Ten o'Clock Scholar has been finished for a while, but I have been so limited in time I have not had a chance to post the final image--or the story behind it. The young boys in the image are Willie Williams, aka Papa, my husband's paternal grandfather and his brother Milt. The photo was taken when Papa was around seven or eight. Somewhere around this age he left school and never returned. The story goes that the one room school he attended was divided into younger and older classrooms by a curtain. One day during class Papa, who was seated near the curtain, was stuck with a hat pin by an older boy on the other side of the curtain. When Papa yelled out he was punished for disturbing class while the culprit with the pin "got off scot-free". Papa told his parents what had happened and that he didn't want to go back to school--and so he didn't. Despite his lack of "schooling" he was an extremely intelligent man and frequently outwitted his "more educated" peers! Notice that he has a bruise on his forehead; this was the result of getting hit in the head with a rock thrown by one of his siblings while the family was hoeing corn.
The substrate for this piece is a couple of pages from an old reader published in 1899, and would likely have been in use about the time of the hat pin incident. The handwritten nursery rhymes feature Papa's name and are somewhat relevant to his personality. The hat pin, now that you know the story, has obvious connections. This image includes photo transfers, painting, and drawing. Media include ephemera, acrylic paint, pencil, gel pen, and photo transfer.