Glenndeana walked along the
edge of the lake. She carried her shoes in her hand and let shallow waters
wash over her feet as she strolled slowly but deliberately along. The soft
breezes off the body of water pulled her light chiffon skirt this way and
that. The dark tendrils of her hair curled about her face and down her back.
She was beautiful beyond belief with not one flaw to mar her appearance.
As she reached up to brush her hair away from her face her hands were seen
to be as delicate as if they were those of a porcelain doll. Her long
tapering fingers she used so gracefully and it was like they were just to
barely touch her curls.
The girl was quite alone, but
then she often was. There was something about the whole world around her to
leave her separate. Maybe it was her quite shy manner or her beauty which
was so striking. People were so in awe of her, so much so, as to only gape
and stare rather than take time to get acquainted.
Glenndeana had a job too,
which kept her interested and alive as to the world around her. She was a
photographer's model. Every possible scene the photographer worked
through in order to find ways to catch the best portrayal for whatever
client or product was on his contract. If there was a flat bluff in the
middle of the prairie with a chasm, blue hills and flowing clouds this was
where they worked.
Maybe there was an old
building, deserted other than the massive tall windows reaching from floor
to ceiling with the light filtering through frosted glass, and this was the
backdrop where she stood. A corner with the glass on one side and a wall on
the other with her standing in that corner told a story all on its own. She
wore a gown with a Grecian drape to it and for some reason this belonged
to the scene also.
Some of the ideas did not
work and those were the photographs she kept added to her own little cache
of their work together. There were the net stockings she wore to make her
look like a Parisian dancer. The back drop was wrong. After all there,
wasn't much around like Paris. These photographs she kept too. Even though
there was no story to be told Glenndeana liked the black net stocking which
gave her a different look. Maybe the photographer didn't like the way she
looked, or maybe he just couldn't pull a scene together. For whatever
reason he didn't use them and they were hers.
There was another he did not
want and that was one of her in a Native American war bonnet. This she kept
and later her Mother took it to the newspaper where they were living.
Something of a surprise greeted the girl when she opened the Sunday paper to
see her photograph.
Occasionally, the quiet way
of her world with mind absorbed in creating something usable in the way of
photography was intruded upon by someone's rude remark. A comment made
with a smirking grin while face was askance allowed that person to make a
point. “Nice girls do not work as photographer's models.” In 1955 this may
have been true. However, Glenndeana for some reason was never concerned with
what was being said by anyone. Any and all of her photographs, like the one
of her in the War Bonnet could have been used in the local newspaper.
Once as an advertisement for
a local motel the photographer had taken a shot of her swinging slowly
around the pole of one of the supports on the entry way. The wind caught her
hair and long prairie skirt in a way to give the picture a clean but a
catchy look, which was, of course, what the purpose was, to call attention
to the place.
For some reason when one of
the boys said, “Someone saw you going into a motel with that photographer,”
the girl was able to laugh out loud. When she told the photographer, she
didn't know how he would react, but she found she didn't have to worry. He
didn't even honor the thought with an answer, but just shrugged, “Oh well!”
Her brief career as a
photographer's model always stayed as a beautiful, pleasant memory of times
devoted to creating and building something of value from nothing more than
the world around by a single photographer and a girl who could see the older
man's ability to do just that. Clean thoughts going to setting up a visual
story using design, lighting, dark and light values, lovely props and then
editing some work as unusable made a strong impression on her young mind.
Later when she heard the statement, “An artist is never impoverished,” she
knew this was most certainly true. If that artist was to be a little lonely
and apart then, this too was part of the price to pay.
Photo by Stephen Keene