Saturday, May 8, 2010

William Faulkner 1936 With The Key Brothers From Meridian,Mississippi

Above photograph was taken at the airport in Oxford, Mississippi in 1936.
© University of Mississippi
Photograph of William Faulkner in The 1936 Ole Miss, Published by the Students of the University of Mississippi, University, Mississippi, 1936.
Faulkner is photographed in a group shot, "The welcoming committee greets Al Key," in the "With the Cameraman" section of the student annual. Al Key, who with his brother Fred, had set a flight endurance record in 1935 had flown into the Oxford airport on his airplane, "Ole Miss." Faulkner, holding a cigarette and standing apart from the group, is not taking his duties as greeter too seriously. A similar photograph of Faulkner, taken on the same occasion is also published in the 1936 student annual. The caption under that photograph reads "William Faulkner, novelist and aviator."
I once had a copy of this 1936 Ole Miss annual. I sold it on Ebay. If you look closely you will see that William Faulkner is wearing old clothes and the rest of the men are well dressed. Faulkner's tan pants are in fact somewhat dirty. His clothes look like he slept in them. I like this photo very much since it shows him in the 1930s when he was not so well known and certainly not rich and famous. This was the Bill Faulkner that people in Oxford,Ms. called "Count No Count". They did not know what to make of him then. It took years after his death before the people of Oxford realized they could use him as a tourist draw for Oxford. Where he was scorned during his lifetime by his own townspeople they now adore him and promote him as their favorite son. Festivals are held in his honor. His home is now a museum run by the University of Mississippi.
There is even a statue of him sitting on a bench down at the old courthouse in Oxford,Ms.
Click on the link below to see more items from the 100th Centennial Exhibit about William Faulkner.