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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • WE CAN DO IT! BUT FIRST, COFFEE

Hermiston High: 1941

Hermiston High: 1941

September 1941. "High school boys and girls. Hermiston, Oregon." Medium format acetate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

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The device on the desk is a puzzlement

I suspect it is for displaying documents. There appears to one be on it now.

[The U.S. Constitution, all four pages. That stand is on the floor behind the desk. - Dave]

OK serious question.

Why do some folks here call young ladies "fillies." A young female horse? I don't get it why?

["Fille" is French for girl. When people call girls "chicks" or guys "studs," are they talking about birds and horses? Words can have more than one meaning. - Dave]

She's got class

I'm rooting for the tall, confident, athletic but feminine filly in the white dress, who would have been about the age of my late mother-in-law, who was also a tall, confident, athletic but feminine girl. For some reason she reminds me not only of my m-i-l but of Katharine Hepburn from her eponymous role in Alice Adams (1935), though I doubt that this young lady's circumstances were quite that difficult. At any rate I hope there was a handsome Fred MacMurray/Arthur Russell waiting somewhere in the wings for her, with whom to share her life and rear a family in post-war America. My husband's mother certainly had that.

The Blob

Could they be running from the blob, down the hall, out of frame on the right? There are some terrified eyes looking that way, except for the bookless guy, who probably sees Steve McQueen (hence the broad grin).

Is He Coming?

The frightened-looking kid hiding behind the far right corner must be hiding, trying to get away from somebody. And three other guys to the left are grinning 'cause they see what's coming. But who? The principal? Butch?

All healthy looking

... and not an overweight person amongst them.

Couple of things missing.

Not a backpack or cell phone seen!

Survival and Change

When I see a photo like this, taken at that time, I wonder if everyone survived until 1946, and how they were changed.

Class switch at the break

That's what I think it is.

In Europe the young go through high school in their edgy but most beautiful years of growing up in the one coherent classroom of about 25-30 students each. Four years of together and challenge of passing the same subjects create everlasting memory and has a deep meaning at the class reunions.

Great moment caught, with that cool "what-textbooks?" boy relaxed and aware of the photographer but girls oblivious and eager to attend the class.

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