This has been a favorite photo of mine for quite some time. It is a photograph of my former mother-in-law Francis (Ford) Cole doing a Betty Grable type pose for the camera. It was taken in the late 40s or the early 50s by her then-boyfriend Charlie, who was into photography. It was shot in Sheridan, Wyoming. Following is a little background on Frances’s life at that time, and how this Iowa farm girl ended up in Wyoming.
In an interview with her daughter, Kathleen, she stated that “From high school, she went directly into the cadet nursing program – in Rochester, Minnesota. It was a 2-year government program during the war. (WW II) However, the war was over by the time she graduated, so she and her girlfriends decided to go out West to Sheridan, Wyoming. So, they all went together. Her father, John Thomas Ford, signed the note for her to buy car, (It may have been a Plymouth or a Chevy), to make the trip with. She got a job as a nurse there.”
I’m not sure why it appeals to me so, but I think it may be that it shows the optimism of that period after World War II; she being so young with her life ahead of her. Besides that, she’s just plain cute! When asked the same question, why do you like this picture – what do you think of when you see it, her daughter Kathleen said, “I just think I like it because she was young and out on her own and loving life.” She went on to say, “I was told stories by her sisters, my aunt’s, that she was always the fun, adventurous one. She liked to do chores with her brother, rather than cook or do any of the inside chores. She had a hot temper. She was fun-loving, loved to dance, loved to try new things, and go to new places.”
She is missed by so many.
Here’s to you, Frannie!