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Mobilized: 1940

Mobilized: 1940

December 1940. "Soldiers on street corner in Starke, Florida. Boomtown in defense district." Medium format acetate negative by Marion Post Wolcott. View full size.


On Shorpy:
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Other side

My late father used to tell me the way to tell which side of a car the battery was on by looking which side the tailpipe was on. Batteries don't like heat so it was placed opposite where the exhaust manifold was. This only applied to inline engines.
I never asked him why that information was valuable.

Western Auto

For my friends and me, the Western Auto was like the new car showroom for bicycles. We were regulars there, looking, kicking tires, beeping horns, being mesmerized by all the chrome, lusting over the Stewart Warner Speedometers and wishing we had one of those big bullet headlights on our bikes.

Mean and Cool

Everybody's lookin' mean and cool today in this photo. You can't put anything over on these guys. They didn't just fall off the turnip truck yesterday.

What are you looking at?

Given that about half the guys in the photo look like they're spoiling for a fight, maybe that set the tone for comments.


One: If readers don't know by now that they'd have to get up really, really early in the morning to get anything over on Dave, then they're more than NOT paying attention; they're daft, drunk, or both.

Which may in fact be the problem here.

Two: I come here not only for fascinating photography, but because it's one of the few places online where intelligence and a startling (and refreshing) lack of profanity rule the day.

May it ever be so.

About This Photograph ... In Groups of Twos

The two men leaning up against the building, left of the front door, appear to be father and son. The identical position of their mouths makes me believe they are making the same statement to the men and boy walking past them.

There is an interesting comparison/contrast between the two soldiers staring at the camera and the two men at far right. Only one of the four is not holding a cigarette, but he likely also smoked.

The Western Auto Associate Store appears to have also dealt in bicycles -- there are some just inside the front door. That would also possibly explain the cluster of bikes sitting outside.

I like the placement of the Shorpy watermark. In my mind it says, "Enjoy Shorpy".

Western Auto Will Soon Be Gone

This corner (100 W. Call St) will soon change. Evidence?

Old view -- (different angle)

New view --

At least the Western Auto was replaced by a cool moderne movie theatre, and that place is still showing movies.

Takes me back, though not so far

I worked for Western Auto for 6 months while waiting to be drafted in a later war.

By the numbers

I'll say this one time, you two. Don't make me count to three.

Look Ma, No Hands

The bike on the right is missing its handlebars! Theft prevention, or did the rider really ride without them?

Piss off, Indeed (Plus added information)


That guy is wacko. I'm on your side.

My mother-in-law was a St. John and I thought this might be family. Not to be though.

The Western Auto owner, Vincent Selleck St. John, was born in Connecticut in 1892 and died in Florida in 1970.

The soldiers were from Camp Blanding located about 9 miles NW in Clay County. My father was inducted into the Army there in 1945. I served in the Army Reserves and attended several weekend training exercises at Camp Blanding.

Piss off!

Gee, I'm glad I only purchased 2 of your overpriced prints before realizing what an asshole you are, Dave!

[So you post a comment about Kansas City under a photo of Starke, Florida (along with the inexplicable attachment of a cable TV contract) and you're complaining about me? I love my job! - Dave]

Kansas City Icon

The iconic sign in downtown KC was restored to working order on July 13th, 2018. The building now houses residential lofts.

[I love my job! - Dave]

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