Now this was a rather odd incident. I’m still sort of mulling it over.
Thanks to Penny for playing along in the comments, and I think you’ll see that she had a couple of possible hits herself! Good work!
I should mention that when I’m working with a photo of a person that I don’t know, I’ve noticed that my mind will often offer me an analogous individual that I DO know, by way of giving me a clue, I suppose. I’ve been surprised at how accurate these comparisons have turned out to be, and I’ve learned to pay close attention to them.
So when I got the email from my boyfriend containing the latest mystery man (posted again here), I initially glanced at it briefly, and got the immediate analogy of Truman Capote (which turned out to be quite comparable in terms of time period, occupation, possible sexual orientation, etc).
Later, right before bed, I went back to the photo for a moment, and within about 30 seconds I got the strong impression of the name Raymond Chandler. This idea had a sense of “ah-ha” or “rightness” that I am quickly coming to recognize.
So I looked him up, and although the sample row of images on the first page did not look EXACTLY like the man I had been sent, they were similar-looking, so I was inclined to explore a bit further.
I clicked on the image link, and sure enough, right at the top of that page was precisely the picture that Chuck had sent me.
This man looked enough like a somewhat older version of Raymond Chandler that I thought surely it WAS him, since it was mixed in with all his other photos, clearly from the same general time period, and they all had pipes or cigarettes dangling from their lips.
Quite understandably, I went to bed believing I had solved it.
But when I asked Chuck about it in the morning, he informed me that the man in the photo was not Raymond Chandler at all.
Well, I was flummoxed. How could it not be him? I had looked up that name, and there he was with all the other photos, looking much the same. Even when I pulled up that image again on my iPhone, the caption read “Raymond Chandler, mystery writer.”
So what the heck was going on?
Upon further investigation, it turned out that the man Chuck had actually sent me was producer, screenwriter and director Billy Wilder, and his picture appeared in an article about Raymond Chandler because he and Chandler had collaborated on the screenplay for Double Indemnity in 1944, which turned out to be the film that really established Wilder’s career.
And that’s what he was doing in there, hobnobbing with Raymond Chandler and more or less looking like him, although apparently they didn’t even like each other that much.
Could it get any Wilder?
I mean, how long do you suppose it might have taken me to work out who this guy was, without that extremely helpful clue, which led me directly to the specific photo I was looking for, right at the top of the page?
I’m not sure I’ve ever even heard of Billy Wilder, although I have heard of some of his movies, like Ninotchka, Some Like it Hot, The Seven Year Itch, and a few others.
I certainly had not the faintest idea what he looked like, however.
So the hit I got was not an identity, but rather a shortcut, which only goes to show how arbitrary this whole psychic thing can be, and how it can lead you in directions you wouldn’t necessarily anticipate.
Also it teaches me to double check my work, and not to make assumptions!
Because you know what they say about assuming stuff.
You know, it’s bad, or something.
More mystery people to follow – feel free to throw in your sixth sense cents!