Saturday, February 28, 2015

Grocery Store

Welcome to Store Front Week here at OPOD. We will be reminiscing about bygone days when we actually purchased our stuff from small, independent, local businesses that were intimately a part of the community. The picture above shows a meat market and grocery store from 1916. The owner proprieter is pictured with his son, and one of his employees out front.

While this picture was taken in 1916, things were not much different in the 1960's in the area I grew up in. Our little community of 1,900 people had 2 small locally owned grocery stores. In addition, the bus station had a small grocery store. The owners were part of the community, and the businesses operated on the concept of exceptional customer service. Grocery shopping was not something you dreaded.

So, hopefully you all will share your memories of such locally owned shops this week.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Shooting the Breeze

Today's picture is from the front porch of the Nethers, Virginia Post Office. The picture was taken in 1935. It shows some of the locals sitting around and shooting the breeze. The interesting thing to me is that today, people have created such busy lives there is little time to just sit with friends and visit. Perhaps visiting has become a lost art.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Today's picture shows the Waterwheel at the Nethers, Virginia Mill. We saw other pictures of the mill the last few days. The waterwheel was an ingenious device that would use the natural flow of a stream to turn a wheel. The gravity acting on the water makes the wheel go around, providing a virtually free source of power for the mill.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mill Interior

This picture shows the interior of the Flour Mill at Nethers, Virginia. No doubt the man pictured is the local owner/proprietor, offering freshly ground flour produced from wheat grown in the area. It is interesting that back in the day, you knew where your food came from, and the production and processing of food benefited the local community. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Nethers Mill

Today's picture shows the Mill at Nethers, Virginia. The picture is from 1935. What a beautiful view of simpler days.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Oldest Citizen

Nethers, Virginia Week continues here at OPOD with this picture from 1935. It shows the then oldest citizen of the town. I am guessing he looks to be in his 80's, so he would have been old enough to have lived through the Civil War. What interesting stories he must have had.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Nethers, Virginia

Welcome to Nethers, Virginia Week. This week we will look at a little slice of American History that is lost forever. The experience that used to be Small Town America. The picture above was taken at the Nethers post office in 1935. How we got from this to where we are now in under 100 years is stunning to me. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Japanese Surrender

We wrap up World War II Week with this picture of the ceremony where Japan surrendered to the United States. This happened in 1945 aboard the USS Missouri.  When I was a child I was able to go onto the Missouri, and I remember they had a big plaque where the surrender was signed.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Iwo Jima

This is another picture from the War in the Pacific. The picture was taken during the Battle of Iwo Jima. The mountain in the background is  Mnt. Suribachi where the iconic flag raising picture was taken. This picture was taken in 1945.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

USS Bunker Hill

Today's picture shows the USS Bunker Hill moments after it was struck by Kamikazes. The ship was supporting the invasion of Okinawa at the time. Over 300 were killed on the ship in the attack.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Battle of Okinawa

Today's picture shows a view from the Battle for Okinawa. Some of the most intense fighting of World War II occurred on Okinawa. This picture shows two soldiers, the one of the left with a Thompson Machine Gun, or Tommy Gun, and the one of the right with a Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR). The picture was taken in 1945.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Normandy Invasion

This is another picture of the Normandy Invasion. This picture was taken after the troops had established a beach head. It is amazing all the hardware being brought to bare in this picture.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Today's picture is an iconic image of soldiers as they approach Omaha Beach on D-day. The striking thing to me is that most of these men are teenagers. Truly this was the greatest generation.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Pearl Harbor

Welcome to World War II week here at OPOD. We will be looking at pictures from this epic conflict. I wanted to look at these pictures, as I realize that the generation that fought this war is quickly passing away. Most of the people that fought in this war would be in their 90's, so a time is coming when we will have no more living WW II veterans.

Today's picture is from 1941, and it shows a scene during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Overland Train Car

Today's picture shows an overland train car from the 1910's. The thing that jumps out at me is how large the seats are, and how comfortable they look. I also notice how relaxed everyone looks, as the car is not overly crowded. Note the porter in the background serving refreshments. I conclude that travel 100 years ago was more elegant and relaxed than today. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sleeping Car

Back in the day, traveling by train could be very luxurious. Some cars had individual berths, or little rooms with comfortable seats that could be turned down into a bed. The picture above is such an example from the 1910's. Also notice the electric lighting above the bed.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Train Depot

Today's picture shows the train depot at Durand, Michigan. The picture was taken around the turn of the century. This was certainly a busy hub.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tearful Goodbye

Today's picture shows a tearful goodbye at a train station. The picture was taken at the train station in San Diego in 1905. There is no information on the people in the picture.

Monday, February 9, 2015

New York Central Rail Line

This is an interesting picture from the New York Central Rail Line. It shows a combination passenger car and locomotive. I have trouble understanding how this particular design could be very practical. I would think it would be very hot there beside the boiler. I would also think this would impair the vision of the conductor. So, I am not exactly sure how it works, but it is an interesting picture.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Pullman Car

Today's picture shows people traveling in style in a Pullman Car. This harkens back to a time when there was a certain elegance associated with travel by rail. The early days of commercial airline travel also had an element of elegance, which has long since been gone. The picture above was taken in the 1910's.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Old Locomotive

We have not looked at trains in a while, so this would be a good week to reminisce about traveling by rail. We start with this old locomotive that was built in 1862. It looks like a rather small engine, so I wonder if it was designed for just a few passenger cars.

Friday, February 6, 2015


Insurrection Week would not be complete without a picture of famed freedom fighter Emilio Zapata. Zapata is perhaps best remembered for his quote, "I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees". This picture was taken in 1911.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Today's picture features Raul Madero in the center with the cigar. He was the brother of the Madero who was leading the revolution, and would become the new revolutionary president of Mexico. To the left, looking a little bit like a bus driver is Pancho Villa, who was apparently always up for a good cock fight, or a good revolution for that matter. You can see that Madero is putting a knife spur on a rooster, in preparation for a cock fight. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Pancho Villa

Mexican Insurrection Week would not be complete without a portrait of the beloved populist leader and part time bandit, Pancho Villa. The picture above was taken in 1914, and shows Pancho Villa, and the lovely Mrs. Villa out for an afternoon stroll. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Lunch Time

Even bandits and insurrectionists need to take time for lunch. The picture above shows a group of rebels in 1911 in camp pausing for lunch. Even though it is lunch time, they appear to be woefully unarmed, given the fast pace and unexpected turns of a Mexican Revolution.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Mexican Rebels

This is another picture from the 1911 revolution in Juarez. These rebels actually have their own cannon, which was a pretty big deal. While they have a cannon, the individuals do not appear to be as well armed as the women in yesterday's picture.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Viva Senoritas!

This is a fascinating picture of the 1911 Mexican Insurrection. The picture was taken in Ciudad Juarez. Interestingly this band of bandits is made up almost completely of women and children. At the time the picture was taken, there was a contingency of Mexican Federales under the command of Antonio Rábago approaching the town. Not sure the outcome of the conflict, but certainly this is a unique picture of the revolution.