In this week’s episode, I sort photos expecting to find many from World War 2. Instead I find a disaster of jumbled photos, many of which were curled making it difficult to unroll with care. While I do find what looks like setting up a base in Iceland, I reluctantly set the curled photos aside stacked between books.
I turn back to Episode 2’s discovery of photos of my grandmother, Helen Hemlin Cooke, as the Director of Publicity for the Air Force Officers’ Spouse’s Club and her broader career in publicity. After writing to the club, I bring you along on another side trip.
You’ll learn about Times Square and Empire State Building lighting pioneer, Douglas Leigh, for whom my grandmother worked 1938 – 45. Leigh’s archives in the Smithsonian Archives of American Art contain photos, business documents, correspondence and other artifacts.
The Air Force Officers’ Wives (now Spouse’s) Club responds to my inquiry so I go looking for more of photos of the club. Along the way I find several photos from World War 2 and endless distractions including a few dozen baby pictures of me.
I find Helen’s patent documentation, her book, Distinguished Women of Washington D.C., a White House invitation, and a photo I’d never seen before.