Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Dapper Dan Contest

My son just inherited the family albatross. A huge box of empty envelopes, a few letters and pictures and tons of stamps that my grandfather, Gustav Hartman, collected all of his adult years.

The big plastic container has been through several relatives who sifted endlessly through the contents looking for that one little piece of flotsam that would cause them to jump to their feet and scream "Eureka! We're rich!!"

Alas and alack, not one of them, including my son, got to experience that moment. We did, however, get lost in the postmarks, pictures and pages of stamps. My grandfather had been Assistant Postmaster and Superintendent of the Mails for Delray Beach back when Delray was so small the mail was sorted in his back room.

There were sheets of once newly issued stamps, now crisp and yellow with age. We excitedly opened every envelope hoping to find correspondence between him and my grandmother. They had courted and become engaged, by mail in 1928. I would have loved to have been able to write that story.

There was nothing. Nada. Zip and zilch.

BUT!! Among the pictures of people we didn't know in front of landscape that doesn't exist in Delray Beach anymore, we found the picture of Dapper Dan.

We actually have no idea who this dapper gentleman is, what he's holding, what he's standing in front of or why he posed for this picture. We certainly don't even know if his name is "Dan." It just seemed to go with the bowler. Which led me right to....

Another contest!!

We had so much fun with our Jones Creek contest last year, that I've been looking for another opportunity. Well, here it is. Let's try to figure out who this man is and what it is he's doing. As with the Jones Creek contest, your entry can be serious or funny, researched and based on something you've found, or it can be created out of your imagination. It's possible someone out there even knows who this man really is - wouldn't that be a kick?

Winners will be picked at random again from all entries because if your entries are anything like the last time, there's no way I can judge.

This time, the prize is a $10.00 gift card to for you to use for anything your little heart desires.

So, take a good look at the picture of our mysterious Dapper Dan and serious or silly, post your best guess as to who he is and what he's doing. I can't wait to read your entries!

Copyright 2012 Ruth Hartman Berge


  1. You’re kidding. This is a St. Patrick’s joke, right? This picture is well-known. In Ireland that is.

    It is of Lord Harper, the Eighth (and last) Earl of Blarney. He was famed for hunting, his expertise at bowling on the green and his ongoing battle with his neighbor, Earl, the Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl.

    In the picture, he is holding the tusk of a unicorn, sadly the tusk of what had been the last surviving unicorn. His retrieving the tusk rendered the species extinct. That, in turn, angered the populace so much it led to his death and is why he was the last Earl of Blarney.

  2. Naw, he's not Lord Harper, but rather Joseph Stinson. He's the candlemaker made famous by his three-fool long hand molded candle. Behind him in those little cubbies are his wares. This photo was taken for the Guiness Book of World Records and to date, Mr. Stinson is the record holder for the fastest candle making as well as the aforementioned longest hand molded candle.

    Sadly, Mr. Stinson died in a horrific accident which I can't go into detail about because of its graphic nature. I will say, that Madame Tussaud was intrigued enough by the after affects to create a museum...

    1. Poor Mr. Stinson! Done to death by wax! Thanks for your comment, Tameri :)

  3. He's standing in an old hardware store or the supply room of a business that does a lot of construction work. If you blow it up, you can read the labels on the bins with the different size bolts that are in each bin. As to what's in his hand, looks like a BIG icicle. Water on the floor, too. Was there a big freeze about the time this would have been taken?

    1. Hi Bill and thanks for your comments :) I'm not sure but there are a couple of things I suspect about the photo. I'll share my thoughts after we have a winner.