Truth and fiction and strangeness

In a recent post titled On Control, I wrote about what happened to LIFE Magazine in 1972; in it I referred to a number of quotes from something called Dirck Halstead’s Platypus Papers.

As an aside, I asked if anyone knew where I could find my favourite LIFE photograph, one that has eluded me for three decades. And amazingly, based on my description alone, (search engines eat your heart out!) one of you managed to find the precise one. Thank you again, Zigzackly.

Here’s a thumbnail of the image; full attribution to Gerald Waller (though I remember the original credit as Wahler not Waller) and to Life Magazine and to the Red Cross and anyone else who’s entered the fray in those three decades, image posted by me on a fair-use basis. In fact I”ll go further. Whoever owns the rights to that photograph, if you see this then please contact me so that I can buy it off you and make the photograph available to the world.


The thumbnail really doesn’t do it justice. So please follow this thread, as suggested by Zigzackly, to see the full-scale image for yourself. Then you will understand why I love the photograph.

I followed that thread immediately, found the larger image, and felt great. Reunited. Then today I decided to rummage further, see whether I can find ways to order a large print. And was bemused to find that the site I went to was moderated by …. the very same Dirck Halstead I borrowed quotes from.

So I tried to find out more about Dirck Halstead, and have some reason to believe he lives in …. Austin, Texas.

Which is where I was when I wrote the post. I’ve contacted Dirck by e-mail just in case he can help.

6 thoughts on “Truth and fiction and strangeness”

  1. I have been storing my own image collection (not just photographs) on Flickr. I am trying to develop tags that will make it easier for me to find them when I want them for things like PowerPoint presentations. Also, Flickr is now an A9 search option. Needless to say, this does not help me search for images at other sources; and, thus far, I find that I am doing better with Google than with Flickr. However, who knows how things will change over time! I have documented my own adventures in the June 19 entry of my blog:

  2. You’re welcome, JP. It was a pretty simple search via Google, by the way. Got that thread I referred to first shot. And really, your description was so clear that anyone who had ever seen that very memorable picture would have seen it flash past their mind’s eye.

    The Best of Life was a firm favourite in my college years. I would go to the library intending to do some studying, pass the book on the shelf and wind up poring through it yet again.

  3. Did you hear from Dirck? And if yes, are you able to order a full image of that picture? If yes, can you please post the details as to how it can be done?

Let me know what you think

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