The last customer of the evening at closing time at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Old Town, Pasadena, California. I debated with myself about whether I would publish this or not. This final image is about a 20% slice of a full DX frame from the camera, that I should have cropped in camera by using a longer focal length (and with the camera in a vertical orientation), so the detail quality of this rendering would have been up to my standards. I liked the possible stories that this image conjures up so much that I decided to share it. Next time I will be more deliberate, and think my shot through, before just clicking the shutter in reaction to the moment.
The shot was through a window and there is some reflection from some exterior lights that interferes with the image. I did alter the tones in the man’s face because it was distorted by the reflected light (possibly some neon tubing across the street) but left a remnant of the neon tube in his hair (I did not want to manipulate this street life image more than necessary). You can also discern some banding of the image from the reflected light. I have been thinking about distractive light reflections a lot recently while capturing more shop window images and I have come to the conclusion that while my primary interet is what is behind a shop window, that in real life as you look through a window unwanted reflections are usually present to one degree or another, so if I can’t cleanly eliminate them, I might as well accept them as part of the reality of the scene as we live it.
Since the 19th century the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) has existed and been engaged in fighting alcoholism and tobacco use. A local chapter of the WCTU was established in Chino, California in 1896. In the latter part of the 19th century and in the early 20th century local WCTU chapters would erect public drinking water fountains in towns where anyone could drink for free, as an alternative to buying a drink in a saloon. The WCTU believed in never denying a thirsty man an opportunity to have a drink of water.
In 1908 the Chino chapter of the WCTU erected a public fountain at the corner of 6th & D Street in the middle of town. Soon after, the same year, the fountain was destroyed by an out of control horseless carriage crashing in to it. (It is not recorded whether or not the horseless carriage was being piloted by an irate saloon owner, or not.)
In recognition of the city’s history, and possibly as a method of signaling our community values, city officials effected the erection of a working replica drinking fountain in the same general location in 2010, so that once again, no man will leave Chino thirsty.
Author’s Note: Today’s image and the rest of this week’s images are part of my ongoing Another Time series, remembering and celebrating life during earlier eras in our collective history (particularly between the middle of the 19th century and the middle of the 20th century). I am always on the lookout for examples of life in America in earlier times and welcome readers to suggest any Southern California sites to include in my documentation.