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Little Feet: 1942

Little Feet: 1942

September 1942. "Richwood, West Virginia. Hazel Friend and her son, Darriell, in front of their home. The family is traveling to Batavia, New York, to work in the harvest." Photo by John Collier, Office of War Information. View full size.


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Breaking in the new shoes

I remember those blisters. Didn't get new shoes very often so mom always bought them large enough for us to grow in to. Of course they made blisters, but by the time we wore them out they were really worn out. We used to laugh at our "talking shoes" when the stitching was all gone and the soles slapped as we walked.

Hazel died at 54

Hazel was born on November 19, 1918, and died on April 13, 1973. Her husband Bryant lived 1909 - 1986. The Find A Grave page for Hazel is interesting and contains more photos by Collier.

New Shoes

The Friend family perhaps just got paid and splurged on new shoes. One more example of the respectability of the poor; Darriell is in clean clothes with neatly combed hair and mom's clothes look store-brought, which is quite a splurge. As is usual for women of the time, she's gone to great trouble to arrange an elaborate hair-do, despite the unpredictable and unsettled life she and her family live.

Shining dignity

Despite the horrific living conditions, despair and poverty this mother has not lost her dignity. She and her little boy are wearing clean clothes and their shoes are polished and ready to show the world.

Brand new shoes

for both of them for the trip. It looks like the boy's tootsies didn't quite get along with his footwear.

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