Marietta Legion Post #156 in Marietta, Minnesota has chosen to honor these fallen soldiers with commemorative metal displays. While working on the images and designs I couldn’t help but wonder about the anecdotes and stories behind these young farm boys called to duty during WW II.
Did soldiers from the farm really make better soldiers? I’d like to think so. Farming in our agricultural region along the Minnesota-South Dakota border couldn’t have been easy during the Great Depression that preceded the war. They would become competent carpenters, plumbers, electricians, engine mechanics and general tinkerers. If they didn’t have a part they made their own and jury-rigged items together just to get by. Transfer these skills to military life and the powers that be would have considered them invaluable assets.
These were not the only soldiers from our area to die as a result war. The list above includes all Lac Qui Parle County casualties during WW II. I recognize familiar surnames from the area and wonder about their stories, as well.
Mom sent me this childhood photo: Cute, but his eyes are closed.
Another cute pic with his eyes open: Hmmm, missing the chubby little hands on the swing rope.
Photoshop to the rescue. Took his right eye and put it on the closed eye photo. Copied that eye, flipped it, put it on his left eye and adjusted to look natural. Toned down some of the skin glare, adjusted color balance and here we go. A cute little guy with his eyes ready to see what the world has to offer.
Eighteen years later and here he is again… Open eyes, ready to see what the world has to offer…
Works published or created before 1923 are considered public domain so I should be safe with this image from 1913 taken in Gary, South Dakota. A public domain work is a creative work that is not protected by copyright andwhich may be freely used by everyone.
Below is a scan of the original mounted print:
The image below has been edited to crop out the torn edges, visible spots retouched and made the shadows a little richer.
Along with old photographs comes stories and memories triggered from days gone by. My mother-in-law recalls a dance hall above this bar and when the dancers would be rockin’ the floor the ceiling lights, in the bar, would swing.
Farmers’ Night, usually occurring in March before spring work, was held in the dance hall where families would enjoy entertainment and hoped to win a prize. She remembers one Farmers’ Night as though it were yesterday: A handsome young man, that she had been corresponding with in Oregon, had returned to Gary and there he was… at Farmers’ Night. They were married the following fall…
Thank you to Buck Dessler of Gary, South Dakota for retrieving this gem from his childhood home.
Have you ever wondered about copyright laws and old images? The following link contains a chart with the laws when working with older images: