Memory Monday, Week 2

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From 1909 until 1967, the California State Fair grounds were located at Stockton Boulevard and Broadway in south Sacramento; the State Fair was held there annually except for 1942 through 1947, when the army occupied the fairgrounds due to the war.  Nowadays we have the more centralized Cal Expo fairgrounds, and there are few if any remnants of the grand brick buildings in the former location.  These images are dated 1950.

In 1951, when my dad was stationed at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, because of the Korean Conflict, my mom traveled by train from California on the Sunset Limited to spend a little time with him.  While there she took these photographs.

The Alamo — that enduring Texas landmark.

The Alamo Cenotaph, 60 feet high, with carvings of the Alamo defenders.  The south side,  seen here, is called “The Spirit of Sacrifice.”

During her visit to San Antonio, my mom toured the Brackenridge Zoo — and I really have to say something here.  Back in 1951, clearly the animal enclosures left a lot to be desired; but most zoos in this country at the time were about the same.  Luckily since then we’ve begun to figure out that animals in captivity need more space and specially adapted habitats to live in reasonable comfort and good health (both physical and emotional). I’m sure we still have a long way to go.

That said, these photos were taken in 1951.  I feel more than a little uncomfortable seeing these animals in their small, sometimes bare cages.  I wonder why the panther’s housing looks so small; why the giraffe is standing with its face to the concrete wall of the enclosure; and why the rhino is missing its horns.  But I suppose it’s necessary to look back once in awhile, if only to measure our progress in the area of animal welfare.


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Next week I’ll have some more cheerful sights from 1951 San Antonio and Yosemite.


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