In 1932, leaving his home in Fort Worth, young Fonville Winans (1911–1992) set out on the waterways of south Louisiana searching for adventure and fortune. This journal recounts, in his own words, how the now-renowned photographer and two friends—first mate Bob Owen and second mate Don Horridge—ventured out on untamed Louisiana waters aboard a leaking, rudderless sailboat, the Pintail.
Fonville was shooting footage for a movie that he was certain would make them rich and famous, telling the story of subtropical south Louisiana’s remote coastal landscapes and their curious people. It was ambitious and risky—just the right combination for three young Texans with hopes of stardom.
Crafting his photographic skill, Fonville traveled during the summers of 1932 and 1934 to swamps, barrier islands, and reefs, from Grand Isle to New Orleans to the Atchafalaya, making friends and taking pictures. The journal, in effect, layers Fonville’s unique voice over his now-iconic photographic record of moving images and stills.
Robert L. Winans selected one hundred photos to illustrate his father’s diary entries, offering a fascinating inner look at Fonville and the world as he saw it.
Robert L. Winans is a retired naval design engineer. He lives with his wife, Regina in Alexandria, Louisiana.James R. Turner is a retired landscape architect, artist, illustrator, author, and teacher. He lives in Leesville, Louisiana, with his wife, Meriget Winans, Fonville's daughter.
James R. Turner is a retired landscape architect, artist, illustrator, author, and teacher. He lives in Leesville, Louisiana, with his wife, Meriget Winans, Fonville’s daughter.