History tends to repeat itself but not exactly. Are we headed for another Great Depression? Probably not as there is a safety net which did not exist in the early 1930s. Social security, unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. Yet there are disturbing signs of the 30s all around us such as this food line at the North Babylon High School. At least we can now line up in our Toyotas, Jeeps and BMWs. I even noticed one fellow in his Corvette this morning. Not like the bread lines of the 30s for sure.
My master’s thesis examined the role of the media during the period, you will excuse the expression, of the “Indian Wars” between the Lakota and Cheyenne Nations and the government of the United States. Specifically from May 1862 until Wounded Knee (December 29, 1890). Needless to say the conflict between the Lakota, Cheyenne and the United States did not turn out favorably for these American Indians. Of the 574 federally recognized tribes, technically known as “domestic dependent nations”, it would be fair to say that they have become marginalized. The wonder of it all is that any were able to survive the interaction with the U. S. government. Which brings us to the Navajo.
The image in this blog “Mississippi River Ferry” is a recent addition to our ferry collection. When we first saw this photo it appealed to us in terms of the composition. The dock, the ferry, the river and the seagull in the left of the scene make this work. The question for us, as is the case most of the time, was where and when? The construction of the ferry speaks to the southern part of the Mississippi River. That was clear. But was it a crossing in Mississippi, perhaps Natchez, or further south into Louisiana? There are so many crossings. What we were unable to see until the the image went into photo editing was the sign on the building across the river in the left of the frame. “Algiers Dry Dock & Shipbuilding Co.” Problem solved, New Orleans! Today the new kid on the block, for about the last 70 years, is Bollinger. Various companies have been in that location since the mid 1800s. These are the times when the satisfaction for us is greater when we are able to answer a where or when question or both in addition to appreciation of the image itself.
“Mississippi River Ferry“; New Orleans, Louisiana c.1930
Day 57…and counting! I think we need a mental exercise to keep us sharp. So take your best guess on the lead photo, where and when? Hiroshima? No. Nagasaki? No. How about Tokyo? Nope. O. K. so maybe Berlin? Nein. Dresden? Nein. Antwerp? No. Got to be Stalingrad. Nyet! Give up?
Please listen to Governor Cuomo. Let the facts and science be your guide. All of us want to get back to life the way it used to be. In the meantime we need to obey social distancing. Absolute social distancing will stop the infection rate cold. As this is not possible we must do our best and also wear a mask and wash our hands. If you decide to go your own way on this and flaunt these new directives what is going to happen is that the infection rate will go right back up. So instead of coming out of this nightmare in June, June will stretch into July, July into August and so on. More people are going to die. Many more. To flaunt these new rules will push a re-opening date further back. In just the past few days as some states have decided to re-open just look at what is going on with the infection rate. See the statistics coming from Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, and Arizona just name a few. If you really want to get out stay in. The virus cannot find you if you never go outside. Those people who contract the virus will either recover or die. Without new hosts to infect the virus will run its course. While we wait for a vaccine this is the only sane course to follow. Unfortunately our health care workers and all other essential workers have to risk their lives daily. We salute you!
“Texting…Texting…Texting“; Manhattan, January 31, 2018.
I think that you would have great difficulty in coming up with a better title for this photo than “40 Acres and a Mule“. Photo taken on the Oak Grove a/k/a Kali Oka Plantation in Saraland, Alabama c.1926. Haunted, maybe so they say. Read the history of “40 Acres and a Mule“. Saraland is just north of Mobile in Mobile County.
Thank you, Blondie for “One Way or Another“, but for now this is real. In the era of the coronavirus pandemic we are now in uncharted territory. A new normal if you will. In this lead photo supermarket shoppers are directed to follow the one way signs so as to minimize social contacts.
“One Way Shopping“; Patchogue, N. Y. (April 22, 2020)
A decorated soldier comes home. The Croix de Guerre is visible on his chest. For those unfamiliar with the decoration see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croix_de_Guerre. This was to be the War to End All Wars. See also our extensive military collection.
“Croix de Guerre“; North Little Rock, Arkansas (March 20, 1919).
It has now been about five weeks since I have ventured outside my home. Retrieving the newspapers delivered on my front lawn, going to the mailbox and taking out the trash have been the extent of my movements outdoors. This morning I awoke to the sound of a lawnmower. Our lawn service has returned! I had not fertilized our lawn for fear that the service would not show up this year as they are based in one of the hardest hit areas of Long Island. Bienvenidos!
I was hospitalized twice in 2011 and once in 2018 when I underwent triple bypass heart surgery. If you have been reading our blogs you are already aware of my experiences. Without question I believe that our nurses have the most difficult of professions. When you are dealing with life and death situations from minute to minute nothing else compares. Having said that we are presenting our photo to you, “The Nurse“, c.1919. Taken in the time of an earlier pandemic about 100 years ago, the Spanish Flu. There are only a few people alive today who have lived through the Spanish Flu and the Coronavirus. Four generations later the more things change the more they stay the same.