At Play In The Archive
Hello, People. Here are some fun party pictures for you, taken in the months before the stock market crash in October of 1929.
First, we begin with what looks to be a fairly lavish Hamburg-Amerika Line company party in New York, aboard the SS Reliance on April 13, 1929. My Great-grandpa Leo Lessiack is at the first table in the bottom right of the photograph, seated third from the right wearing a dark suit, arms spread wide, big smile. I have scoured the image for my Great-grandma Margaret, but I don’t see her anywhere. Maybe she stayed home with my Grandpa Bob, who was only seven at the time.
This photo was too large to fit entirely into my flatbed scanner, so I scanned it in two parts and then my husband stitched it back together for me in Photoshop. It’s worth clicking into it to look more closely. I love what a perfect time capsule of actual 1920’s fashion it is. Nearly every woman has her hair styled in finger waves, the men all look so F. Scott Fitzgerald dapper, and lordy the pearls and jewels make me giddy. It looks like there’s a live band up there in balcony toward the back, and somebody went to a great deal of trouble to achieve that under-the-sea decor, complete with big fish swimming through the air. Now, if I ran a shipping company, I’m not sure that “under the sea” would be my preferred theme for a party aboard a ship, but maybe I’ve watched Titanic one too many times.
The SS Reliance featured heavily into the family travels throughout the Caribbean in 1929, which will be the subject of my next post. And, this was not the only party the family attended on board that ship. I’m still searching for all the manifests related to the trip, but the one I have found indicates that only Great-grandma Margaret and Grandpa Bob sailed from New York on Feb. 23, 1929. Perhaps that explains why Great-grandpa Leo is not in any of these party pics (and even Margaret seems to make herself scarce).
Again, pirates would not be my theme of choice for a party aboard a ship that was actually at sea IN THE CARIBBEAN, but maybe I’ve watched/ridden Pirates of the Caribbean one too many times. It’s a good thing I don’t plan parties for a living, because I would be guaranteed to overthink everything.
Here’s yet another party pic from the raucous voyage of the SS Reliance in 1929.
You know, I think that despite that the anxiety producing party themes, I would vastly prefer
traveling partying by ship to traveling wedged into veal class in the air. These people look like they’re having a lot of fun.
Until next time, People.