What I had discovered that day in New York was the personal photo collection, one might say "family" albums, of Susanna, a professional female impersonator—as her business card glued to one of the album covers attested. The pictures show Susanna and a group of her male friends who would gather at a house in upstate New York to dress up and live for the weekend as typical, middle class suburban women, complete with tacky furniture and a Scrabble board. Their style of dress alternated between conservative, proper outfits and cheap but glamorous fashions. […] There is no "political correctness" in these pictures—they show women basically as housewives who know how to dress up for a night out, and certainly don't mind having a mid-afternoon drink at home. 


Another collection of photographs such as these may well be out there somewhere, but I wonder if we will ever see it. After all, these pictures were nearly "tossed to the wind" in an old box in an outdoor parking lot. Fortunately, in this case, the parking lot was an urban flea market where the remnants of our culture are constantly recycled for our curiosity and, I hope, your pleasure.


Robert Swope

in Casa Susanna

Edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope

powerhouse Books New York, NY

© 2005 Michel Hurst and Robert Swope




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