Family with a mysteriously dark man

What it is:

Irregularly trimmed snapshot measuring approx. 3 x 2.75 inches.

What I know about it:

Stamped on the back is the photo developer’s logo:  Fox-Tone Print ® / Fox Co. / San Antonio, Texas / September 1953


This one puzzles me.  It comes from a group of family photos that includes other pictures of each of these people.  Unless I’m mistaken, this man appears elsewhere in these photos, and he’s a handsome white guy with, at most, a sort of Cary Grant tan.  So I don’t know what’s going on here.  It’s like he’s an actor heading home with his family after a performance as Othello and he couldn’t be bothered to take off his make-up.  His mysterious skin tone placed amid the ordinary looking family, the swell clothes and the stark, harshly lit setting all combine to give the effect of a 1950s sci-fi thriller.  Incidentally, this is the same set of family photos that gave us this picture, and there’s enough of a family resemblance to make me stop and wonder if it’s the same woman in both (probably not, based on the presumed dates of the photos and ages of the women picture, but I did wonder).

4 comments on “Family with a mysteriously dark man”

  1. He spent a couple of weeks at basic training or working a farm or something outdoors and is outrageously sunburned?

    His hat’s angle certainly hints at mystery and danger, but his face says exhausted.

    • Yes, I was wondering along those lines, too. It’s just that the color is so even on his face and hands, that seems to me unusual for a burn. Of course, it might also explain the protection from the sun provided by the hat. I wonder if it would be more evident in a color photo. Whatever it is, he’s okay with posing for a picture, and his family is okay with being seen out in public with him, which is nice.

  2. 1953…….nuclear bomb testing, and I fear this family man was subjected to something way over the limit in New Mexico. But I do like that fat short tie.

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