The Kiss

A lot of time has passed, but I still have some vivid memories of my grade school years. I remember starting each fall with new clothes—stiff shoes, fresh jeans, and uncomfortable flannel shirts. I remember carrying my lunch box to school, learning cursive lettering with a thick yellow pencil, and watching with fascination as one of my classmates dipped his finger into the paste and slipped a big glob into his mouth. I remember a number of schoolyard romances, and I can recall with fondness my closest friend, Jim.

But my mind goes blank when I try to remember anything like the event recorded in the picture at left. At least, not at school.

According to the Museum’s records, this romantic encounter occurred at Calaveras School, a one-room structure just north of the Calaveras River, sometime in 1942. The boy and girl were six years old. They probably couldn’t have cared less that Hitler had recently annexed most of Europe and that the United States had entered World War II the previous winter in response to the attack at Pearl Harbor.

Isn’t love wonderful?

Those of us who work at the Museum never know what we might discover from day to day. But we don’t always get enough details to know the full story. So it is with this photograph.

Most red-blooded humans can identify with the emotion expressed in the picture. Perhaps the sight of this image will jog the memories of this girl and boy—or someone else who witnessed their kiss. What was the occasion? What happened to this affectionate couple? Did the romance last?

Can anyone out there tell us more about this schoolyard romance from long ago?

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