This photo came from a huge batch of family photographs we received when my mother-in-law closed up her home. We sat together looking at all these many photos (literally hundreds!) and tried to identify something or someone in each one. The process was important to the identification of the photos, but also such a wonderful time between us. Although she is gone from us now, I treasure the times we sat together. She would reminisce about these photos, her late husband, her family, and growing up in Detroit in the 30’s and 40’s.
This particular photo shows a youth orchestra or band, including an accordion, wood winds, and brass. I am guessing the boys with white straps to the right of frame were the drummers and the straps were designed to hold the drums while they marched or played. The band director must be the portly person on the far right. I enlarged this photo to look at the faces, but realized that the monument behind them has the names of some states on it. I can see a Kansas plaque on the left, between two caps, an Indiana plaque in the center of frame, above the musicians, and in the space next to that, I can just make out 1st and 1941. If anyone recognizes this monument, please comment. I would love to know where it is! Supposedly, my father-in-law is in this picture, but we couldn’t find him.
UPDATE: After sharing this on Facebook, my eagle-eyed cousin noticed the palm tree in the top right corner of the picture and pointed out that Detroit doesn’t have many of those. At about the same time, my sister and Intense Guy uncovered the identity of this monument.
It is the Monument of States in Kissimee, FL. This interesting monument was conceived by Dr Charles Bressler-Pettis after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He wanted something to signify the unity of the United States, so he wrote to all the governors of the states – which at that time numbered 48 – and asked them to send a rock native to their state. By the time he was finished collecting, Bressler-Pettis had also included a variety of rocks from other countries he and his wife had visited. The monument was raised in 1943 with the dual goals of unity and tourism. Ah, America. It has been expanded over the years to include Alaska and Hawaii, and a variety of other locales with their rocks being embedded into the walkways around the monument.
Thank you, Steve, Auntie Kat and Intense Guy for helping to solve yet another photo mystery!
Monument of States via US National Park Service
Monument of States via Wikipedia
Monument of States via Roadside America