Blythe and David

Blyth and David Happy on Their Wedding Day


This wedding portrait of Blythe and David was taken on a balmy summer day in Los Angeles, by famed wedding photographer John Bern in his studio on Broadway. Bern was famous for his backdrops, like the one used here. The bride and groom might be in his warehouse of a studio, but one would never know by looking at the photograph.

John was wanted by the police in several states under a boatload of aliases. Up till this portrait was made, he’d never been photographed and it was only in California where he was known by his real name and it was only in California where he walked the straight and narrow.


Blyth and David on Their Wedding Day


He was chummy with the governor, dined often with the mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco and counted both of California’s senators as fast friends.

But outside of California his most famous, or rather infamous, if you prefer, persona, was Johnny Ragati. And he was as fast with a gun as he was a wisecrack and he was beloved by all who worked in his infamous enterprises, because he never sent a hired gun to take out a bad guy if he was free to do it himself.

He was afraid of nothing. Except maybe Blythe’s sharp tongue. She bore him six sons, none of whom followed in their father’s footsteps. Two doctors, one lawyer, an ambassador, a senator and a wedding photographer were their trades and wouldn’t you know it, the wedding photographer made more money then the rest of them all put together. But then we was one damn fine portrait maker.

Blythe raised them right, of course she had plenty of money, which paid for loads of hired help. But she didn’t have a husband around to help, because in the summer of ‘39 he was gunned down by the feds and it was a little sad, because he had more money than he knew what do to with, but he just couldn’t leave a life of crime behind.

And that’s what greed can do to you.

Ken and Vesta Wedding and Portrait Photography, 1250 Ralston Street, Reno, NV 89503
Phone: 775 393-9529