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Finals Week: 1942

Finals Week: 1942

May 1942. Lincoln, Nebraska. "University of Nebraska during final exam and commencement week. Bob Aden (at the second table) studying in the library. He is working toward a master's degree in Business Administration; his wife is in the university's Liberal Arts college." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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You could never doze off

... in one of those chairs. Perfectly designed for napless hours in the library.

And that wife would be

the former Marion Cramer of Galesburg, Illinois. After Robert's stint in the Navy at Pearl Harbor the couple would return to his home town, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in 1946, where he would become president of the South Dakota Oil Company and she of the Sioux Falls Mental Health Association. The couple had two children. Mrs. Aden died in 1971. Bob would marry Kaye Hyde in September 1971, and she passed in 1999. Mr. Aden died in 2003 at the age of 84. Here is the first Mrs. Aden.

Café chairs

I associate that type of chair more with a café in France than I do with a library in Nebraska. I love the way everyone (except for the gals at the very back) has his or her head down, busy reading or writing. And there’s a spartan cleanness to the landscape, without the plugs and cords and apparatus mess and distraction of electronic devices.

Social distancing,

1942 style. Good ventilation, too.

Add tattoos, piercings, a different style of clothing and surgical masks, and presto, you have a fast forward to 2021.

6 feet

Socially Distanced.

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