As part of National Michigan Day, I was going to write about the most recognized image of a woman in modern times – Rosie the Riveter. The poster image was part of a campaign aimed at boosting morale among company workers at Westinghouse Electric Corporation. (I didn’t know that).
It’s interesting to note that while most of us recognize the Rosie poster, it was on display for only two weeks in February 1943. It was part of a larger effort to encourage women to join the wartime labor force. Rosie the Riveter was replaced by a series of at least 40 other promotional images, few of which actually included women. As for Rosie, after that brief exposure in 1943; she disappeared for forty years, only to be revived again as the Feminism and other heated political issues took center stage in the 1980s.
While there is no way of knowing with complete certainty who Rosie the Riveter was, for years people believed a Michigan woman named Geraldine Hoff Doyle was the model for the famous poster. Doyle worked briefly as a metal presser in a factory in 1942. When she saw a reproduction of the poster in a magazine in the 1980s, she stepped forward and claimed the image was based on her. By the 1990s, media reports were identifying Geraldine Hoff Doyle as the “real-life Rosie the Riveter”. This claim was even included in her obituary in 2010.
In 2011, at a reunion of female war workers at the Alameda Naval Air Station, a woman named Naomi Parker Fraley saw a photo on display of the real-life Rosie, and recognized herself.
The caption of the photo identified the woman in the center as Geraldine Hoff Doyle flanked by friends. When she tried to correct the mistake, her claim fell on deaf ears despite the fact that she had the original newspaper clipping. It was part of a story that had appeared in the Pittsburgh Press (as in Pittsburgh, California). The article was meant to demonstrate that women could still be ladies even while doing a man’s job. The original caption spoke volumes about how women were regarded, even while supporting the War Efforts.
Pretty Naomi Parker is as easy to look at as overtime pay on the week’s check.
If you were to ask me, I believe Naomi Parker Fraley is the inspiration for Rosie. Why? I’m partial to the Alameda Naval Air Station. It’s in my backyard, so to speak. Hubby and I visit the Naval Station every couple of months to attend a huge Antique Flea Market. It’s kind of neat to think we might be walking in her footsteps. Besides, I think the photo of Naomi on the job looks a lot like Rosie.
So here’s to the great state of Michigan, even if it’s not the home state of Rosie. Michigan did give us Detroit. And Detroit gave us the Automobile Industry. And without Automobile industry, we’d have no need for Car Hops and Burgers.
The Original Papa Burger
4 tablespoons Mayonnaise
6 teaspoons Heinz Hamburger Relish (the red stuff)
1 Large Tomato
1/2 White Onion
Iceberg Lettuce as needed
Butter as needed
4 Sesame Seed Buns
8 Frozen Quarter-Pound Burgers
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
8 slices American Cheese
Hamburger Pickle Chips as needed
Mix the mayonnaise with the Hamburger Relish to make the “Papa Burger Sauce”. Set aside until ready to use.
Slice the tomato into thin slices. Set aside. Peel the onion, cut into thin rings, break apart and set aside. Chop or shred the lettuce, set aside. Brush the buns with a little butter. Set aside until ready to toast. Now that the prep work is done, it’s time to cook.
Heat a griddle or outdoor grill. Liberally salt and pepper both sides of the frozen hamburger patties. Cook frozen patties about 3 minutes per side. Top each patty with cheese. Keep warm.
Toast the buns, then build the burger: Bottom Bun, Cheeseburger, another Cheeseburger, slice of tomato, some onions, pickles, shredded lettuce. Brush the top bun generously with the mayonnaise mixture, the crown the burger with the top bun.
Enjoy your Papa Burgers with fries and a big, frosty mug of Root Beer.