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Well, Well: 1941

Well, Well: 1941

July 1941. "Home supervisor, while making home visit to FSA borrower, inspects water supply for repair. Charles County near La Plata, Maryland." Medium format acetate negative by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


Tetanus Anyone?

Our little girl on the right (with the Akhenaten head), is perilously close to a number of exposed nail points--though running around a farm barefoot all day likely made tetanus the least of her worries. Still odd that no one gave these nails a hammer whack when building the enclosure.

And the tow-headed lad in the middle, throwing Miss Marion the twice-over, seems out of place in our Gothic family portrait--straight hair versus the mound o' curls the other kids sport; fair-haired versus brunette; situationally-aware versus oblivious. Neighbour kid?

Don't go there

I remember more than once visiting a great-uncle in East Texas in the '70s. He had spent his career working in Gulf Oil refineries, without hearing protection, so when you spoke to him, he'd cup his hand over his ear and say, "EHH?" I'm not sure of the relation, but he was the same generation as my grandmother, who was born in 1900, and didn't have electricity until she was 40 years old.

I must have been about 6 or 7. My dad wanted to make sure I was aware of the hazard in the back yard, so he pointed to the piece of rotten plywood covering up the hand-dug well, and told me not to get close to that.

It was both tempting and terrifying at the same time.

Heels, and deep understanding.

I detect from the little heel exposure that her work shoes are not the most comfortable to be wearing out in the field ... any moment to rest a foot must be welcome. The rest of her outfit and hair are very well put together though! Good to have a decent job, helping people who need it.

The Revolution Begins Slowly

The Home Supervisor thinks," Ohh I can't wait to get back to my room and kick off these dang shoes and have a cold drink. Tomorrow I'm wearing flats no matter what the boss says."

Marion Post Wolcott, whether by luck or patience, got the shot she wanted when the lady took a break for her aching feet and took one shoe partly off. It took a prosaic pic into the realm of universal understanding of what it takes to do a good day's work (a little foot pain in this instance).

The little girl on the right -

I don't think I've ever seen a forehead quite that high.

Memory Hole

Reminds me of an old well we had in from of our old House in a booming town in central Georgia, population 300. The only difference is ours had brick sided instead of wood. Note that there is no cover beam with a windlass for raising and lowering the bucket. Had a rope tied to the bucket and you threw it in and hauled out hand over hand. And make sure you don't throw the rope in with the bucket!

She's no dummy

If she has any chance at all to get some relief from those high-heels, she'll take it.

Nice Shoes

Too bad they didn't have them in her size.

The well and the pumps

A more marked contrast could not be imagined. On the left: two-tone heeled lady shoes. On the right: bare feet. I can’t resist noting that the girl on the right appears more comfortable in her feet than the home supervisor on the left, slipping one foot out of her shoe as she stands, which I interpret as a sign of discomfort.

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