When (and Where) Marvin Met Mildena

It’s late September 1942 and Marvin Mischnick is in the army and stationed in Los Angeles. Late one Saturday night (actually early Sunday morning) while out with some friends Marvin spots an attractive young lady (one Mildena Bates), chases her down and introduces himself. They go to a bar where they have a beer, kiss and then head to the movies where they make out some more. How do I know all this? Because in 1946 Marvin returned to L.A. and photographed all of the places they went that night and many other places where they spent time during his time in L.A. ¬†There are also shots of the spot where they got engaged and multiple locations where they made “passionate married love” after they moved to Chicago. It’s an amazing record of their relationship as well as a great look at downtown L.A. in the mid-40s. Click here to see them all.

p.s. Spoiler Alert: Sadly the last photo in the series is the last photo I have of them together. It was taken on Thanksgiving Day in 1947in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. But by 1948 (as far as I can tell from my rudimentary googling) Mildena was back in L.A. while Marvin remained in Chicago and became a commercial photographer. He died in 2018 at the ripe old age of 99 and his obituary (which might be as good as the photos themselves) makes no mention of Mildena whatsoever.

 

What Was On: The DXers

This will be the first of many galleries here featuring photos of TV screens. Back in 2008 or 2009 at a flea market outside of Chicago I picked up a binder containing hundreds of negatives most of which were shots of tv screens showing TV station call signs from the 1960s. I didn’t quite know what to make of it but with a little research I found out that were most likely taken by a DXer- someone with a fancy antenna rig that they use to try to pull in distant television signals. They then would photograph the TV station logo to prove that they’d pulled in the signal. About 5 years later I was at another flea market almost 400 miles away in Minnesota and found a cigar box full of prints which turned out to be from the estate of the same guy. The prints included many from Europe that had been sent to him by other DXers. Also included were photos of antenna rigs as well as assorted DX-related ephemera. I’ve put together a little gallery of some of the highlights- it’s a treasure trove of great mid-century graphic design. Click here to see the gallery