Monday, February 8, 2016

Combat Patches

I've called this piece, "Combat Patches," because once you've been to a war zone, you're entitled to wear the patch of the unit you served with on your right shoulder.  The patch of your current unit goes on your left shoulder.  In all of these pictures, the soldiers have turned there right sleeves to the camera to show that they are combat veterans.

The fact that the uniforms don't have name tapes on them tells me that this is pre- 1955.  These pictures could have been taken during the Korean War, but I suspect that most of these men saw action during WWII.

These pictures were filed in a box under, "military recruiters."  Just the fact that they were part of the Simmons Studio collection of negatives makes me think that they are photographs of local men, but I don't recognize any of the people or the building and only one of the patches.

This old soldier is a bird colonel in an infantry unit.  I can't see the combat patch on his right shoulder very well. I stopped in at the local National Guard armory and they couldn't help me.

If he were in an infantry unit in the MO Army National Guard, then he would, more than likely, have been member of the 35th Infantry Division which saw action in Europe during WWII.  Here's the combat patch he would have been wearing. 

This next fellow is easier to figure out:

His easy-to-identify 7th Army patch tells me that he served with General George Patton across North Africa and then pushed into Sicily and finally forced marched across France to meet the enemy and push him back into Germany. 

Here's the same two men with some other combat veterans.

They might all be part of the recruiting staff. They seem to be standing in a military facility.  The only facility of that type in Warrensburg would be the local National Guard building, but it doesn't have a balcony.  Maybe this is an inside view of Warrensburg's National Guard building that burned down in the early 50s.

Here's our 7th Army vet welcoming new members into the unit:

Finally, here's a line of recruits who haven't received their uniforms yet.  Although they are in civilian clothing, some of them may have already served in the active military and are coming back in as National Guard members.
If anyone recognizes the people or the building in any of these photos, please let me know.  Also, if you have any more information about the history of the patches or of the units depicted here, please leave a comment.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

No Coat, No Shoes

One teacher, thirty-seven students.  They range in age from elementary to high school seniors. While others are wearing coats, the boy in the first row on the far left has come to school on picture day with no coat and no shoes.
From the clothing styles, I estimate that it was taken somewhere from the early 1920s to the mid 1930s. That brick building behind them looks bigger than a one room school.  Buddy Baker says that it looks like the back of Reese School to him.  But two other schools in Warrensburg at that time, Crissy and Pershing, were built on the same plans.  Does anyone recognize the school or any of the people in the photograph? Or can anyone give a better estimate as to the year this was taken?

Here's another picture that may be from the 1940s or 1950s.
Does anyone recognize the uniforms or the place where this photo was taken?

If you know anything about either picture, please leave a message in the comments section.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Old Reese School

The notation at the top of all four of these negatives was Reese School - House.  Fred House was the superintendant of Warrensburg's schools in the 1940s and may have been using these photographs to convince the school board that they needed to rebuild Reese school.

This picture shows a classroom where students are bundled up in coats.

Buddy Baker, who attended Reese school in the 30s reports that the building was heated by a coal furnace. A wagon delivered the coal which would slide down a shute into the basement.  According to him, "Dern right it was cold in there. That furnace didn't do much heating.  They'd make us go outside for recess and all we did was play jam-jelly." (Pack tightly together to try to get warm.)

Here students share desks in an overcrowded classroom.

Students pack together in a tiny hallway.

Finally, here's a picture of the students.

Does anyone know the year these pictures were taken?  Or can you identify any of the people in these photographs.

The old Reese school was torn down and rebuilt in the early 1950s.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Unknown Groups

Here's some tricky ones, but I know somebody out there will know something about at least one of these photos from the Simmon's Studio collection of negatives.  Let's start with the oldest one first.  There are a few hints on this picture. Somebody wrote, "Atkins - glass copy" on top of this one although it is on more modern photographic film.

This looks like it was taken a century or more ago and just because it was found in the old Simmon's Studio in Warrensburg doesn't mean that it was taken in this county, this state, or even in this country.  By the way, see that boy on the far right in the back row.  I wonder what he has in his pocket.

Here's another school picture that doesn't look like it's more than 70 years old.  It is more than likely taken at a local school.  I look at those young faces and wonder if any are still alive and what they look like now.

It's hard to distinguish any of these faces.  But maybe someone will recognize the school gym:

Finally, here's an interior shot of a church with the whole congregation.  Does anyone know where this is and approximately when it was taken?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Cars They Loved and the Men Who Kept Them Going

Here's a picture from the Simmon's Studio collection of negatives of a young man showing off his stripped-down, (presumably) souped-up vehicle. (Any help here identifying the make, model or year of vehicle or the person in the picture will be greatly appreciated.)

Someone drew a square on the negative, perhaps to indicate that he wanted a close-up print made.  I don't know why anyone would want the car cropped out of the picture.  The man seems so proud of it.

Here's another man who's proud.  He went to Simmon's Studio to have his portrait taken of himself wearing the uniform of a DX service attendant.  

There were three DX Stations in Warrensburg.  One was on the southeast corner of Holden and Gay. There was another down in the bottom at the corner of Warren and Business 50.  There was a third on the corner of Business 13 and Business 50.  

All of these stations offered basic vehicle maintenance as well as full service fill ups.  Older readers will remember a time when buying gas included having an attendant clean your windows, and check your oil and tire pressure.  He would add oil if you needed it for a low additional price and fill your tires for free.  If you asked for it, he'd give you a free road map and give you directions as well.

Does anyone know who this man was or which station he ran?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you from 70 years ago at the Sacred Heart Church of Warrensburg.

That's all the Christmas negatives I have from the Simmons Studio collection, so for your additional viewing enjoyment, here's a blurry picture of the inside of a church.

From the choir's point of view.

Those are not bullet holes in the walls - the negative is deteriorating.  Why some and not others is a mystery to me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Nathan Hale THE TRIAL OF OLD DRUM Please Watch and Share

Please watch and share this video of our dog, Old Drum's famous trial by NY Times
Bestselling graphic novelist!!!!!!