Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Love Story {In the spirit of Photojournalism}

photojournalism 2  Our definition of Photojournalism for the sake of this challenge:  Using an image (or images) to tell a story.

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I am sure you have heard this story before.

It has always been one of my favorites.

Enjoy.

John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn't, the girl with the rose. His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida library. Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin. The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind. In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner's name, Miss Hollis Maynell. With time and effort he located her address. She lived in New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond.

The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World War II. During the next year and one month the two grew to know each other through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A romance was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn't matter what she looked like. When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled their first meeting - 7:00 PM at the Grand Central Station in New York. "You'll recognize me," she wrote, "by the red rose I'll be wearing on my lapel."

At 7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he loved, but whose face he'd never seen. I'll let Mr. Blanchard tell you what happened: A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. Her blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her pale green suit she was like springtime come alive. I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose. As I moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips. "Going my way, sailor?" she murmured. Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her, and then I saw Hollis Maynell. She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat.. She was more than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes. The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld my own.

And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible, her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me to her. This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever be grateful.

I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment. "I'm Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?" The woman's face broadened into a tolerant smile. "I don't know what this is about, son," she answered, "but the young lady in the green suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should go and tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test!"

It's not difficult to understand and admire Miss Maynell's wisdom. The true nature of a heart is seen in its response to the unattractive. "Tell me whom you love," Houssaye wrote, "And I will tell you who you are."

70 comments:

Mari said...

I have never heard that story before. I love it! Great photo too!

Kristina P. said...

What a great, sweet story, Becky. Thanks for sharing!

Ashley Sisk said...

What a story and photo.

Kellie said...

i LOVE that photo!!! and what a great story!

lifebythecreek said...

What a wonderful photo, Becky. And the story... my goodness. I love it, and such a perfect pairing with your perfect picture. Just beautiful... you have outdone yourself...

Angela said...

Wow. I have nver heard that story before and it brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful, as is your picture!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I LOVE this story...so sweet and WISE.

Great photo Becky, as always!

Adrienne in Ohio said...

I never heard that story before--LOVE it!

Drew said...

Becky,

I absolutely love this photo! It's so casual, and the lighting is so warm. Total winner!

Anita Johnson said...

I haven't heard the story either, but it is perfect for the theme and the photos is wonderful! Way to go!

Hannah said...

Aw, I love this photo! How darling--great entry, and beautiful capture! :-)

Buckeroomama said...

Oh, I love the story! You do always come up with the most appropriate quote/song/story to go with your photos! :)

Danelle said...

I just love this picture, and the story too. You know, I think you are a photojournalist. Your pictures always tell a great story.

*meaghan* said...

aww GREAT photo. i love it.

Tracy P. said...

Ahh, so sweet! The photo is the perfect compliment to the story. I so agree with the commenter above me. You are totally a photo journalist. That's the whole charm of your blog!

Dana-from chaos to Grace said...

Oh BECKY! It's beautiful! It is such a sweet photo!

Amandalynn said...

This reminds me of an old-timey photo you'd see hanging in a vintage style ice cream shop - nice shot!

Weezer said...

I've heard the story before but had forgotten it. And the photo is perfect. Great job.
Happy new week.
Weezer

Is My Mam Kaison back in school? I guess by now everyone is. Remember when no one started until after Labor Day?

Callie Callender said...

50 years from now, I want a photo like that of my husband and I... what a beautiful moment!

Callie Callender said...

50 years from now, I want a photo like that of my husband and I... what a beautiful moment!

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

LOVE it, B!!!

Katherine said...

Good golly gosh - beautiful.

K xx

Marilyn said...

Ah, Becky, another inspiring post from you. What a heart you have to be able to choose to share what you do. Hope your week is a good one.

Puna said...

What a wonderful love story!

allisonhoffman said...

love the photo and love the story!! P.S. that ice cream shop has THE BEST coconut ice cream, recognizing the ice cream shop makes me think of my own stories and memories there, mmm makes me hungry for some ice cream :)

Formerly known as Frau said...

Love it!! Happy Monday Becky!

jen@odbt said...

Wow - the stories this couple could tell. You can just see the love.

My Photographic Eye by Irela said...

What an amazing love story. Thank you so much for brightning my day with your beautiful words and sweet photo.

Veronica said...

Beautiful!

Becca said...

Oh how I love this! :-) you rock as always!

Laurie Endsley said...

I love this... all of it, the picture, the story, all of it! It reminds me of my grandparents who met after WWII when Grandpa was enrolling in college classes and Grandma was working the enrollment table... 66 year together this year. :) Good job!

Cheryl said...

Every visit to your blog just gets better and better. Your words, the stories you choose to share and the stunning way you are able to pair you amazing photographs with just the right story. thank you for sharing the beauty you see in this world.

Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

This is perfect and such a beautiful story.

ArtsyCanvasGirl said...

Wow! I agree with Cheryl...your blog just gets better and better. You do an amazing job paring up the right photos with the right story! And today you brought the beauty of love into my life! Thank you!

Kellee said...

I never heard this story before, either, but I do so love it. :) Thanks for sharing. :)

Maddy said...

I LOVE your posts, Becky!! They are always a breath of fresh air in this crazy world :)And that IHF entry is so touching...just a quite moment. Beautiful!

Rebecca said...

Awesome photo.

Adria said...

I don't know or care if the story is true. The photo tells a wonderful job on its own. and the words that follow make you believe it through and through.

photowannabe said...

Well, I have to work my way around the lump in my throat.
This is a delicious story that truly pulls on the heart-strings. Magnificient piece of photo journalism.

Hula Girl at Heart said...

Great story. Even better photo.

Angie - The Arthur Clan said...

I honestly think this is my favorite photo that you have ever submitted to IHF...I love this so much Becky!

Amie said...

WOW thank you for sharing :)

Mrs.Mayhem said...

The story is awesome. I've never heard it before, but I really love it. And, your photo's not too bad either :) The story and the photo are perfect together!

Suki said...

Superb shot and I love the story so much.
Honestly this is a amazing shot against light.

Crystal Rae said...

Amazing photo. I love it. great choice.

Gigi said...

Have never seen this story. Loved it! Gave me goosebumps!

Big Fat Mama said...

I've never heard this story! Thanks for sharing. :)

I saw your comment on Amy's blog. I love Women of Faith. Are you going to the conference this year? I'm going in October and can't wait. I am always blessed when I go!
Big Fat Mama

Lori said...

Oh my goodness...this photo is precious...and this story...wow! I have never heard it before. I am really touched by this. Thank you for sharing it!

Just Bits and Pieces said...

That story never fails to bring tears to my eyes....thank you for posting it...and your beautiful photo!

Jaz said...

I wasnt going to read the story. just tell you what I thought of the photo
which by the way is pretty cool - I like the symmetry and cute old familiar couple.
The story was really good! Who was it written by?
Love the fact you put them both together because they do match
nice work!
xxx

Carol said...

I love everything about this entry. The photo didn't even need the story to complete it, it was added bonuse.

I'm so glad I clicked on your entry today. AMazing!

Hilary said...

Oh yes, I knew this story but like Blanchard, I had trouble turning away from this wonderful photo in order to read it. What a beautiful shot.

Mommy to Tyler & Kendall said...

The picture alone is wonderful and then the story, nicely done.

Britney said...

What a great photo & story! Wonderful post as always! :D

Serline said...

Lovely photo, even lovelier story. Hope my hubby and I will grow old gracefully, together...

Liz said...

What a sweet story!

Mom of M&Ms said...

THis photo gave me goosebumps.. Love ti!! and as always yoru stories. Thanks for the visit to my blog!

jennykate77 said...

Great story! GORGEOUS photo! You're amazing!

Jenny said...

that's a great story :) and i love the photo. so sweet.

God's Favorite Shoes! said...

You know what's crazy. I looked at this pic and thought "HEY! She totally do a feature where she posts a random pic that she shot and have the readers come up with a short story for it and the one that she likes...she could post the story w the pic later."

It's the English teacher in me:)

Foursons said...

Congrats, congrats, CONGRATS on being Amy and Angie's pick this week!!!!!! Awesome shot girly!

Aspiemom said...

I'd forgotten all about that story and it was so neat to read it again, especially after seeing your great photo. Congrats on being Amy & Angie's pick!

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Congrats on being one of Amy & Angie's top picks this week!

Mommyista said...

Saw your sweet comment on my blog and just had to check out yours...LOVE! Your images are beautiful and your words are true! So glad to be connected.

LisaBE said...

Love it! Congratulations. :-)

Kate said...

It's the Creamery!!! The best ice cream place ever. I was just there two days ago when I was on a trip to PA=) Very cute picture and the story is so sweet....

Mrs4444 said...

Loved the story; what a great twist.

Mighty M said...

Great story - first time I have heard it too!

The Animator's Wife said...

Sorry. last person on the planet to realize you got a well deserved nod on this one! It's terrific, loved your bw version too. Congratulations, way to go!!!

Amy said...

I love this photo and I love the story. Congrats on being a favorite this week