Gillian’s Found Photo #33

This guy seems to come from the same gene pool that produced Anthony Quinn and Louis Prima, no? A gene pool that originated in the part of southern Italy known as the mezzegiorno. I guess he got what he wanted for Christmas because he sure looks happy.

I have another possible theory about this snapshot. Having never seen a photo of him, perhaps the fellow with a gal dangling from each paw is the photographer himself, Don Bronstein? Of course that changes the origins of the gene pool to Jewish origins, but Jews and Italians always seem to end up together (see Art Fein’s liner notes to Rhino’s Louis Prima compilation for more on this theory).
Bronstein, a Chicago native who photographed many Playboy centerfolds (and eventually married a Playboy Bunny), also took the incredible photographs that adorned all the Chess and Checker LP covers including iconic images of Little Walter, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Dale Hawkins, Sonny Boy Williamson, et al. Bronstein, who died of a heroin overdose in the early 70’s is one of photography’s great unheralded demi-gods. Has anyone ever seen a picture of Bronstein? Anyone out there ever met him? What did he look like? Bronstein also provided the photos for a book called Chicago, I Will, a photo essay on his beloved hometown, fairly rare today, but since Bronstein is unknown in the art world, it’s usually inexpensive when it turns up. Just a possibility and admittedly a far flung one. More than likely, this is just some mook who got some sticky paged back issues of Playboy in his Christmas stocking.
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