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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Farm Table: 1943

Farm Table: 1943

July 1943. "Rockville, Maryland (vicinity). Private Harvey Horton, visiting the N.C. Stiles dairy farm while on furlough from Fort Belvoir, Virginia, at dinner with the family." Including, at left, 16-year-old Charles Stiles. Photo by Ann Rosener for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

One of our finest hours

This photo is not only beautiful, but historically significant, in several ways. Many Americans supported our military in any way they could, and that included feeding them! Even in areas where there was no military installation nearby, local train or bus stations provided opportunities to show their appreciation. Some people would pack lunches of sandwiches, cookies, fruit, etc., to hand out to the men at the stations. I've also seen film of people walking along a passenger car, putting food into the outstretched hands of men who were who were stopped there only momentarily.

Some families would look for men who had a while to wait, and invite them home for a meal, where they would share the best of what they had. I wonder if that may be how Pvt. Horton came to be sharing this delicious midday dinner with the Stiles family.

Farmers were exempt from the draft, during WWII, because the food they produced was considered the greatest contribution they could make to the war effort. Being a farmer's granddaughter, I know that there were some unique benefits for farm families. While others were subject to rationing of things like meat, milk, butter, cheese, etc. farmers could keep enough of the food they raised for the use of their families. They also had the land needed to raise an especially large victory garden.

This is probably one of the best dinners Pvt. Horton had eaten, in a long time! I see homemade bread, with fresh butter and jam. The main dish appears to be a beef roast, or some other kind of red meat. It looks like some kind of bean, perhaps butter beans? Each person has his own dish of home canned peach halves, and I see what may be spinach or some other green. To drink, there was fresh, cold milk or water. If it was like what came from my grandparents' well, even the water was a treat!

It isn't hard to find information about the contribution our young men made to the preservation of freedom during this relatively brief period, but not nearly as easy to find what the folks back home were doing. This kind of picture speaks not just A thousand words, but thousands!

Big table at Thanksgiving

Charles H Stiles was born on 17th Sept 1924, the son of Nathan C 1880-1965 and Grace B (nee Gaither) 1887-1956.
He had at the time the photo was taken 11 siblings, George 1909-1968; John 1911-1988; Adalaide 1912-2001; Ida 1913- Anna 1914-1977; Edith 1916-1988; Frank 1918-1987; Catherine 1921-; Robert 1923-1988 and Stanley 1928- as well as assorted nieces and nephews
Charles himself died in 1987
As for Pvt Horton, I'm sure somebody will know

Still Milking

N.C. Stiles' grandchildren are still in the milk cow business to this day. They've since moved the farm from busy Rockville to Westminster, MD.

Ten years earlier

Center section of "Dinner for Threshers" by Grant Wood, 1933. The heart of the Depression and the heart of World War II look similar.

Here, son

Here, son. Put some more gravy on your hair.

Norman Rockwell-ish

Great minds must have been thinking alike! Painted the same year as this photo was taken:

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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