The little girl was walking swiftly with her family when suddenly she said. "whoa!"
She stopped to stare at the 70-year-old graphic image, powerful and intense. In a minute she was off to catch up with her family, headed towards the garish gift shops of San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf, away from the historic Liberty Ship and Submarine moored on the dock of the bay.
The Jeremiah O'Brian is largely maintained by volunteers. Walking through the quarters where the men lived, while their wives and moms were at home learning how to produce war ships, you'll have a sensation of the sacrifice and intense closeness of life aboard ship.
I felt respect for what everybody did back then, and also for the people who keep the evidence alive by scraping, restoring, and continually inspecting the boat. And I thought again about that classic poster. I felt gratitude for the American propanda artist who made that image speak to women of that time, urging them to go far beyond their comfort zones to learn difficult new skills for which they were mocked and belittled by many. I also appreciated the little girl in the blue jeans, who'd been stopped in her tracks by that poster seven decades later.
That's an enduring image.