April 29, 2009

Handheld History

Last week I went to an old antique store a block from my office. I'd left work early and got a chance to browse leisurely through all the pretty things. They have a fantastic selection of vintage clothing, but it's all really expensive. I wasn't going to buy anything until I saw a stack of old photos. So I went through them. These are the ones I bought: (Click to make them bigger)

The top two pictures are my favourite. There isn't a date on the top left one, but it's pretty obviously from the '30's. I love that hat the woman on the right is wearing. and the dresses! This is written on the back: "R Mrs. Snedden Back one June Agnes mother of June Jeanette." The one on the right I love so much. Hopefully you can see it large enough, but both the people look so dang happy! The back of this one says "Bloomington 8/10/30." The bottom photo says "Gloria Snedden Graduation from E N Woodruff High School June 1951." Clearly these were some family photos. I started researching where they could be from and found the high school which is in Peoria Illinois, which is outside Bloomington. I have no idea how these photos got all the way out here. The website for the school has an alumni list, but Gloria isn't on the list for 1951. It may be a list of surviving alumni, but I'm not sure. I'm thinking of contacting the school to see if they have an record of her, and whether she, or any relatives are still in the area. As much as I love these photos, it would be kind of fun to track down the people an return them to the family.

This batch are more mysterious. The only one with any writing is the top left. The back says "Taken Sept 1942." After examining the photos though, I think that the couple in this picture are the same as in the one from 1930. I could be wrong, but they look very much alike. The house in the background looks like it might be in Riverside, but I can't say for sure. The other two photos I bought because of the ladies hair styles. I've been pin curling my hair all week trying to attain something similar. I love the photo booth picture so much. She seems so happy, and he looks like he's not quite sure why he let her talk him into this. I guess men and women haven't really changed all that much. And how great is it that she's holding a hot dog! I like to believe that this was taken at some carnival right before he was shipped off to WWII. Of course he was wounded and flown back home to recover in a VA hospital, and the only thing that kept his spirits alive were re-reading each letter she wrote to him. I'm fairly certain they were already married here, or at least engaged. She has a really pretty ring on her ring finger. The last photo again has nothing written on the back. In my head she's a school teacher,though she hates it. Mousy and quiet, she has resigned herself to being an old maid after her heart was broken by her high school sweetheart. She would have loved to travel and once upon a time in New York City she bumped into a very handsome business man, while trying to take in all the tall buildings. She'd apologize and he'd fall in love with her on the spot. She of course would have dashed off feeling quite embarrassed, and he would spend the next week searching for her, until she showed up at the same show on Broadway as he. He'd approach her and they'd then become fast friends, though secretly they both are madly in love with the other. In the end he confesses his love for her and she confesses her love for him, and they get married and she never has to teach another class again.
I read a lot of WWII novels growing up.

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