Posted on 01 April 2011.
By Judy Reed
Last week we ran a partial photo sent to us by Steve Hegedus, which showed two girls hitchhiking in Red Flannels, with one of the girls partially cut off. We asked readers to identify the girls, and they were happy to oblige!
The photo was one of several photos taken by LIFE Magazine in 1949, for a special spread on Red Flannel Day. It was published in December of that year.
Sue Harrison sent us a complete copy of the photo we ran last week, along with two other photos taken that day.
According to Dorothy Bishop (as told to Sue Harrison), they just gathered a group of high school girls together to take photos around town that day. The photo with the girls hitchhiking in Red Flannels was taken on Northland Drive, which was then US131. It’s unknown to us whether it was the north or south end of town.
Sue and several others identified the girl sitting with her thumb out as Marlene Heiss, (later Sipple). She was Red Flannel Queen the following year, 1950.
Shari Wesche (and a few others) positively identified the second girl (standing by the sign) as Shari’s mother, Janet (Call) Olmsted, who is now 79 years old. Shari talked with her mom about that day. “She said that when they (LIFE) came to town, they wanted the 16 and 17-year-olds to drop the flaps on the Red Flannels, and they were just in tears,” related Shari. “So the Clipper girls stepped in and said ‘No way!’”
The same two girls can be seen in the photos with the car. They appear to have been taken from the parking lot of what is now Cedar Chest, facing the east. You can see the building that is now Car Quest and the building on the corner of Main and Maple in the background.
In the car photos, Janet is on the left and Marlene is on the right. The man driving has not yet been positively identified. Sue noted that the girl standing at the left behind Janet is Suzanne (Wheeler) Anderson, and the girl standing at the right behind Marlene is Joyce (Bremmer) Empie.
Thanks to all of you that called on this photo, and to all of you that have been bringing in old photos and postcards. It sure is fun looking at old photos of what Cedar Springs used to look like and the people that lived here!