Albin Kallman Farm - Chickens wearing glasses?

The majority of my Dad's immediate family had remained in the Chicago area, with one exception, his brother, my uncle Albin. In the early 1940's he, his wife and young daughter had moved out to California. My grandfather Richard's sisters had also settled in California. Although I knew who they were, we were not close and rarely visited. In 1955 my parents and I took the old route 66 from Chicago all the way to California, sightseeing along the way. My Dad took slide photos of our trip. His photos were mainly, scenery, family members and on Uncle Albin's farm he photographed THIS

Being city people we could not for the life of us figure out why Uncle Al's chickens wore glasses? Well, my Mom said, "ya know that the folks in California do things very differently, like Hollywood or maybe it was just a joke or something."  Really????  I don't remember seeing the picture more than once or twice in my childhood. After my Dad died in 1989 I inherited his box of slides. My kids got a kick out of this photo but it still remained a mystery to my suburban family. My son especially got such a laugh out of it. We theorized all sorts of crazy reasons including that maybe Uncle Al himself was crazy and had actually put glasses on his chickens!

It came to represent anything in our life that seemed incomprehensible or we had no answer for. 
"Why is that Mom? How come? When?" Answer: "Well dear, it's like glasses on chickens."


As I became interested in genealogy and my family history I emailed Al's daughter, my cousin. She kindly sent me photos of the family in California. In return I sent her photos from Chicago that perhaps she did not have and just for fun I included the famous (to us anyway) chickens wearing glasses. Growing up on a farm of course she immediately knew. Chickens, mainly roosters could become quite aggressive with each other. She and her mom would hold the birds as her dad, with some sort of tool, applied these blinders. It prevented them from pecking each other. Well even to a Chicago girl that makes sense. However, I miss the fun family legend, that somewhere, far away in that elusive, exotic, strange state of California, I once had a cool crazy Uncle Al who put glasses on chickens.

*click on photo to enlarge for easier viewing*