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By Joseph Dempsey beautyboots

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Don't ask me who this attractive young woman is. I don't know. I do know one thing, presuming she survived since I shot this photograph: She is 10 or 15 years older now. This is an early to middle nineties shot. She is at the corner of Saint Anne and Chartres in New Orleans' French Quarter.

It was really late afternoon or really early evening, depending on your time preferences. Night life was beginning to stir. Tourist Bermuda shorts and over-the-calf white socks were disappearing and being replaced with dolled-up trappings on people savoring a night on the town.

She was conducting an unknown conversation with an unknown recipient when I noticed this woman, a cut well above the current crowd in attractiveness. A mild breeze splayed her ample brunette coiffure and gently molded her dress. Good view!

I shot several exposures. This was the pick of the litter. I considered approaching her to strike up a conversation. While I was processing that thought and wondering if she perhaps had a .38 snubnose in that purse, I was distracted. When I turned around she had disappeared like the last rose of summer. Probably a good thing. I'll never know.

The illumination was somewhat low and I did not notice her footgear until the film was processed and proofed. Lo and behold, she's wearing what appear to be "Cochrans." Unless you are a grizzled old paratrooper, this may bear some explanation. Paratroopers turned their noses up at standard GI boots and bought their own Cochran boots, which were accepted wear at all levels in airborne Army units. This footwear distinguished paratroopers from the common "leg." Ask any paratrooper what that is.

Even if they weren't Cochrans, she was surely sporting GI boots. Here is a woman in a slinky evening dress, properly accessorized with what appears to be a correct purse — understand here, I do not claim to be a purse aficionado, but to me it looks OK. She has shunned the stiletto heels you expect in favor of Army boots. I surmise that if she had a brother, and his friends taunted him with "...boy, your sister wears Army boots," there would be more than a modicum of truth to that mild insult.

The mysteries of this image remain.

Footnote to history:  Pre-Katrina, there was a cool bakery / café / coffee shop at the corner of Saint Anne and Chartres. As of April 2007, it had not reopened. To my great regret, a dad-gum good source of cappuccino has bit the dust. While one was trolling about with a camera, he could pick up a quick cap and amplify his enjoyment of the atmosphere. Pity.

N O T E :  
Nikon N90s / Nikkor f2.8D 80-200 Zoom / Kodak CN 400 film pushed one stop

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