Weegee Covers Christmas in New York…
In Words and Pictures…
fails to revive Paul Ryan, killed by a gas explosion in his apartment at 865 First Ave. Police say it was apparently suicide. The Christmas night blast shook the 17-story building and injured two house employees.
December 26, 1940
Mongrel Pup Almost Dies Saving 16 Families in Fire
Jerry, mongrel collie, was overcome by smoke in a fish store at 210 E. 10th St., but not before he attracted the attention of a passerby.
When the ambulance arrived an intern gave the unconscious pup an injection and continued treatments until he regained his senses. Sixteen families made their escape from apartments above the store, due to Jerry’s warning.
John Lamanna, Jerry’s owner tenderly carries him off wrapped in a blanket. The intern said the dog would recover.
PM Daily, November 17, 1941, p. 18
Abandoned Baby Smiles in Crib at N.Y. Foundling Hospital…
Our police Headquarters man, an experienced photographer of the down and out, took this picture last week at the New York Foundling Hospital. “This one foundling,” he reported, “that really laughed for me without being tickled under the chin.” The baby had been abandoned by his mother in a rooming house at 309 W. 48th St. She paid $1 deposit on a room, put the baby in it and left, after telling the caretaker she was going to a bus station to pick up her bags. Early next morning the caretaker found the child, alone and crying, and turned him over to the police who promptly took him to the hospital. In our picture, taken 3 hours later, the infant is wearing under his hospital gown, the white undershirt and long, white stockings in which he was discovered. A bottle and a nap have restored his good humor. Attendants, remarking “what a pretty baby,” guess he was seven months old.”
PM Daily, November 15, 1942, p. 10
Continuing the Weegee and music theme…
To copy myself, nonsense created for something/somewhere else:
About two years before Louie Hardin became Moondog (in memory of a pet dog), he was attending daily rehearsals of the Philharmonic in Carnegie Hall (after befriending conductor Artur Rodzinski) and living in the top room of a brownstone on 56th Street, (between 8th and 9th Avenues). Hardin came to Manhattan in November 1943 after studying music in Iowa and Memphis. He was born on May 26, 1916 and died September 8, 1999.
A fascinating profile of Hardin by Natalie Davis, published in PM Daily, January 19, 1945, p. 13 concludes:
Did he have any plans for the next years?
He squatted on the sleeping bag again and laughed. “I’m going to write music,” he replied. “I’m going to write my fool head off.”
Did he see many people? Did he have plenty of friends?
“Oh, yes. I meet people all the time.” He threw back his head again, and laughed. “I’m somewhat of a wolf. I know many women. But my life is lonely. I have to maintain a certain independence, and put everything into my music.”
We stood up to go, and he stood up too. As we walked down the flights of stairs we asked what his favorite piece of music was.
“Mozart’s G Minor Symphony,” he said immediately.
He paused on the steps. “It seems to me a perfect blend of the classic and romantic ideal.”
Did he wish sometimes that he had been born in ancient or medieval times where he could find romance?
“No,” he said earnestly. “You can be yourself in any age. You don’t have to follow the herd.”
When I first got to New York they wrote me up as “a man with the face of Christ.” I put up with that for a few years, then I said I don’t want that connection, I must do something about my appearance to make it look un-Christian.” And so Moondog became a Nordic warrior; complete with spear and horned helmet: “the Viking of Sixth Avenue.”
About six years after Arthur Fellig became Weegee (in memory of a faddish game), Weegee, also a single-named individualist, expressed a similar idea in a March 9, 1941 issue of PM:
Most photographers always use the same old methods. We’ll assume that a horse-drawn wagon is going over the Williamsburg Bridge. A car hits it and the driver is tossed into the water and gets killed. The other photographers will take a picture of the bridge and then have an artist draw a diagram showing how the guy fell into the water. What I do is go and see what happened to the poor old horse…
One time one of the newspapers assigned me to a three alarm-fire… I came back with a picture of a monster whale that had drifted into Sheepshead Bay. I got the whale picture exclusive.
A photographer should have confidence in himself and if he gets a good idea he should take it, even if everybody laughs at him (or her).