Friday, December 31, 2010

Rosie the Riveter, R.I.P.

As usual, it has been a year of many significant passings. No "year in review" is complete without noting the persons who have touched us in one way or another. A the beginning of this week, as if to round out the year, Geraldine Hoff Doyle passed away in Michigan. Doyle is not a household name, but her image as "Rosie the Riveter" may be as ubiquitous as a Coca-Cola logo.

Doyle was 17 when the famous UPI photo was taken. She had been working at a metal pressing plant near Ann Arbor at the time. The U.S. government liked the image so much they used it as a recruiting tool to encourage women to join the workforce and support the war effort. Later it became a popular poster and has been reproduced endlessly, here seen as a metal sign on one of our kitchen cabinets.

During World War II millions of women moved into jobs at factories to produce, among other things, the weapons and ammunition that kept our boys equipped for the fight. But in the aftermath of the war this image probably helped serve as a reminder that "sometimes a woman is the man for the job" serving now as an inspiration for more than half a century.

Other memorable personages who have departed in 2010 include Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller, directors Blake Edwards and Irvin Kershner, actors Tony Curtis, Dennis Hopper, Fess Parker, Peter Graves and Leslie Nielson, Beaver's mom Barbara Billingsly, entertainers Lena Horne and Captain Beefheart, and novelist J.D. Salinger, author of Catcher in the Rye, whose Holden Caulfield proved to be an omen of sorts for the adolescent alienation that that would subsume the Sixties generation.

None of us is here on earth forever. Therefore, as you move into the new year, make the most of your days. May your 2011 be your best contribution yet.


LEWagner said...

Happy New Year!
We've gotten through 58 of them, so far, we should be able to get through another 58, eh?

ENNYMAN said...

Yah, we're doing pretty fiine so far. I have always said to people (who asked what I am doing) that I am going to write till I am 85 and then figure out what I want to do with my life. 58 is 85 backwards, so another 58 years seems OK. But now I think I want to make art till I am 85 and then decide the rest....
Have a great 2011.