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The Famous Twins of 'Hollywood-Gone-By'


These two elderly twins were once the 'toast of the town' in Hollywod.

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Your ratings, critiques and observations are most welcome. If you rate harshly, very critically or wish to make a remark, please submit a helpful and constructive comment; please share your photographic knowledge to help improve my photography. Thanks! Enjoy! john
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What can I say, it's a great image John. To me it looks like they are trying to hold up a strong appearance and put on a good face, so to speak, and there in exists the sadness for me, beyond the facade as I see it. Just my take and I'm sure others will see it differently. Another of your many I enjoy. Take care.

Best Always, Holger

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Su Dawen. Days now have passed and still now word of explanation from you. Sarcastic, hopeful, a fouled up transmission or a dropped word in typing? These are all explanations for a comment still do not understand. Anytime you see this, would you enlighten me and viewers? If you somehow means my request for critique was over reaching and asked too much, I have a very proud history here on this site of having received (and replied with) over 19,000 critiques, and most of them were not a simple word of sentence, with many of them expressing highly intelligent thought extremely well written, and the vast majority of those comments have been helpful (and wide ranging at times, with the photo being a 'touching off' point for wide ranging discussions in 'my salon' For that, I don't think I need 'good luck' if that's what you were referring to, but I have no way of knowing. You are welcome to join this 'salon' and its wide and far ranging discussions -- with sometimes world class ideas and critiques being added.




John (Crosley

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Wayne Melia


There is no doubt I was there, as the 'eye contact' is absolutely present and forms a major part of this photo. I have at times hidden around corners or behind lamp and utility poles, but this time I was right there, conversing as I sometimes do, and also giving these ladies helpful advice (they were being evicted, and I directed them to "free legal counsel' from 'legal aid'. I like your comment about 'contrast' as I had not given that much thought john John (Crosley)

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Gregory and Verena Sava


In a way, these two were a 'fun pair' as you note, but as noted by a commenter below, that was very much on the surface.


These woman obviously are former entertainers and obviously worked and modeled or had been photographed, so when I began taking photographs, they instantly adopted a 'photographic model' view which it appears likely they used when they were much younger -- say in the '50s or early '60s or maybe even a little earlier.


Their poses were studied and instant -- no time for overthinking or guessing how they'd look best.


Of course, and I overlooked this point, GREAT CONTRASTS OFTEN MAKE GREAT PHOTOS.


Side stepping the question of whether or not this is a 'great photo', the contrast is great between poses suitable for younger 'babes' and the elderly for whom life's expiration date has maybe passed or is fast approaching. By the time you see this, it may have been expired for one or both of these women, twins to the nth degree, who in their '80s here, were still doing EVERYTHING together, just one - sort of like a single organism with two bodies and two outward miens, but really almost Siamese in their twindom (except of course their Siamese status is voluntary, not one of nature -- they are free to go their separate ways and lead separate lives but have lived together it appears all of their '80 something years. Wow!


(and of course, if you look at the face of the one, left, you see a sore on her nose. More than one doctor on viewing this photo tells me that is basal cell carcinoma, a malignancy that eats away at flesh but dose not or seldom metastasizes, but is progressive and causes major skin damage and disfigurement and here they told me untreated (and mostly unrecognized for what it was). It's not usually fatal; life is fatal, and for them, sooner than later I felt after meeting them.


But they were 'fun' to be around and it was quite an experience.


Their 'fun' was a little bittersweet for me - for them it provided a diversion from the confusions of life with being evicted by their landlord.


(Note the comment above and my reply, please on this topic of 'bittersweat', or as the commenter said: 'sad'.


Best to you, and thanks for commenting.




John (Crosley)

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Holger Steljes


You were right, others did see this image 'another way' as Gregory and Verena Sava' commenting next above you appeared to (although they don't state it outright, and their comment was also right -- the very aged twins did enjoy the posing process).


But why?


I think it reminded them of what they did frequently when they were very young and very pretty in a fresh, youthful, twinly extraordinariness, in Hollywood's heyday as it filmdom's Mecca was just beginning to transform from the 'star' system to one of more merit-based films at it is now, with the 'star' system at present practically in 'tatters' compared to what it once had been. Merit reigns in Hollywood now, to fill the seats, get those cable views, causes the blu-rays to be inserted and so forth. Things have changed, but these two women pose the same old way that served them well. It's habitual.


The gusto with which these two fossils engaged in adopting the poses that surely had carried them through much of their younger years to a sort of celebrity (not worldwide celebrity -- maybe just 'Hollywood' standard' celebrity -- where people 'knew' them because they were 'everywhere' and together, dressed alike, in the same colors (here, a pink, purple for each with identical outfits, and of course, pretty, dressed in pretty clothes. Men lusting after them.


Now no longer.


Attention, which once came naturally, is of a different nature and seldom seen. More of the nature of an old man telling kids' GET OFF MY LAWN -- grumpy attention from offense given sometimes, but no fawning attention as before.


No matter how much they were aging and declining, their identical and fashionable wardrobe was to them de rigueur when they go out even in old age, even when this photo was taken, almost every day -- even if just to wander.


Here they were searching for a way to save themselves from eviction (and I directed them to 'legal aid' which would help them for free' almost assuredly, IF they could follow easy directions, and even put them on the right bus} The bus driver recognized them and heaved a sign, as he obviously remembered these two oldsters who never paid a fare. It goes with the job.


But it was just a sigh . . . . one of inevitability . . . that goes with the bus driving job, like driving on those LONG routes at all night . . . especially during the GREAT RECESSION with passengers who went straight to the back seats and slept both going and coming on a 90 minute to two hour route one way, then turned around and came back, often with a blanket thrown over their heads to shield from bright inner bus light as they fought for Morpheus.. A tough life in the late 2000s and even into the next decade with buses (and bus shelters) becoming actual 'housing' for the homeless.


These ladies had a home of long duration, but they were threatened with losing it and were in distress, but I helped show them the way, iF they could follow my simple instructions and GET to Legal aid who would take them by the hand and help save their housing and keep them together till their lives' mutual end.


For it occurred to me that they were bound together like a head to a body, and one would not exist long without the other. I saw it in Kiev when one sister artist who drew caricatures alongside the main thoroughfare often seated near the other suddenly died, it was not long before her identical twin sister also died, probably from heartbreak, or like having a vital organ removed. Heartbreak is the guillotine that separas the symbolic self-chosen Siamese who were NOT actually conjoined but chose to live their lives as though they were? Were those artists just like these two twins? I'll bet they were.


Cancer is evident on the left one's nose. It's prominent, undiagnosed, and untreated, but it won't kill -- it's slow growing and almost never metastasizes. It just spreads and disfigures. Death comes from other causes.


Yes,they are smiling as in the Hollywood of old, that was their path to a livelihood, or perhaps just to recognition and maybe entree into parties as the 'fun, pretty twins' -- very good looking and maybe 'a gas'. Who knows? Who remembers? Who would remember?


They are on life's cusp, the River Stylx must be crossed, and they sense it. First the home may go, then one will go, then inevitably soon after the other likely be guillotined from her lifelong companion -- the one person in the world who thinks as she does, knows everything about her, cares for her intimately, and she alone as a former twin is thrown into a world where nobody else really cares a whit.


That knowledge I am sure is implicit.


The pose is reflexive.


They smile and get close together; eyes sparkling - maybe with reminiscences of the 'olden days' when those smiles and twinkly eyes meant something -- attracted men, caused presents to come their way, and who knows what fun times they had as the 'toast of the town' way back when?



Now they're just artifacts and anomalies.


Surely they know.


Just as the condemned man walks onto the gallows, they know.


Yet they smile for the camera and photographer, because that's all they know how to do in that situation, and they do it well.


We know the truth.


But don't feel obliged to tell them or even let on.


We all will face our own truths, sooner or later.


And people will know.


Wonderful, insightful comment you made.


You are always welcome here Holger.




John (Crosley)

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Svetlana Korolova


I think the Administration with the new site has elininated the ratings.


There never were any ratings 'guidelines' making them for many members 'useless' and over time they went from 'high' to lower to very low/average even for good photos but partly because of imrovements in keeping out games raters had been playing before you arrived as a site member.


In any case, a comment is often far better than a rating, esecially a good comment from a well-known and masterful member like yourself -- comments like that i treasure. (but you can leave critical or 'helpful' comments too, and they are also appreciated, as i need to learn why some photos just do not 'work' or can be improved'.


Thanks for your kind comment. I hope this response eases you about the new site design.




John (Crosley)

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