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I Shot an Arrow: 1943

I Shot an Arrow: 1943

August 1943. "Bear Mountain, New York. Interracial activities at Camp Fern Rock, where children are aided by the Methodist Camp Service. Loretta Gyles of the Methodist Camp Service pulling a bow." Boys' Camp canoe at 11 o'clock! Photo by Gordon Parks for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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What did perspective say to the camera?
Let's give Miss Gyles a big hand.

Miss Gyles

Was 14 at the time this picture was taken and lived in Upper Manhattan, above Harlem. She lived a block from the Greater Hood Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
Her mother Florence filled out this census in 1940:
Age 38, born abt 1902
Birthplace South Carolina
Gender Female
Race Negro
Home in 1940
76 West 147 Street
New York,
New York, New York
Household Members Age
Head Bennie Gyles 40
Wife Florence Gyles 38
Daughter Loretta Gyles 11
Daughter Ruth Gyles 9

Wonderful state park

I grew up in Stony Point, NY, which is where Bear Mountain is located. It was a wonderful place to go--almost like the place that time forgot. Well worth the drive up 9W along the Western shore of the mighty Hudson River. Many church groups used the facility to bring their free day camps up to Hessian Lake, the pool, the zoo, etc. They recently underwent an overhaul to update the old lodge, which is styled in the style of a Black Forest Inn.

That arrow

"I shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For so swiftly it flew, the sight Could not follow it in its flight. I breathed a song into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For, who has sight so keen and strong That it can follow the flight of song? Long, long afterward, in an oak I found the arrow, still unbroken; And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend."

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