Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Goofing Off In Nebraska

There's that unfortunate salute again. If I weren't so lazy, I'd go back and do some revisions on the first two posts of this Nebraska series. In the first, I speculated that these photos could be related. In the second, I thought that the linkage might be the photographer. Anyway, I was in such a hurry to get things up, I didn't take a close enough look at things. Now I realize that they all must have come from the same source.

All of these photos have the same stamp on the back. "KODAK PRINT MADE BY THAT MAN GALE APR 18. 1929 YORK, NEBR-AUROROA, NEBR" Robert G. Gale was born in Beatrice, NB on Nov. 17, 1871. He had a photo studio and processing shop in York as early as 1916. I've found references to his business from 1927, as well. At another blog, I found a studio photo dated to 1951 or 52, but I suspect that someone had either bought the studio or a family member had inherited by then. It's possible that Robert Gale was still active in his early eighties, but I have my doubts.

Written on the backs of the photos in descending order, "Denzel Smith" (Note that Denzell is holding a pistol to his head. It might be necessary to click on the image and bring it up in a bigger window to make it out.) "Mark Meteer" of the unfortunate salute, "Raymond Ronne, Margaret Smith" side by side, and "Denzel Smith, Helen Burgess" in the dominating pose. Well, I thought I had hit the jackpot finding out about that man Gale, but when I took a flyer and fed Denzel Smith into Google, well now, that was something else again. Denzel "Denny" Smith was born in rural Nebraska in 1912. So he would have been about 17 when these pictures were printed, probably a high school junior or senior. He would get a B.A. from York College and go on to teach high school in Wymore, NB from 1931-1935. Not bad, but it gets better. An M.A. would follow in 1937, and a PhD. in educational psychology and measurements in 1941. Both from the University of Nebraska. From 1942-1946 he was in the navy, developing selection processes for pilots, as well as working on cockpit designs. He would retire as a Lt. Commander. But it doesn't stop there. He would go on to teach at the University of Maryland and work for the National Science Foundation. During the Korean War, he would be sent to Korea to visit prisoner of war camps as an expert in psychological warfare with a temporary rank of Lt. General in the army. As an NSF staffer, he would consult and contribute to Lyndon Johnson's 1965 State of the Union Address. And, there is a whole lot more. If I knew enough about computers to cut and paste his obituary into this post, I'd do it, but instead I'll just put a link to it.

1 comment:

  1. What a story! And Denzel remarried in 1998. Wow.
    As for the salute, I know we all have the association with Nazi Germany and that's here to stay, but it turns out the salute had its origins in Rome. (I had to look it up.) If you look at Roman salute on Wikipedia it will give you the background. Probably won't stop you from cringing next time you see it though.