I looked at microfilm all afternoon today, every edition of both the Chronicle and the Post from March, 1929. I haven’t managed to solve the riddle of the strange picture–or even any piece of it–but I have developed an alternate theory of the case, which I will now run down.
It’s been a long time since I read that much microfilm in one sitting and I can confirm that it is not at all pleasant. I will have more than one scotch tonight. The other thing I can confirm is that in 1929 the Post was superior to the Chronicle in more or less every respect. Reading the same news in both papers–the inauguration of Herbert Hoover, rebellion in Mexico, the fortunes of the Houston Buffs–lays bare the differences. Where the Chronicle was dense, humorless and physically difficult to read, the Post was lively, generally much better written and reported, and laid out to be easy on the eyes. (My favorite Post story from this month was an advice piece: “Wife Must Be Vamp to Keep Love Burning in Heart of Husband.” Tell me about it!)
The most amazing thing I saw, though, was in the Chronicle. Believe it or not, I actually ran across a photo of someone I know. Here’s the last time we saw them, and here they are in the Society page a few years earlier:
Bonus: A clean bus is a happy bus.