Our Daily Sykes #63 – Two Looks West from Magnolia Blvd.

When I received the Horace Sykes slides from the Gowey family in the mid-1980s I did not know its complexity, which these two slides will illustrate.  The top is one of those rare instances when Horace stamped his slide “Horace Sykes Seattle, Wash.”  This time he also identified the subject, although for that we needed little help.  He named it “From Magnolia Bluff, Seattle.”  The second slide was also labeled, and similarily.  It reads “From Magnolia Blvd. Nov. 17, 1958 – 1:p.m.”  It is not, however, signed.  The mounting for this second slide is also more sturdy.  We subsequently discovered that it is not by Sykes, but rather by Robert Bradley, a professional photographer with a competing interest in rare stones.  Horace and Robert were probably friends, and may have met through the local camera club, or church, or insurance (Sykes profession), or through Lawton Gowey.   When I learned that Horace had died in 1954, I needed to find another photographer for all those sturdy sides that were dated after the year of Sykes’ passing.  The slides themselves included many scenes taken from the Lamplighter Apartments on Capitol Hill, and with a little investigating I found a photographer living there – Robert Bradley.  Subsequently, I also found a slide among them with his name included in the caption.  The Bradley collection is not as large as the Sykes and his sensitivities are more urban and not so picturesque as Sykes.  But here they are standing in nearly the same place and looking in the same direction.

(Click to Enlarge) Horace Sykes has both stamped his name to the cardboard slide holding this scene, and identified it as "From Magnnolia Bluff, Seattle."
Some few years after Horace recorded his view from Magnolia Blvd - he lived in the neighborhood - Robert Bradley took his look through madrona branches to the brilliant Olympics. It may be a very fresh snow. The photograph was taken on Nov. 17, 1958 and at 1 p.m. - or very near it. Bradley was disciplined about such details and recorded them directly on his slides.

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