The signs

Signs along the highway, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, June 1943, by John Vachon, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Another view of this here.

E. Riche/ Read the history of my life I am 65 year old born 1877 June 30th I don’t steal don’t murder don’t lie and never was arrested in my live Sherif Dauterive* gave a handcuff to handcuff me for telling the truth do you think it would be an honor to handcuff me the boat the life saver, is for proof that it crossed Judge Perez†, his two children, his wife, and his brother but Mr. Dauthrievl asked could I prove it, I said yes, and he asked who crossed him. I said a boy he also asked did he pay him I said yes, he gave him $100 [or $1.00] and looked for change back if I am wrong arrest me I am ready for trial I want help from the public eyes on, hands off, keep out, and be happy life saver crosse Peres family over Miss River if you arrest me for telling the truth you should be paralyzed blind or crazy God is my judge

History of depression and starvation these signs were taken up by the grand jury April 6, 1936 for investigation has investigation been made[?] if nothing can be found wrong please return these signs

On the side: Caernarvon levee [?} on April 29 [? . . .] horse [or house] claim ditch claim tree [?] claim. . . spring crop claim summer crop claim [? . . ] how can a poor man have a square deal [? . . .} have a square deal to replace my [?] in the same condition [? . . . .] (emphasis mine)

The drawback of tyme claim of 200 of false claim was made by county agent c.c. Dethloft [or Dethlofi] he was adv[i]sed $1299 [or 1219] tree claim I was offered $275 is this a square deal Mr Perez worked fifty fifty on summer claim every farmer summer claim was 229 [or 289] Mr Perez got 110 and each farmer got $110 [ or 410] paid ten years taxed [?. . .] 1927 where did my mo[?. . .] collected penny on

*Louis Dauterive was sheriff of Plaquemines Parish from 1931 to 1943.

†Parish political boss and segregationist Judge Leander Perez. Here’s a news story about him allegedly strong-arming another family over land in the 1930s. E. Riche’s complaints may go back to the removal of families in the 1920s to built a spillway to protect New Orleans.

Vintage landscape: Smiley Heights

Smiley Heights, via LoCRoadside view from Smiley Heights, Redlands, California, between 1898 and 1905, a photochrom by Detroit Photographic Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

(Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Alfred and Albert Smiley — twin brothers — were wealthy New York hotel owners who came to California in their sixties:

In 1889, while in California, the brothers became so impressed with the beautiful scenery and surroundings of Redlands that they purchased for a winter home 200 acres of the heights south of the town, through which tract they caused to be constructed a beautiful series of roads, both for driving and walking, and on the summit and along the northern declivities started a thousand or more species of rare plants and flowers of such varieties as flourish in this semi-tropical climate. Each of the brothers erected a beautiful and substantial residence on the crest of the hill. This property called the Canon Crest Park, commonly known as Smiley Heights, was thrown open to the public and the park has become famous throughout the land, being visited by thousands of Eastern tourists annually.

History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties (1922) by John Brown, Jr., and James Boyd

The Smiley estate is now “covered by McMansions,”  according to this article about Redlands in The Atlantic.

Below the garden the hills fold away.
Deep in the valley, a mist fine as spray,
Ready to shatter into spinning light,
Conceals the city at the edge of night.

Yvor Winters, from “On a View of Pasadena from the Hills