Saturday, January 26, 2019

Old Photos!

For those of you who have been visiting GDB for a long time, you may recognize the pretty blond lady in the photo below; she was in the very first picture ever posted here! But... along with all of the slides of Disneyland, Santa's Village, and Knott's Berry Farm, there was an envelope of large black and white negatives from the 1940's - some of which were very fun. So I'm going to share a few of those today.

There she is, as a brunette, and all dressed up in a cute outfit. Her husband (maybe they were still just sweethearts at this point) sure was crazy about her - he took a bunch of photos. Some are in the Boston area, so let's just assume that this is somewhere in Massachusetts. 

More than a few of the photos have our friend showing off her gams; I think she was thumbing for a ride, like Claudette Colbert in "It Happened One Night". To the right is the hood ornament of a Packard.

There's her lucky fellow, reading one of her letters - presumably one that she sent to him while he was in Germany during the war. Notice the lipstick imprint! I have some photos of this guy amid bombed buildings and on ships, maybe I'll share those here someday.

And here's my favorite of the bunch... our gal has put on her sweetheart's cap and jacket, and by gum, she looks adorable! No wonder he proposed.

I hope you have enjoyed today's vintage photos!


Nanook said...


All I can say is Hubba, Hubba-!

"... the hood ornament of a Packard". Yes, indeed - Ask the man who owns one. I think that may be a 1937 Packard, 120C - if I may be so bold.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

These are great, Major! Thanks for sharing them with us. I'd love to see more pics of these two!

TokyoMagic! said...

There almost seems to be a "Hollywood" quality to the photos. They look like they were taken by a professional photographer, but I'm assuming that they were just shooting the pics themselves.

Nanook said...


I think I'm gonna recant my original date, and change it to a 1939 model year. If so, the dashboard should be made from chrome-plated metal and that "new-fangled" substance: Plastic-! "Printed reproduction falls short of the actual beauty of the Packard Super-8 plastic and chrome instrument panel... as smartly modern, as distinctive as the car itself." This plastic and chrome instrument panel was overlaid on the rich, dark "French Burl" walnut-grained steel that formed the inner windshield frame and matched the inner window surrounds.

K. Martinez said...

These two have already lived their full lives and most likely departed this world already. It does make me wonder if they spent an entire lifetime together. So you do know that he actually proposed to her? Were there letters or additional information that came with that box of photos? Or do you have a lot of photos showing a long history of these two together at different places? Just curious. Thanks for sharing them, Major. Very nice.

Pegleg Pete said...

Thanks Major, these are great. Yes please to more photos from the couple!

JC Shannon said...

Wow, I can almost hear Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy playing on the car radio. I am guessing he is fresh out of boot camp, having no stripes or ribbons. Perhaps this was an outing before he shipped overseas. I like to think they were childhood sweet hearts, and that he came back from the war and they stayed together for the rest of their lives. Very romantic. Dancing together at the Winterland Ballroom to the music of Tommy Dorsey. Did they have children? What did he do after the war? I gotta know more. Thanks Major.


While it’s fun and nostalgic to view vintage family photos it can also be sad and despressing- when seeing pictures like these I can’t help but wonder why their family didn’t keep these pictures - were there ever children or grand children? Are they all gone? Do the grandchildren or family care about things like this? Or sadly was this couple never married and there were never any descendants....

JC Shannon said...

Mike, Mike, Mike, you are throwing cold water on my hot romance story. Just kidding! I thought the same thing myself, why would anyone get rid of these photos? I also wondered about Fun Dad and his family letting go of all those Disneyland pics. I have photos of my mother and father I would never get rid of for anything. I even have my GG grandfathers discharge from the Union Army after the Civil War. Maybe people just don't appreciate family history anymore.

Chuck said...

Owing to the lack of any ribbons or left-shoulder-sleeve unit insignia and the fact that he was a lowly, slick-sleeved private, these photos may very well have been taken during a brief, post-boot-camp leave before shipping off to his wartime unit. About the only distinguishing thing we can tell about his service from his uniform is that he was in the Army Transportation Corps, based on the insignia on his left lapel.

Based on his khaki tie, this photo was taken no earlier than May of 1943. An unusual uniform item is the leather garrison belt. This was eliminated from general issue and uniform regulations in 1941, although some soldiers who already had them continued to wear them outside of formation. They were also authorized for ceremonial wear with a commander's approval, although that's unlikely here based on other visual cues. What's probably happening here is a young soldier home on leave wanting to look his best to impress, and he may be fudging the rules a bit. He wouldn't be the first to do that.

I would love to see the rest of your collection featuring this family.

Irene said...

These are great photos and I would also like to see more. But I also have the same feelings as others here as to why the family gave up all these photos. Perhaps they scanned them and preserved them in that way? I would like to think so. It's kind of like when I go to an estate sale and think about the fact that all this "stuff" actually meant something to someone at some time. I realize I gave the bulk of Bruce's Disneyland photos to the Major (though at the time I didn't realize they were duplicates of Alan's), but I did at least pull the photos that actually had Bruce in them in order to keep those memories of him.

K. Martinez said...

Mike Cozart, In some cases when there's only one parent left who's very old and falls under the influence of a caretaker that parent disowns the entire family and gives everything including the estate to the manipulative caretaker thus cutting off access to the family photos and documents as well as the entire estate. Such was the case in my family. There are tons and tons of family photos that our mother denied us even after her death. All that family history is now lost to us.

So there you have an example of why some families don't have their family photos. They were prevented from having them.

Warren Nielsen said...

Wow. I think everyone is in a reflective mood today, as am I. I often think about the people that are shown in the pics that the Major puts up, and wonder, what became of them? What sort of life did they have? What did they do in life? What are those kids doing today? Have they taken their own kids to DL, do they have happy memories of going with mom and dad? Are they even alive today? So many stories, so many hopes, dreams, problems, fears, triumphs and disappointments. Life. Pictures capture a moment in time, a moment in life, and that just opens so many paths of thought and so many questions.

I really enjoy seeing pics of the parks and hearing the history and backstories, but shots like today's really pique one's imagination. Great stuff, Major. Keep them coming please.

The amount of comments to the weekend postings are usually somewhat sparse it seems to me. Not today. These shots have struck lots of chords with us this time.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I just went to a car museum yesterday, it had lots of amazing old Packards, including a 1956 “Caribbean”, supposedly the last Packard to be built. What a beauty.

TokyoMagic!, I already have more negatives scanned!

TokyoMagic!, the man seems to have been something of a photography buff, I assume he had quite a good camera to take these large negatives. So his version of “casual snapshots” tend to look better than most others.

Nanook, plastic? Why that’s the best stuff in the world. I wish I had a WHOLE CAR made out of the stuff. I love the description of “French Burl” walnut-grained steel.

K. Martinez, I have no knowledge of the history of this couple beyond the fact that they did indeed get married, have two kids (one boy, one girl), and moved to California. There were a few photos of the woman when she was a bit older, and the young boy when he was a teenager. Somewhere on this blog I have posted a photo of the husband when he was with the family at Disneyland, but it will take me a while to find a link.

Pegleg Pete, okey dokey!

Jonathan, I did notice the lack of stripes or other indications of rank, and agree, these might be from before he shipped out. I did scan photos of him among the ruins of buildings in Germany, so he definitely did ship out. But, as I said to Ken, I don’t have any real info about them… I just have boxes of slides and an envelope or two of old negatives.

Mike Cozart, I know what you mean, and the couple did have two kids; the girl (the eldest) would probably be in her early 70’s, and the boy only a year or two younger than that. I too wondered why nobody seemed to want to keep these old family photos.

Jonathan, yeah, sometimes it’s nicer to just think about the good stuff. After the death of all 4 of my grandparents, we inherited their photos. A TON. And my mom already has tons and tons of her own photos in multiple large boxes and albums. I am sure that my siblings and I will keep some of them when the time comes, but there are just SO many. It’s hard to hold on to everything, even if one wants to.

Chuck, thanks for all the info about the uniform, including that he was in the Army Transportation Corps. Interesting about the inconsistencies such as the khaki tie and the belt. Did they use cloth belts after the leather variety was eliminated? I’m guessing that I have posted a few dozen of the family photos already (Disneyland, Jungleland, Knott’s, Santa’s Village, Sea World, etc); but the black and white negatives are mostly glamor shots of the lady. Some of those are very fun though!

Irene, see my comment to Mike Cozart; and uh-oh, you mention “Alan”… for some reason, my brain remembered the person who took Bruce’s photos as being “James”. Did I screw up? Yikes. I’ll go back and check! That’s kind of embarrassing.

K. Martinez, you have told me about some of this stuff before, and it is an awful story. It is hard to believe how awful some people can be, such as a supposed caretaker who is supposed to look after somebody when they are elderly and sick, and instead uses their influence for sheer greed. I experienced that to a degree with my own grandmother’s caretaker, who I did not like. Anyway, I am very sorry that you don’t have those family photos, and am sure that even now it must be upsetting.

Warren, trust me, back when I collected boxes of random slides (I haven’t done that for a long time… too expensive now), I couldn’t help wondering about who the people were, and what their lives were like. I’m sure they were like most lives, with joyous moments and tragic moments; of course I want to believe that they all lived “happily ever after”, even if that isn’t entirely realistic.

Chuck said...

Major, when they discontinued the leather garrison belt, they eliminated the belt from the Army's enlisted Class A coat altogether. The officers' Class A coat received a cloth belt in 1942. That belt lasted until the Army changed to a single, Brunswick green Class A coat for all grades in 1954.

On Veterans' Day 2018, the Army announced a decision to transition to an olive drab Class A uniform for all grades nearly identical to the WWII officers' Class As. The proposed uniform coat includes a cloth belt.

Anonymous said...


The photos ring true to me. My parents, both vets, are in assisted living, and, for their age...96 for dad...97 for Mom (the cougar!)..are dong quite well. I have a great photo of the 2 of them together in uniform. They will be celebrating their 75th anniversary in May. I'm one of the truly lucky ones to still have them with me. KS

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I was hoping that they switched from belts to rainbow suspenders, like Mork from Ork used to wear. Those WWII style uniforms looked great, I wonder how the officers feel about the change? Happy I hope.

KS, wow, what a great story, and you are so lucky to still have your mom and dad. 75 years of marriage, my goodness. Incredible.

Melissa said...

Hubba hubba indeed! She was a lovely lady in the postear picture, but in the B&W's, wowzers! Needless to say, I covet her entire wardrobe from bow to gloves.

Her left ring finger in the last picture is just blurry enough that I can't quite tell if she's wearing just an engagement solitaire or the full solitaire/wedding band combo. Either way, that is one *damn* fine manicure.

My maternal grandfather was stationed stateside during the way, and we have pictures of Grandma and my two oldest uncles visiting him at an Air Corps camp somewhere in the Midwest. Maybe this feller hadn't yet shipped out to Bombed City.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, it’s funny about black and white - I am reminded of the British TV show, “The Avengers”. Diana Rigg is a beautiful woman, but I thought she looked so amazing in black and white. Yeah, I noticed the rings (on each hand), I am sure she must have at least been enganged. Your grandfather was lucky to be stationed stateside! People romanticize the WWII battles, but they sound like they were very brutal and awful.

TokyoMagic! said...

Upon looking at these again, I just noticed that the lady is wearing an ankle bracelet under her nylons! Was that a "thing" in the forties?

Melissa said...

TokyoMagic, Barbara Stanwyck wore one in Double Indemnity in 1944.

Grandpa was gored by a hog in his leg right before the water, and he was allergic to the sulfa drugs that were the only antibiotics available to the general public at the time. So, the wound took forever to heal. It wasn't bad enough to make him 4F, but it was enough to make him unfit for combat. So, he was trained as a radio mechanic and operator.

Chuck said...

Major, re: your last comment:

"It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we should grow too fond of it." - Robert E. Lee, 1862

Anonymous said...

Major, these are simply splendid. Thanks for posting them.

Let me add my request to see more of these folks.

My Dad had some similar shots of my Mom sitting on a fence rail, so maybe that was a thing in that era.

While the war scenes would be disturbing to see, I have some pictures from my uncle's time in Berlin. They are sobering reminders of that period and hopefully serve to deter any further repetition.

Thanks to everyone for the comments, and especially Chuck for the info on uniforms and badges, topics dear to my heart.


Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I noticed the ankle bracelet, but I didn’t notice that it was under her nylons. That seems odd.

Melissa, did your grandpa happen to go on to a career using his radio skills after the war?

Chuck, General Lee was a wise man. I just watched the entire “Civil War” documentary on Netflix, and remember that quote vividly.

JG, the photos that I scanned for you were what inspired me to go back and scan the negatives from this family. It is odd to see photos of the bombed out cities and realize that many died in those attacks.