Monday, June 29, 2009

Dad’s Photos #11

We’re here to welcome Monday with a look at Dad’s Photos, this time a summer time trip in 1938 to Salem Lake in Derby, VT. I must say the more I look at my father’s old photos, the more I’m baffled by his working life & overall schedule, but he was a young fellow then—24 years old—& was pretty much footloose & fancy-free I suspect. At any rate, he & his friends Dick Bragg (whose history I know a bit about) & Al (whom I know nothing of) went on a fishing trip. There is no question that fishing was my father’s great passion. He was an all-around outdoor sportsman in his younger years—fisherman, hunter, skier, skater, hiker—but fishing was always first, & he kept at it until his very last years, even when his other outdoor activities were a distant memory.

Derby is a town on the Canadian border, in the northeast part of Vermont (sometimes referred to as the “Northeast Kingdom”—it’s the most undeveloped part of the state, & has areas that verge on wilderness (at least the last time I was in that part of the world, which admittedly is long ago now). I suspect the photo labeled “A Border Town” in Dad’s Photos #9 may well have been Derby or one of the nearby unincorporated villages. The “C.C.C.” abbreviation in the “Forest Shelter” caption below refers to “Civilian Conservation Corps.” This corps was established during the Depression to create work by building state parks & similar projects; my father worked with the C.C.C. in Townsend, VT. My opinion: it’s too damned bad that the “conservatives” can’t see how this type of workforce could do a whole lot of good nowadays—infrastructure anyone? I’ll tell you this: my father didn’t get anything even remotely approaching a sense of “entitlement” from his C.C.C. days, but it did keep him & other working class men going during some tough times, & in the process did good for the public at large.

But off the soapbox. Hope you enjoy these photos.

Bragg – “Proud” – 1938 Salem Lake

Al – Dew Camp 1938

Dick at Salem Lake 1938

A Little Drink?

Looks bad – no fish, huh?

Fishing Camp at Salem Lake July 1st 1938 [This is Al & Dick; photo above is Dick; I believe the first photo in the cabin is my father]

Dick – Two Swell Bass (smallmouth)

A Forest Shelter C.C.C. style

Me & a Nice Catch

Salem Lake – Derby, Vermont

submit to reddit


  1. Is that your dad, or one of the other gentlemen, having the 'little drink'?

    The next-to-the-last shot is my favorite.

  2. Hi Ginger: That's dad-- he was a real Irishman....

  3. I'm with you on the CCC, John. Of course, it's such a commie pinko idea, it would never fly today. "Let them eat cake."

  4. Hi Sandra:

    I think your country is more enlightened, & I do think we have a good president here. Unfortunately, the US right wing's stance seems to be: we don't care if bridges fall & roads crumble & no one but the wealthy can afford health care as long as we don't become socialist. To me (personal opinion) that's madness.

  5. These are especially nice. The first four are my faves. I like how the fish are arranged according to size.

  6. Hi Willow:

    Glad you enjoyed these. As far as I can tell these were taken almost exactly seventy one years ago.

  7. Hi John,

    I always enjoy these photos of your dad's. They evoke such a seemingly carefree time. They remind me of some of the old photos my mom and dad have from the early 50s when they first were courting as well as some of the early photos taken "down east" as we say.

    Your dad certainly knew how to make the best of things and enjoy himself. You can just see in his face how much he loved to fish. These are great photos. Are they his captions still? I could almost fancy you were writing them yourself.


  8. Hi Kat:

    Yes, the italicized captions are still his-- anything I add "editorially" is in brackets & not in italics. I do think there are some similarities in "voice" between my father & I.

    Glad you like them. There is a sense of a more carefree time in old photos....

  9. When I see old pictures like this, it reminds me that the pictures I take today will one day be cherished like these are - that the pic I snap today of robert mowing the lawn or my kids playing in the park, will reflect more than just their images, but the styles and the spirit of the day. There is so much to take in with all these pics - the vest, the hat, the fish on strung together. I love this features. Also, I like your new blogrolls!

  10. Hi Jen:

    Folks will definitely look at your photos with great interest-- you're doing a wonderful job of documentation!

    Thanks for the kind words.


Thanks for stopping by & sharing your thoughts. Please do note, however, that this blog no longer accepts anonymous comments. All comments are moderated. Thanks for your patience.