Marion Post Wolcott - FSA photos Part 1

Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina



I tried every different line I could think of. And carried small bribes and food along with me. Along the bigger roads, they were very commercialized—immediately asked for money, and no nickels or dimes, or food either—real money. And even then, they’d just stand up in front like stiffs and not move until you "snapped it" and left. Well, it’s worth doing and I now know a lot of roads and places not to go up…. There are also those famous gardens and estates near there—a wonderful contrast.

By 3:30 the light was very, very poor. And Mrs. D., who is really a nice lady, but has no idea of time or days, had to have hunks or branches from every holly and spruce and thorn tree. … They both assured me the next day would be lovely and I could go out alone and get more pictures of the places we’d seen. I woke up the next morning and it was pouring!

In the meantime, I’ve been struggling with my damn car….At first I thought that the banging it took getting across Gee’s Bend ferry, plus getting stuck badly twice in Flint River…were responsible for it. The rear axle housing was bent, throwing the wheels out of line, which resulted also in one tire being worn out. Ltr. to RS 5-21-39

During those few short days in that part of the swampy lowlands, I found most of the people very suspicious, quite unfriendly. It was practically impossible to do anything about it, especially because of the cold weather. To them very cold and unusually windy. They first get in their huts or shacks and build a little fire and close the wooden window and door and hug their arms close to them, waiting ‘til it gets warm again.

I just wish you had been along with me for just part of the day looking for something (to wear), particularly with POCKETS. Let us agree that all photographers need pockets—badly—and that female photographers look slightly conspicuous and strange with too many film pack magazines and rolls and synchronizers stuffed in their shirt fronts, and that too many filters and whatnots held between the teeth prevent one from asking many necessary questions. Now—this article of clothing with large pockets must also be cool, washable, not too light or bright a color. Try and find it! Letter to Stryker Summer 1938 - near Homestead and Belleglade, Florida

After that last trip to Florida in that lovely broiling June weather, I think I could stand another migrant camp session during December or January…and not be too unhappy about it….I think after Louisiana I will have had a temporary "bellyfull" of the dear old South. Sometimes, I even have the faintest suspicion that I already have. At other times, I know damn well I have.


Return to Marion Post's top page. Go to FSA Photos Part II Go to FSA Photos Part III