In 1932 a young Fonville Winans (1911–1992) left his home in Fort Worth and 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 his two friends—first mate Bob Owen and second mate Don Horridge—ventured onto untamed Louisiana waters aboard a leaking, rudderless sailboat, the Pintail.
Fonville was shooting footage for a movie that he felt certain would make them rich and famous, telling the story of subtropical south Louisiana’s remote coastal landscapes and its curious people. The project was ambitious and risky—just the right combination for three young Texans with hopes of stardom.
Developing 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 visual record of moving images and stills.
Robert L. Winans selected more than one hundred photos to accompany his father’s diary entries, offering a fascinating inner look at Fonville Winans’s world.