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Chips off the Block: 1940

Chips off the Block: 1940

December 1940. "Family of carpenter's helper who live in a trailer. Corpus Christi, Texas." Medium format acetate negative by Russell Lee. View full size.


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I always wonder

My mom's family was in Corpus Christi around that time. She would have been 8 years old. Her dad was looking for work and they traveled from Nashville to Texas in the hopes of finding a job. They lived in a shanty on a hill overlooking a river. She told me that the floors were dirt and you could look out between the boards that made up the walls.

It's no surprise that in her adult life she's adamant that she will never wear dirty or torn clothing, and will not be seen without her makeup. Once, when we were discussing her childhood, she said with tears in her eyes that she will never again let anyone think that she was poor.

I sometimes wonder if her picture is in the Shorpy archives.


Does anyone know what the acronyms on that fedora’s hat badge stood for? I doubt Washington State University for one.

[W.S.B., not W.S.U. And those are abbreviations, not acronyms. - Dave]

Family Portrait Thoughts

Dad has a friendly face and would help you do anything and loan you his last dollar.

Mom is a beauty hidden under a bushel of poverty. An afternoon at the beauty parlor would bring out the beauty especially with a Hedy LaMarr hairdo, eyebrow and eye makeup and a glorious smile.

Sister with a cute half smile and pout that shows how much she loves daddy and don't you dare mess with him.

Brother has a mischievous look and mom doesn't dare put him down or else he'll be all over the photographer's equipment.

A fine looking family and I hope things went well for all.
Hedy Lamarr Quote ...

"Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid."

A word to the wise from one of the smartest movie stars of any era.

Life in the 40's was dangerous!

This is at least the third photo posted this past week where the subject had a finger injury.

One here:

Another here:

Interesting family photo

Looks like Mom has been wearing gloves and Dad should have.

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