Tumbling competition, San Quentin Little Olympics Field Meet, 1930. Courtesy Anne T. Kent California Room Collection, Marin County Free Library

Earlier this morning I pointed out the riches of the Anne T. Kent California Room Collection, in the Marin County Free Library Archives. The San Quentin Little Olympics Field Meet 1930 Album deserves it own post.

Any sack race that has contestants cocooned up to their necks is a serious affair (image 2). Any tumble would hurt.

The tug-of-war (image 3) is fought on a remarkably complex purpose-built platform. It unfortunately looks like a rack.

I have no idea what narrative the parade (image 4) carries, but African American inmates donning hessian sacks painted to mimic “primitive” costume and carrying a whiter-than-whiter mustachioed swan-king is particularly discomforting.

Pole vault without a 60 inch crash-mat beneath the bar?

Lots to be said about cross-dressing and gender-bending in prisons, but not to be superimposed upon these 80 year old photographs. Two fascinating images.

And we just had Halloween. Who knew pie-eating contests (last image) produced zombies?

Sack race, San Quentin Little Olympics Field Meet, 1930. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection, Marin County Free Library.

Tug-of-war competition with officials looking on, San Quentin Little Olympics Field Meet, 1930. Courtesy Anne T. Kent California Room Collection, Marin County Free Library

Prisoners in costume parading at the San Quentin Little Olympics Field Meet, 1930. Courtesy Anne T. Kent California Room Collection, Marin County Free Library

Prisoners in costume parading at the San Quentin Little Olympics Field Meet, 1930. Courtesy Anne T. Kent California Room Collection, Marin County Free Library.

"Fifty-yard crawl" race, San Quentin Little Olympics Field Meet, 1930. Courtesy Anne T. Kent California Room Collection, Marin County Free Library.

High-jump competition, San Quentin Little Olympics Field Meet, 1930. Courtesy Anne T. Kent California Room Collection, Marin County Free Library.

Pole vault competition, San Quentin Little Olympics Field Meet, 1930. Courtesy Anne T. Kent California Room Collection, Marin County Free Library.

Long-jump competition, San Quentin Little Olympics Field Meet, 1930. Courtesy Anne T. Kent California Room Collection, Marin County Free Library.

Clown performance featuring a duck, San Quentin Little Olympics Field Meet, 1930. Courtesy Anne T. Kent California Room Collection, Marin County Free Library.

Stage entertainment with four male dancers in female dress, San Quentin Little Olympics Field Meet, 1930. Courtesy Anne T. Kent California Room Collection, Marin County Free Library.

Courtesy Anne T. Kent California Room Collection, Marin County Free Library.

Pie-eating contest showing three participants, San Quentin Little Olympics Field Meet, 1930. Courtesy Anne T. Kent California Room Collection, Marin County Free Library.

Pie-eating contest (close-up of one participant), San Quentin Little Olympics Field Meet, 1930. Courtesy Anne T. Kent California Room Collection, Marin County Free Library

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