Fridays on The Pier – 1920
The Seal Beach pier has been a favorite subject for photographers throughout its 95 years of history. Every Friday between now and the end of the Seal Beach Founders Celebration, we’ll be posting an image of the pier.
Here’s a beach level view you don’t see too often of the Jewel City Cafe from the east side on the pier in the early afternoon, judging by the shadows. Something just off-camera seems to be catching the attention of most of the crowd in the lower left corner, but we’ll never know what it was.
Some sort of a concession has been set up under the stairs for “EXPRESS MOVING.” I’ve tried to make out the rest of the words on the sign, but I just can’t. Whatever it was, it was busy enough to justify having two guys working the counter.
But for me, the most intriguing aspect of this image is the people. When we blow up the photos to get a closer look at the individuals, you can discern little touches of personality in each person — even when the image is a little blurry. Like this couple sitting on a bench up on the pier. Is he saluting the photographer or pulling his hat down to avoid being recognized? She seems calm and unflappable. Also, that’s one great mustache.
Behind him is this spitfire with her hands on her hips. I get the impression you would not want to get into an argument with her. What is she thinking? Women finally got the vote in 1920, and I’d like to believe that she was the type of woman who once she got to vote never missed an election for the rest of her life.
Maybe I’m projecting.That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend, and be sure to check back each week for more historical photos and stories of Seal Beach. – Michael Dobkins
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