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Today in Rip Payne

13 Jul

by Emma Earnst

 

Today in 1964, Rip Payne documented Bradley Peyton Motors, a locally owned Pontiac-Cadillac dealership.  Peyton Motors was located on West Main Street, on the lot where the Red Roof Inn now sits.  The dealership opened in 1947, and existed for nearly twenty years until in 1967 the hotel (at this time, a Howard Johnson,) replaced it.  Prior to being the car dealership, the land had been host to a number of businesses, including a gas station, dry cleaners, and miniature golf course.  For more fun facts about the development of the Corner blocks, check out this great spread by Coy Barefoot in the University of Virginia Magazine archives.

 

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Today in Rip Payne

10 Jul

by Emma Earnst

 

Today’s Rip Payne comes from an unknown date in July 1967, and depicts Old Fashion Day at what was a relatively new Barracks Road Shopping Center.

Bunny trail time: Something tells me our friend Rip wasn’t a fan of the July heat.  To date, the distribution of pictures per month falls heavily on spring (March to May) and fall (September to November).  Admittedly, the cool breezes and beautiful colors of those seasons seem far more attractive than the scorched earth and overheated public of summer—especially to someone whose life work is to capture beauty.  Nonetheless, I’m happy to report that summer is doing far better than winter.  In terms of number of Rip Payne photographs.  Because, as you know, that’s what really matters.

Anyways, one of the (few) reasons Rip ventured out in the heat in July 1967 (so far I only have one other photo series from this month and year) was to shoot a group of individuals who dressed up in old-fashioned garb and shopped.  Well, rather, they dressed up so that others would shop.  That’s right—for at least two years in a row, a group of Barracks Road employees put on the longest dresses and warmest wool suits they find and paraded around in the dreaded heat, all in the name of sales.  Needless to say, this event didn’t last through to the present.  Hmm, I wonder why?

P.S. Can you guess which character is my favorite?

 

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Answer: Duh, its the woman with awesome specs smoking a pipe.

Today in Rip Payne

31 May

by Emma Earnst

 

On this day in 1960, Rip Payne accompanied a class on a field trip to a local press (Daily Progress?).  The group explored the workings of the press’s Linotype machine, the blocking for the press, and finally, the end result—a newspaper.

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Yesterday in Rip Payne

18 May

by Emma Earnst

 

On the day before today in 1968, Rip Payne photographed the lines outside the Paramount Theater in anticipation of The Fox.  As you may recall, we’ve witnessed Rip documenting similar situations before.  I particularly fancy these kinds of images because they stand out from Rip’s typical portraiture work.  They are a portrait of collective society—not just Charlottesville— but of America in the mid-twentieth century.

The Fox, on the other hand, may not be the most obvious representation of typical mid-century American culture (check it out for yourself).

In light of all the brouhaha over Obama’s (and Biden’s) recent declarations on the rights of gay and lesbian Americans, I do find it somewhat amusing that I would come across the one of only about a hundred films with a similar theme from the time period (out of what IMDB estimates being about 4,000 from then till the present).  I have no desire to start a political discussion on the matter, but being a historian, I will point you to a fine treatment of some of the surrounding controversy by Jim Loewen (best-selling author of the Lies My Teacher Told Me series).

Now for the light-hearted stuff:

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Today in Rip Payne

5 May

by Emma Earnst

On this day in 1987, Rip Payne spent the day in the air. Apparently hanging out the side of a small plane, he took a series of overhead shots of what he labeled “K-Mart” but are actually better described as “Addition to Seminole Square,” or in some cases, “Views of the Airplane’s Wing.” The plaza, which at the time consisted of only the east side as we now know it (the Giant side), was being expanded to include a north side- which now houses a series of great shops like Pete’s Pet Forum.

Take a look for yourself– compare these images with a current map of the area. You can use this crude diagram as a reference tool (please don’t judge my Photoshop skills):

Some time ago, Peter Hedlund shared this awesome map overlay program—HistoryPin— where anyone can place historic images of places directly onto Google Maps- even street view! I attempted to plop this photo onto the current satellite images of the area, but I’m mostly disappointed. However, the program works much better in street view.  Check out these examples from the local area of the McIntire Building, the JPA bridge, and West Main Street.  Learn more about the uses of HistoryPin on the Encyclopedia Virginia blog.

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Today in Rip Payne

3 May

by Emma Earnst

On this day in 1965, Rip Payne documented the dedication of the new General Electric building.  In a uniquely GE way, rather than cut a ribbon or crack open a bottle of champagne, the big wigs lined up and turned on some lights!  WINA offered some sponsorship (microphones), and the tuxedo-clad fellows then dined banquet style. Since the 1980s, GE’s Intelligent Platforms (their computer technology segment) has been headquartered out of Charlottesville (they are located wayyy up 29 North), but not the same building that these men dedicated back in ’65.

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Then, having now fully entered wedding season, Rip Payne spent this day in 1986 photographing Robin Hanger’s big day. And lets just say, there’s no doubting we’re in the 80’s here, kids.  We’re talking big hair, a bigger veil, puffy sleeves, and the tannest skin you’ve ever seen. It is fantastic. I know you will enjoy these!

By the way, Robin’s wedding, like my own upcoming nuptials will, took place in Christ Episcopal Church. But they let her put down a white runner. Hmmm…

44 days!

Today in Rip Payne

27 Apr
by Emma Earnst
 

Throughout the 1960s, on this day, Rip Payne stayed pretty busy.

On this day in 1984, my parents also stayed pretty busy, as they were getting married. Happy Anniversary!!

They are going to kill me for this...

Just for the record, Rip Payne had nothing to do with that picture.  He did, however, have quite a lot to do with the rest of these.

First up, in 1961, Rip Payne snapped a single shot of a woman being awarded (inducted?) by the Order of Easter Star, a co-ed fraternal organization.  According to their website, the Order is a spiritual, though not religious, organization with the specific values of charity, education, fraternity, and science.  It is a suborder of Freemasonry, and requires all members to have Masonic connections. Today, the Charlottesville Eastern Star Order resides at 425 East Main Street (pictured to the left), with masonic symbols clearly marking the territory.

 

Then, in 1965, Rip Payne captured the marquis advertising the Paramount Theater’s showing of The Night Walker. The film was directed by William Castle and starred Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwick in her final feature film. The film, according to reviews, wasn’t all that great. But, the Paramount is truly in all its glory here.  It is set on what was still a street-scape at this time (not the paved pedestrian mall of today), and I can just picture it all lit up against the night sky with those big bright lights.  Can you tell that I have my rose-colored glasses on?

Finally, in 1968, Rip Payne documented another awards ceremony, this time at a different type of fraternal organization, Leggett’s.  Leggett’s was the precursor to the Belk we know today, and at this time resided on the “Mall” (or, more appropriately, East Main before it was the Mall) not Fashion Square Mall, where Belk now lives. I guess they didn’t get very creative with their changes.

 

 

 

 

Don’t you just love cat-eye glasses?!?!

I will leave you with this:

Rip Payne stayed busy today.  My parents had the most important day of their lives today.  The lady in the picture above knew enough to drink her coffee and drink it black today.  Don’t let the spirit die.  Be productive, and accomplish something great today!