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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • UP N' ATOM: c. 1950s

Class of 1940

Class of 1940

August 1940. "Overcrowded conditions and poor equipment in rural mountain school in Breathitt County, Kentucky. The school year begins in July and ends in January as most of the children have no shoes and insufficient clothing to walk the long distances over bad roads and up creek beds." Medium format negative by Marion Post Wolcott. View full size.

 

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Packed with pulchritude

I'm struck by the physical beauty of these seventeen children; it's remarkable. So is what appears to be an attitude of defeat and hopelessness projected by many of them. I hope it was merely an excess of ennui (because school) and not something more dire. As I always do when viewing photos like this, and even though I know the odds were somewhat against them, I hope they had lives as happy as could be expected, and then some.

Brings back memories

I recently retired from teaching young folks about this same age. My room was always a tad more diverse but those expressions look all too familiar. Little Mr. World-weary in the front row right can't wait for recess.

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