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Wednesday, 15 December 2010

John Vachon: All Their Marbles (Woodbine, Iowa, Spring 1940)


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http://memory.loc.gov/service/pnp/fsa/8a05000/8a05700/8a05709v.jpg

Advertising, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Shooting marbles, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Shooting marbles, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Boys playing marbles, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Shooting marbles, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Boys in marble game, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Little girl, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Residential street, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from original neg.

Painted pillar, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from original neg.

Privy pump and pillar, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from original neg.

Residential street, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

A residential street, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from original neg.

Residential street, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from original neg.

Resident of Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Gravedigger at work, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from original

Digging a grave, graveyard on the outskirts of Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from original

Graveyard and town of Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Planting a garden in the backyard, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: intermediary roll film

Resident of small town plowing fields behind his house to plant corn, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, April 1940

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Main Street, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Edge of town, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from original neg.

Advertising, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film

Billboard, Woodbine, Iowa: photo by John Vachon, May 1940

Photos by John Vachon from Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress

11 comments:

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

Thanks for these, more photos from John Vachon -- moving through them I kept on thinking "all these people are gone," and then I got to the graveyard -- very moving indeed. . . .


12.15

blue of sky in grey whiteness of clouds
above ridge, motion of leaves on branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

form in a sense, “opposite”
that can be more that

thing, what it started from,
picture made from one

grey-white fog against invisible ridge,
shadowed green pine on tip of sandspit

TC said...

Steve, yes,
keeping it going on --

what's plowed over
what's buried under

what it started from,
picture made from one,

every one
gone

(though of course those kids could be still kicking now at eighty, and reading this... as could we be...)

(very familiar scenes for me by the way, my dad was for a while in the late 1940s a traveling salesman of cardboard boxes, Iowa a major part of his territory, I went along on a few of his trips... and saw a lot... of tall corn)

Ed Baker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TC said...

Puree Boulders were kings.

Julia said...

I loved to play marbles!! We called them "bolitas". But I could only do it when we go to the "quinta" my mother's family had near the city of La Plata
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=389161&l=acb7639a68&id=100000225052163
wonderful pics, Tom

sandra said...

soothing... beautiful...

John B-R said...

The importance of place and time seems to be lost on some:

"Advocates for the homeless have protested the recent decision of the administration of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to experiment on the city’s poor by conducting what is essentially a randomized trial on the effect of denying emergency housing assistance to those in danger of homelessness.

The New York experiment involves the city’s Homebase program, a very modest effort involving the annual expenditure of $23 million for job training, counseling and emergency funds that has been given to several thousand families each year since it began in 2004, with the aim of helping them to stay in their homes.

The Bloomberg administration, comparing its actions to the testing of new drug treatments, denied this emergency help to 200 of the 400 families applying to Homebase between June and August of this year. Those denied help were referred to other agencies.

Homeless advocates pointed to the fact that the city had earlier boasted that the Homebase program was a great success, one that had prevented homelessness in 90 percent of those who received assistance.

The real aim of the study was made clear in a statement by Seth Diamond, the commissioner of the city’s Homeless Services Department, quoted in the New York Times. By Diamond’s logic, the 90 percent who benefited by the Homebase program might be resourceful enough to have succeeded without it. Diamond acknowledged that his agency had to cut $20 million from its current budget, and that federal money for the program was expiring in 2012.

In other words, the city’s “experiment” is designed to justify and rationalize cuts in the meager housing assistance program that was established when Wall Street was booming and that can no longer be tolerated by the wealthy elite that runs New York. As most New Yorkers are well aware, the $23 million cost of the Homebase program is equivalent to perhaps one-tenth of one percent of the billions that will be handed out in Wall Street bonuses at the end of this year."

etc etc

TC said...

Julia,

Your grandmother's lovely country house among the flowers in La Plata is exactly the place where I would like to go to play marbles in the next life.


Sandra, yes, soothing images, reminder of another kind of place and time... now forever gone.


John, thank you, and I regret to see that Ed Baker's extensive dialogue with you on this subject has just now been eradicated by Ed, who appears to be undergoing a new shy phase.

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

Thanks and yes, that's it, "keep it going on" -- some of those kid "still kicking now" . . . .

12.16

light coming into sky above still black
ridge, silver of planet beside branches
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

corresponding facts divided
by form, sum of known

relation of material bodies,
there, distance which

silver of sunlight reflected in channel,
whiteness of gull flapping toward point

curtisroberts said...

I have been sort of re-telling myself the story in this picture novel you've composed for a day now. Each of the Vachon photos really impresses itself on you. The kids with the marbles and the little girl are so charming and I wish I had the two pillar photos on my wall. (In fact I went to the Library of Congress website to see whether they were available for purchase, but apparently they're not, which is a pity. They should expand their selection and help stimulate the economy.) I'm not finished with All The Marbles yet.

TC said...

Many thanks, Curtis and Steve.

I'm not sure I've got all my marbles, but I do have some more work by the great and seemingly inexhaustible Vachon to offer:

John Vachon: Mid-American

John Vachon: Blinds, Frames (Dubuque, Iowa, April 1940)