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Selfie-Help: 1942

Selfie-Help: 1942

November 1942. Washington, D.C. "First aid class of the air raid warden unit in the Southwest area. Mr. Elmer House, instructor, demonstrating the head bandage." Self-portrait by Gordon Parks for the Office of War Information. 4x5 inch acetate negative. View full size.


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Elmer and Thaddenia House

Mr. House and his wife Thaddenia had earned college degrees by the 1940 census, and were living with her parents and her sister at 1113 23rd Street NW that year. He was working as a messenger and his wife was a "new worker." By the next census in 1950, he was a file clerk in the Department of Agriculture. The couple had a 7-year-old daughter but had separated, with Elmer living in Capitol Heights near the Maryland line, and Thaddenia living with her daughter in an apartment two blocks east of what is now the home of the Washington Nationals.

That Stunning Talent

"Self portrait" made me look up Gordon Parks; thought I knew a little about him, but I was wrong ... there's so much more. Thanks for making me explore his colossal legacy.

I can't read the sign

Your w______ is for you.
Be for _______.

Decades ago, we were given first aid training at work after we had an incident. I still remember the order of breathing, bleeding, broken bones. Plus, if your secretary is having a heart attack, don't put her in your car and drive her to the emergency room (exactly what I had done). Get the EMTs to come to you.

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