Wednesday, March 05, 2008

D.O.A. Ladies - 1946

D.A.O. Ladies - 1946, originally uploaded by sprouseart.

Wow! What a time capture this is. Another image from my vintage photo box. Summer 1946 and it’s the 25th Anniversary Dinner of the Sterling Council #92 of the Daughters of America, at least that is what is written on the back of this photo. Initially, when I first looked at this photo, I appreciated it for the photographic elements of it all - the very telling and often comical expressions on many of the woman’s faces, the great prints on the dresses (which were so popular in the mid-1940s).

But then when I discovered what the Daughters Of America is (or perhaps was as I can’t find any reference to them after 1978), I felt very different about this photo.

Now I see them as uptight, ultra-conservative, racist prigs whose main concern seemed to be getting bibles in the classroom and the elimination of secular politics. Some of these ladies look as if they could lead a lynching party themselves, especially Big Beulah there front and center and her army of 4 crones directly behind her. And, of course, you know that these ladies know every speck of dirt on everyone in the township, especially on the young upstarts who have been delegated to the back rows.

These women were the mothers and grandmothers of the religious right movement as we know it today no doubt. Of course, this photo is 62 years old. Chances are that even the younger women in this image (who appear to be at least 30) are now dust, or close to it. Things were very different then. Fortunately, quite a bit, but still not all, of their foolish ideas have vanished with them.

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