We believe that an iconic image deserves its own blog. The U. S. location and exact date of “Firemen: Hold The Line” is unknown. The assessment of the date is 1919. The term “hold the line” is a military term that we think is appropriate as the fire rages. A sign partially reads “Electric City” at the extreme left which may give a clue to the location. Possibilities seem to range almost anywhere from Jacksonville, Florida to the state of Washington based on research.
My family had purchased two copies of paintings by Margaret Keane known for her “Keane Eyes” a/k/a “Big Eyed Waifs”. As a youngster I remembered the haunting eyes of these children in Keane’s paintings. They were very popular at the time. So it is that the lead photograph, “Tuco, Texas (1930)” brought back those memories to me of long ago. We cannot see the eyes of these two young girls. Strong sunlight made them squint, and what we have are their eyes represented by large dark circles because they are in shadows. I see the same sadness in the closed eyes of these two girls growing up in the Dust Bowl as those represented in Keane’s paintings. Perhaps it is also the dust forcing them to keep their eyes closed.
To be honest, the motivation for this image is the film “Open Range” starring Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner. It airs frequently on cable television. I had thought that the concept of free grazing or open range was long dead. Not so, to my surprise. The concept of open range is alive and well in certain areas of the U. S. particularly in some western states.
The photo in this blog was taken just outside of Currie, Nevada. Currie is essentially in the middle of nowhere in eastern Nevada about 25 miles west of the Utah border. It is a ghost town today with a population of about 20. For that reason we have included it in our “Ghost Towns of the American Southwest” collection.