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The War Couple

  1. Nov 25, 2005 #1
    I found this picture at the swap meet today. It was in a box of a couple hundred old snapshots. Boxes like this show up there all the time. I don't know how this happens: people having no one left to pass their family photos on to. Sometimes these collections go back to the 1880's.
    I had to buy this one of this couple. It is just someone's snapshot but it came out as a classic WWII pose: the sailor with his cocked hat, the sexy girl with her lipstick and unmistakable 40's hair. It could almost be a still from some movie of that time.
    Did they just get married before he shipped out? Is that why she's so happy? Or is this the day he got back? There's nothing on the back, no date, no names.
    Something about this little snapshot pulled me in, and I just couldn't let it go into oblivion with all the other pictures at the swapmeet.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 25, 2005 #2

    kudos for saving it

    I'm a sucker for psuedo-nostalgia.
  4. Nov 26, 2005 #3
    Look at the size of that mans hands! What a great second in time, his smile is almost Norman Rockwell-ish.
  5. Nov 26, 2005 #4


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    I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed that. I keep wondering if it's some strange optical distortion, because his hands look freakishly huge.

    Nice photo though. Very archetypal.
  6. Nov 26, 2005 #5


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    I noticed that too. I don't know if it's just a distortion because his hands are closer to the camera, but even relative to the watch he's wearing, they look big. Maybe his feet are just as big and that's why the woman is smiling so much. :uhh:

    When I see an old photo like that, I enjoy thinking up the story to go with it, wondering why something that sweet would have found it's way to a swap meet and a stranger's hands. Was he killed in the war? The photos buried in the attic until the young woman moved on with her life and found someone else to marry? One day, the grandkids find the photos up in the attic, and rather than relive the memories of her first love so tragically lost, she tosses them in the trash, only to be noticed by a collector scrounging around for treasures in the morning before the garage sales open?
  7. Nov 26, 2005 #6


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    Men who do manual labor, such as iron work would have hands like that. Constant gripping of tools makes the palms and fingers large.

    That is a cool picture, and worth saving for posterity.
  8. Nov 26, 2005 #7
    yep moonbear, even the band lenth compaired to the dial. Thats a big watchband!
    I would also agree with Astro, those hands have worked hard. They are very muscular, even the wrist and lower arm. Kind of like Popeye?
  9. Nov 26, 2005 #8

    Math Is Hard

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    Because my imagination runs wild..

    Gale's grandma meets Whozum's grandpa while her family is on vacation in San Diego. The two fall for each other instantly, but he is shipping out the next day. They take this photo to remember each other by, but sadly, never see each other again. Many years later their grandchildren meet each other on PF.

    ok, that never happened, but every picture holds a story. I wonder what this one's is.

    Good find, Zooby!
  10. Nov 26, 2005 #9


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    Wow, thats a wonderful picture.

    I work in a library with quite a few things like this... family portraits, paintings, personal diaries, letters and postcards with personal messages.
    It can be a strange feeling to see something so old that could once have been something special to somebody, and to wonder what happened to make it end up in your hand.
    One of the most fascinating things I've ever held, that really "brings the past to life" so to speak is a glove formerly belonging to a member of a wealthy and powerful family in the area in the 19th century. It is a duelling glove, faded, torn, and stained with blood. I'd really like to know the story behind it- what was the man like? What was the dispute over, and what happened afterwards... Its fascinating.
  11. Nov 26, 2005 #10
    I'm sure the hand size is an optical illusion caused by the lens. It occured to me this may have been taken in one of those photo booths. The actual size of the print I have is half the size of the image I posted, and could be from a 1940's era photo booth. His wrist is massive looking as well as the hand, and I think it's due to those being much closer to the lens. The depth of field is fantastic in the shot.

    It seems to me that if this is a reunion picture taken after his return, this may be the very couple who started the baby boom. Probably on the very evening of the day this was taken. They sure look ready.
  12. Nov 26, 2005 #11
    Yeah, that sailor is straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. His babe is a little too spicey, though. She's more what you'd find in a bathing suit on the side of a B-17 named "Salsa Sally" or something.
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