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Turnip Salad: 1941

Turnip Salad: 1941

June 1941. "Five-cent hot lunches at the Woodville public school. Greene County, Georgia." Medium format negative by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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40 yrs later, 1981

Looks like German table manners. What does a set table look like today in an American public school? Integration succeeded!

Forty years later, ''ketchup is a vegetable" is coming up a lot in discussions of President Reagan's recent demise. Ok, Henry John Heinz was a son of German immigrants. I also like fast food, but rarely consume it.

My favorite flower

I can't get over the creamy, dewy, fresh-picked gardenias adorning that table, with fern greenery no less. That's a decidedly elegant stroke. The meal looks tasty too, served on those lovely plates. No sectioned melamine trays for those kids.

Thought I'd add: Thirty-eight years after this picture was taken, on a June day in 1979, I'd carry fresh-picked gardenias as a bride on my wedding day in nearby DeKalb County, Georgia, a few miles to the west.

School lunches

Every day we got a meatball alongside a hill of mashed potatoes topped by rivulets of gravy, two slices of Wonder Bread and a pint of milk. Always finished the whole thing!

Flowers for Scholars

I love how there are flowers on the table for the students -- even a nickel meal tastes better when it’s presented in style!

Out of plumb

I’ve got a wonky double-hung window like that in my old house. No amount of forcing will let you raise the bottom sash, unless you simply lift one side of it slightly to make it plumb, then up it goes real easy. To close this school window, all you need to do is lift slightly on the right side, then guide the whole thing down, nice and smooth.

On china plates for a nickel

Serving up school lunches on Blue Willow china plates. I recognize those. Churchill China in England has been making that same pattern since 1818. I still use mine daily -- about 75 years old and still going strong.

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