Twenty-two loyal, smart, perceptive, patient, and diligent readers submitted answers in our pick - the matching - TR - picture contest. This small historical challenge started with an astonishing Roosevelt montage we used to illustrate a story in our June/July issue. We hadn’t been able to find out much about the picture and were enlightened (as we always hope we will be when we can’t find an answer) by a reader—John Waldsmith, who owns one of the originals of this print. Mr. Waldsmith’s explanation appeared in the “Postscripts” section of our October/November issue, and we offered a free year’s subscription to the first reader sharp-eyed enough to spot the one repeat among the five hundred images of Roosevelt that make up the montage.
Two readers came up with the right answer. The first to do so—our winner—is Elizabeth E. Greene of Silver Spring, Maryland. She was not thrown off by the fact that the matching pictures were tipped at deceptively different angles, but she reports that “after staring intently at several hundred photos of TR for an hour, I find myself now haunted day and night by faces of Roosevelt in every expostulatory grimace imaginable. Hopefully it will pass.” We hope it has by now, and we are happy to extend Mrs. Greene’s subscription for a year.
Again calling on the amazing attentiveness of our readers, we published a picture that we titled “Drag Bunt” in our August/September “Readers’ Album.” The picture showed a baseball game in which the players were all dressed in late nineteenth-century women’s clothing, though at least some of them—those adorned with mustaches, for instance—were clearly men. Why they had padded and togged themselves out in skirts and fancy bonnets would be hard to reconstruct, we felt, but we hoped that some vigilant readers might recognize the setting and be able to tell us where the ball game was played.
And indeed they did. Several readers identified the mountain in the background as Whiteface Mountain, with Lake Placid Lake, in Lake Placid, New York, at its base. We were then able to confirm this identification with the town historian, Mrs. Mary MacKenzie, who recognized the setting exactly, named the buildings, and dated the picture in the 1890's. One reader even had a pretty convincing suggestion for why the men were gotten up as they were, too: they were giving themselves a handicap, she speculated, to make the contest more even. And undoubtedly, stuffing themselves into women’s clothing was a cause for much merriment.