“Indy”

Does anyone know where this photograph could have possibly been taken?

 Grandpa Norman

That’s my grandfather. He died when I was barely three months old.

I found this photograph a few years ago and I could swear it has “Indy” written on the back. Matt and I are planning a trip to Indianapolis this summer and my only must-do while in the city was to find this monument. This morning I realized that the monument shown in the photograph is not the monument I thought it was, the Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Monument located at Indianapolis Memorial Circle. There is no way they are the same.

I’ve scoured every photograph album and keepsake box I can find just so I can get my hands on the original photograph, to find out why I believe it says “Indy” on the back (if, in fact, it actually does). Of course, the photo is missing.

Is this a memorial for the USS Indianapolis, sunk by torpedoes in 1945 (highly unlikely, but worth a shot)? Is this another anonymous monument located somewhere in Indiana? Is Indy the photographer? I’m so confused. Especially because my grandfather fought in World War II and I have another photograph of him in Belgium, where he and the pilot were shot down (Grandpa was a tail gunner).

That pretty much means this photograph could have been taken anywhere in the world.

I’m not sure why this is eating at me so badly. Maybe because I have never met the man, yet I have had dreams about him in his Army uniform.  Learning anything about him has been difficult. It was only after Elle and I visited the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Pooler, Georgia, that I learned my grandfather was a part of this group. So even while I was there walking the halls and strolling the memorial gardens with names immortalized in granite, I was among his people (some still alive and providing tours of the museum!!), yet I had no idea. Getting to know anything about him seems impossible. My grandfather seems so frustratingly untouchable…unknowable.

I need to find out where this was taken.

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About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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7 Responses to “Indy”

  1. ~Matt says:

    Bummer. I was really hoping it was in Indy!

    • Dena says:

      Me, too! The S&S downtown is gigantic with a thick base. I’m wondering if this photo was perhaps taken overseas. 😦

      • Lee I says:

        Is it for sure your grandfather, not a friend of his nicknamed Indy? Was your grandfather from Indiana or something else that could make his nickname “Indy” to his buddies, one of whom may have taken this? My first reaction to the statue is that it looks more “old world” than American, but I’ve never lived places in the US that had old, grime-patina’d statuary. Do you want other people to spread this picture around?

      • Dena says:

        I don’t mind it being circulated, if only to find out where this was taken!

  2. Before I read a word of your post, I saw the pic and thought, “where in Europe was this taken?” It just doesn’t look like an American city, even the older northern/midwest ones, yeah? Just feels foreign, for lack of a better word. This is a definite curiousity! Let us know more details as you learn them and perhaps we’ll be able to stumble across the location?

  3. Pingback: A Dachshund, in Wartime | Two Girls and a Road

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