We are, it turns out, a pack rat, unwilling to dispose of “stuff” we have accumulated if we think there is value in it — even if that value is not immediately apparent to anyone else, or even to us.
So it is that, when we left the Pioneer Press in the fall of 2016, we carried with us a box full of photographs (and a few clippings) that readers had sent our way — photographs and clippings that, for one reason or another (not enough space — always an issue; wouldn’t work well on newsprint — a very common problem with old pictures), we had never published.
Most were intended to run in our category of vintage, usually black-and-white photographs, called “The little treasures.”
Well, now we needn’t worry about newsprint’s inadequacy, and now we do have unlimited space. So now we will show you, occasionally over the next weeks and months, some of the pictures we saved, back in the days when we couldn’t bear to dispose of them.
Many of them came to us years and years ago, and we have no doubt that some of the contributors (and the subjects of the pictures) have died in the meantime. We apologize for any pain these pictures might cause; that is no part of our intent. We hope that the survivors will enjoy these looks backward.
We have very limited information (or none) about many of these pictures. Dates are missing. Names — of both subjects and contributors — are missing. We have done our best to tell you what we know.
It’s even possible that a few of them *were* published in the pages of the Pioneer Press. If so, we think you won’t mind seeing some of them a second time.
Contributor: Joan Daniels of Siren, Wisconsin
Date of picture: October 6, 1930
Date of contribution: Unknown
Caption: “A picture of family on 10/6/1930. The man in the middle with the impressive mustache is my mother’s father, Anders Gustaf Johnson. Taken in Grantsburg, Wisconsin, on the day of his wife Hilda’s funeral. This is the complete family of 11 children. My mother, Myrtle, is fourth from the right, with her hair fashionably over one eye.
“I will miss Bulletin Board; as snowbirds, we will soon fly south! See you online!”
Contributor: Janis McLellan Lemke of St. Paul
Date of picture: July 30, 1922
Date of contribution: 2010
Caption: “This picture is of three couples who went for a swim in White Bear Lake, July 30, 1922. Don’t you love their bathing suits? Even the guys were covered up on top.
“The couple on the right were my mother, Genevieve Bywater, and my dad, Jennings McLellan (boyfriend and girlfriend then).
“One of the other couples were Ann & George Bodine. The other: Hank & Ru . . . it looks like ‘Mur’ . . . and the little boy must have belonged to one of the couples.
“I always have to laugh at those bathing suits, but I guess that was the style then.”
Contributor: Tony Rericha of Inver Grove Heights
Dates of pictures: 1950s
Date of contribution: September 20, 2010
Caption: “Recently there has been a revival of the question of the desirability of streetcars as public transportation.
“Enclosed are photographs for your files, round or otherwise, that are self-explanatory.
“During the Fifties, the City of South Saint Paul welcomed the demise of the streetcar and welcomed the buses.
“I took all of the enclosed photos.”
Contributor: Norm Dixon of Afton
Date of picture: 1953
Date of contribution: July 27, 2010
Caption: “Here is a picture that appeared in the St. Paul paper back in 1953. This group of young men, ages 13 and 14, won the Midget City Championship for Sylvan Playground.
“Our team jerseys were green with white trim and were purchased for the team by the Rice Street Businessmen’s Association. Most the team members went on to attend the old Washington High School.
“The team members are:
“1st row: Jim Gibbons, Jerry Godfrey, Jerome Blatzheim (batboy), Gordy Bond, Judd Berthiaume
“2nd row: Jack Shetka, Jerry Spannbauer, Bill Schneider, Gene Berthiaume, Don Fink, Norm Dixon
“3rd row: Bill Blatzheim (coach), Bob Worlickey, Keith Krzyzaniak, Bob Schneider, Joe Schuh
“We lost a couple of these guys, but most still live in the St. Paul area.
“Thought this might be an interesting picture for your Bulletin Board.”