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Friday Slide Show: Lucky Elephants Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

26 April 2019

Say you saw a set of three small porcelain elephants at a garage sale, marked for sale at $3. Would you bite? Would you wonder if they'll take just $2? Or would you look for some more appealing prop to photograph?

That is the fate of the knickknacks of the world, after all. Some garage sale or estate sale or, failing that, the garbage bin.

But in this case there's a story behind these little elephants that makes them both irreplaceable and priceless.

Gram was a bit of a puzzle to us four boys. Her home had some peculiar things in it we were repeatedly warned not to touch. Like the Japanese doll in a glass case that a friend from work had given her.

One of the things in that house that none of could touch was tied to a string on the end of a pull cord attached to a light bulb in the skylight above her stove. A little plastic elephant, its trunk raised in the air, dangled at the end of that string like a toy we would never get to play with.

It wasn't a toy at all, of course. It had a utilitarian purpose, providing something to grip when you had to turn the light on or off.

Somewhere Gram, who worked for the Red Cross, had found out that elephants could bring good luck.

But it had another purpose too.

As Gram explained one day when we asked her why she had an elephant in the house, it brought good luck. Good luck is not much in fashion these days, everyone giving all praise and glory to their particular deity and neglecting to mention luck at all. But Depression era families like Gram's knew bad luck first hand and hoped it proved there was such a thing as good luck, too.

Somewhere Gram, who worked for the Red Cross, had found out that elephants could bring good luck.

If we remember (vaguely), these three cavorting examples in today's slide show were a gift from us because we were quite taken by that explanation. But whatever their provenance, they grace our home now, near the front door under our skylight, with some body part upturned if not the trunk.

We find them amusing even when our luck isn't very good. And they don't eat a lot.

So we're presenting them today as something of a circus act. We used the Olympus E-PL1 and a Lensbaby Tilt Transformer with either or both a +4 and +10 macro converter to capture these against a blue background in the dead of night using the same Flexi LED macro flash we used to light our egg last week.

And, in a first for us, we're showing all 19 images in the order in which they were taken. We didn't give a lot of thought to the sequence, but when we played it back as a slide show, we liked it.

And we liked it even better with a little musical accompaniment provided by the Edison Symphony Orchestra. Circus Girl Waltz is another historical recording from a gold moulded record digitized by the wonderful people at the UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive.

Click the arrow under the image to start the music and then click the image to start the slide show.

Oh, and Good Luck!

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