Category Archives: Our Daily Sykes

OUR DAILY SYKES #498 – Steptoe Butte

Steptoe Butte is a proper choice now to recall Horace Sykes' love for the Butte and its views and his frequent return to it. This is the third to the last of the 500 Sykes Kodachromes. Certainly our numbering is flawed for we have sometimes included more than one example of his photography on a given day. But for the sake of ceremony we will stand by 500 as the number of days we have given place to Sykes and his pictures. This view, I think, looks west toward the cascades which are not seen because of clouds. Steptoe Davis had a powerful telescope in an observatory on the roof of his hotel at the top of the Butte, and looking at Mt. Rainier and some other peaks was one of the thrills of climbing the butte to visit the hotel. Visitors from the Palouse might also have a chance to see their own farm, if it was not lost behind a fold in the rolling Palouse terrain.


Horace Sykes made many Kodachrome copies of paintings, and he especially liked genre and regional art. Included are a few examples, like this, of Alaskan artist Sydney Lawrence. Actually, Lawrence was born in Brooklyn in 1865, and spent most of the 1890s painting in England, a member of an artist's colony in Cornwall. He exhibited widely then and even won a prize at the Paris Salon of 1894. But in 1904 me made the very big change of moving to Alaska. Eventually he wound up in Anchorage, when it was still a small town, and for a quarter-century until his death in 1940 kept painting and building the reputation as Alaska's primary painter of, of course, Alaskan subjects, like this one. It is certainly possible to see some of same big sky urges that also moved Sykes with his own picturesque slides. (Click to Enalarge)

Our Daily Sykes #495 – Number Six

I cannot confirm it, but I think that is Horace Sykes on the winding dirt road acting on his frequent delight in studying roads, both paved and not, heading off into picturesque landscapes. Here was have both. This subject, again, is not named by Horace, but it is almost certainly somewhere in the Palouse. We have shown among the other 494 Daily (nearly) Sykes shown here since early in 2010 photographs that included Horace looking at the camera or posing for it, at least once with his camera. This subject also carries a 35mm camera over his shoulder, and it is those shoulders - and the posture - that make me think they are Horace's broad ones. His athletic daughter Jeannette had them too.. Here she is below posing with the family dog on one of her visits to Seattle. Sometimes she was accompanied by her husband, the navy man, and sometimes not. (Click to Enlarge)


Our Daily Sykes #494 – "How Martha Got George"

The focus is soft and the color askew but the wit of Horace Sykes caption is enjoyed.  “Here’s How Martha Got George.”  He penned it on the border of the slide.  His daughter Jeannette peeks at her father and he at her through the gate to their home with mother Elizabeth at the Puget Sound end of Bertona Lane in Magnolia.  They moved from Capitol Hill to their new Magnolia home in 1932.  Jeanette was then twenty-two and still in school – either the U.W. or perhaps by then Cornish.  This is many years later – most likely on one of her visits to her folks in the late 1940s.  Jeannette was a ballet dancer and distinguished by her formidable frame.  Some of her dancing was done at Cornish.  The Times description of her on her wedding day to Navy Lieutenant Henry Clay DeLong (of Bath Maine) reads, in part, “The bride who is a tall, stately blond, was given in marriage by her father . . . She carried a handkerchief made from the lace of her great-great grandmother’s wedding gown.”   The wedding was at St. Marks on August 16, 1935.  Earlier that year Jeannette was crowned Carnival Queen at Mt. Rainier, for the 4th annual Spring Ski Carnival at Paradise Valley.  It was also the site of Jeannette’s triumph in 1922 when the 12-year old beat her father to the top of Mt. Rainier, and became, the Times reported, “the youngest person ever to reach the summit.”  Three years more and the Times “added” that the teen Jeannette was doing radio skits with her father Horace on the subject of fire safety.  She “took the part of ‘Mrs. Smith,’ the woman with the house full of fire hazards.”  (Click to Enlarge)

Our Daily Sykes #493 – Let Horace Be The First

Or nearly, to wish even those among us who no longer deck the halls, a Merry memory of a Merry Christmas, perhaps long ago with snow on snow. I remember now the four foot drifts of it in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and the toboggan run my brothers made from the back of the parsonage on Reeves Drive to the banks of the Red River, and asking my dad when I was five or six "Is there a Santa Clause?" and being told "No." Well that was that then wasn't it? My older neighbor, Jane - about nine or ten - was right then. Neither did Jane believe in a "virgin birth," which to me was simply a fact - I did not yet understand. (Click twice to Enlarge)

Our Daily Sykes #492 – NUMBER NINE

Perhaps the last image we will share of Horace Syke's Southwest Highways - almost all of them dirt in the late 1940s. We have given it the second number "Nine" to indicate our countdown to suspending Horace's driving license. We have then eight more from Sykes - or rather presentations, for we may show a few Sykes family photos at the end. (Click to Enlarge)

Our Daily Sykes #491 – Babbling Tunnel

This unidentified tunnel with a brook babbling from it is part of that small collection of Horace Sykes slides for which the color has been drained by time. Many of them have to do with Lake Chelan subjects. Perhaps this is part of Railroad Creek on the way to the Holden Mine in the late 1940s. Tunnels are often remembered. Here's hoping that some reader recognizes this one. (Click TWICE to Enlarge) Postscript: We are going to finish with Sykes - as a more-or-less daily feature - at that nice and round number 500. We have a few other collections that we can treat with daily offerings, but we have not, as yet, decided which to use next.

Our Daily Sykes #489 – A Bridge in the Palouse (I'm Thinking)

I don't know this bridge but imagine that it is somewhere in the Palouse of southeast Washington. Above it are two motorcars (of the 1940s) near a curve that will turn the road they travel down to pass beneath the bridge, which, I imagine only, is for trains. And yet it is wide enough, it seems, to accommodate two lanes of traffic. (Click to Enlarge)

Ron Edge sends along a link to a slick piece of promotion for the Battersea Station’s duty as centerpiece for a proposed new London neighborhood.   Perhaps it – the link and these ambitious plans – will work.   Warning: while animation included in the link is satisfying the tone of the production is, for my taste, much too pushy-confident.   Here’s the link:   I see it shares no color, and so probably will not link.  However, you can enter it by key and most-likely find it.