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What-a-Jolly-Street: 1936

What-a-Jolly-Street: 1936

February 1936. "Children at the El Monte subsistence homesteads, California." Photo by Dorothea Lange for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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A looker

You can tell that girl second from left grew up to be a real looker. Very pretty girl. I'd have had a crush on her if I was one of those boys.

Flashback (or flashforward)

What (if anything) is the child in the distance wearing? This almost gives me a flashback to the famous picture of the aftermath of a napalm raid in Vietnam.

Too brief

All the boys are in long pants except for the one whose shorts are really a little too short and a little too tight. Those shorts remind me of a certain kind of bathing suit that old guys wore when I was a kid, a little too revealing sometimes for their own good.

Something was working

While they may not have had much, these children all appear happy and healthy.

Our old friend

Since we had four kids between 1963 and 1972, I read them a bedtime story every night from this child-friendly old-timey, innocent book of 365 one-page bedtime stories, one for every night of the week. I did not know this was such a popular book for so many until I saw your familiar title on this picture. We remember it well since it was continuously used to induce the "winding-down" process of bringing each night to a close (kids really do love structure). I had no idea it was so widely known until I googled it after seeing your nostalgic heading and it really is news to me that it was so common. Remember Mrs. Apricot, Beppo, the monkey and all the shenanigans that could give a kid something amusing to think about while they fell asleep? And each story was only a few minutes long. What a blast from the past it is for me to hear that it was so popular, since I thought it was just a cheap dime store treat which, at the time, could not have cost more than $3 or thereabouts and was printed on coloring book paper. Today it is selling for $25. Who knew we were not the only ones who knew about it? Wouldn't we all love to go back and revisit those carefree days and nights?

And suddenly spring!

The 1936 North American cold wave ranks among the most intense cold waves in recorded meteorological history. The Midwest of the United States and the Prairie Provinces of Canada were hit the hardest, but only the Southwest and California largely escaped its effects.

Luckily, these guys here were able to enjoy warm weather in El Monte!

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