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Summer Games: 1941

Summer Games: 1941

July 1941. "Spectators at kids' contests at the Fourth of July celebration in Vale, Oregon." Medium format acetate negative by Russell Lee. View full size.


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Dad in the Crowd

I've been following Shorpy for 8 years or so, and have carefully viewed every one of Russell Lee's Vale photos you've posted through the years, searching for my family. My parents moved to Vale in 1939 as newlyweds, and I kept hoping to catch a glimpse of my mom or dad or even my older sister, who would have been 18 months old in July of 1941. I was 3 years old when my family left Vale in 1954, so I have no memory of any of their friends or neighbors, so couldn't identify anyone else in those memorable photos.

But today I was so excited to finally see a familiar face: my dad, front and center in this group photo. My first clue (because I didn't spot him right away for some reason) was the Boy Scout to his right. Dad was Scoutmaster in Vale for many years, and that row of boys may have been his Scouts.

In a year or two, during the War, Dad would become the young mayor of Vale. I wish he were still alive so I could show this to him! The photo on the right is my folks' wedding photo, taken in 1939, for comparison. He was 24 years old.

(Click to enlarge)


This could be a black and white photo of a Norman Rockwell painting. (Not really, of course). Fantastic image!

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