the time of this photo, at the end of the 1930s, was not finding roles in Hollywood and continued her career in Mexico for the next two decades, returning to the US in 1960 to make 'Flaming Star' starring Elvis Presley.  George Bernard Shaw was quoted as saying the two most beautiful things in the world were the Taj Mahal and Dolores del Rio.  Despite it being said her beauty routine was that of a diet of orchid petals and sleeping 16 hours a day
she seems to have fitted in a certain amount of racket sports.  The date is 1935 when del Rio filmed two musical comedies 'In Caliente' and 'I Live for Love',  both with the musical choreography by Busby Berkeley, and who can resist those elaborate kaleidoscopic and slightly wacky numbers he produced.   The photo looks as though it may have been taken on a film set, everyone seems dressed for hot weather apart from the suited man, not that Dolores
couldn't play in a suit herself although goes for the comfort of kicking off her shoes here.  Lastly
 Zsa Zsa Gabor and John Hann, Long Beach TTA President
we enter the world of Zsa Zsa Gabor.  Not sure what husband number she is up to at the time of this photograph but she is dressed for any occasion, those puff sleeves serving to distract her opponent as she flips the ball across the net.   

Table Tennis photographs from Larry Hodge's addictive "Celebrities Play Table Tennis" page.


Bob Scotney said...

I think a bull terrier would make short work of Dolores' tennis balls.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

I love the very first one; too funny! You chose some great photos and I like how you transitioned us into table tennis. Great post, thank you!

Kathy M.

Sharon said...

The first one is my favorite too. They look to be having fun. I think it is a backdrop behind them.

Little Nell said...

An enjoyable post. That first picture is funny isn’t it? It’s unusual for a semi-formal shot too I’m sure.

Wendy said...

That first photo is a winner - I wonder if they were a tennis family.

barbara and nancy said...

There's actually a book of celebrities playing table tennis?
How weird is that?
I also love that first photo. So unusual and so perfect for this weeks theme. Great post.

mrsnesbitt said...

And there was I expecting Wimbledon! said...

I had to look twice at the photo of Dolores del Rio with her terrier ... at first I wasn't sure she was wearing anything other than the terrier.

Queen Bee said...

The first photo is my favorite. It looks like it was made at a studio. What a fun and unusual pose - most photos from that time period depict people seated with a serious expression.

Postcardy said...

I was surprised that there are so many photos of celebrities playing table tennis. I like playing table tennis, but I haven't had much luck finding people to play it with me.

Karen S. said...

What a cool bunch of photos you have for us! I especially like the first one...I don't believe I've ever come across a sepia photo like that with their rackets before, ever! Very, very cool!

Dave said...

A very interesting blog Joy. It's good to see these old photos of film stars, etc. - Dave