Another Mystery Photo: A Humble Cabin, Its Owner, and a Visitor — Who and Where?



Well, there's certainly a story here, but I just don't know what it is.

These two images came from a box of old 35mm Kodachrome slides found at an estate sale. Most of them featured rather typical Memphis scenes of homes and churches, taken in the late 1950s, judging from the cars in the pictures.

But then you have this. First of all, it's an interesting old log cabin, a rather tiny thing with one small window and a doorway that's not even as tall as the little fellow in the overalls. That other guy would have to bend at the waist to step inside, and gosh I do wonder what it looks like inside. Cozy, I bet. Two broken-down chairs, one without a seat, stand outside the cabin, and it looks like one serves to hold a wash basin, and that may be a water pump standing next to it.

But there are no clues in the background — just trees and open fields —and there was nothing written on the slide mount itself, to suggest who these guys are, or where this was taken.

Probably the middle of Germantown Parkway today.

Here's another shot of the two men. The one on the left looks like he could use a fresh change of clothes, but people have said the same thing about me lately, and the truly depressing thing is that I am probably older than both of these gentleman. The guy on the right certainly looks out of place here, quite dapper with his clean clothes and all, so I wonder: was he visiting a down-and-out friend, a relative, a neighborhood kook, or what?

Of course, perhaps this was Memphis' version of Henry David Thoreau, so I shouldn't assume he is "down and out" just because he lives in a cabin.

If anybody recognizes either of these two men, or the location, I hope you'll let me know.

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Ask Vance is the blog of Vance Lauderdale, the award-winning columnist of Memphis magazine and MBQ: Inside Memphis Business.  Vance is the author of three books: Ask Vance: The Best Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History and Trivia Expert (2003), as well as Ask Vance: More Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History Expert (2011) and Vance Lauderdale's Lost Memphis (2013). He is also the recipient of quite a few nice awards, the creator of several eye-catching wall calendars, and the only person we know with a vintage shock-treatment machine in his den. 

You can find him from time to time in the pages of the Memphis Flyer and MBQ, on WKNO television, and on Facebook. When he is not exploring the highways and byways of Memphis, he spends his time sleeping, napping, and dozing.

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