building and that nearly all the old pictures were thrown
When I was a kid, the Register and Tribune had an enormous photo library, in a room
perhaps eighty feet by sixty feet, where I would often pass an agreeable half hour if I
to wait for my mom. There must have been half a million pictures in there, maybe more.
You could look in any drawer of any filing cabinet and find real interest and excitement
from the city’s past—five-alarm fires, train derailments, a lady balancing beer
her bosom, parents standing on ladders at hospital windows talking to their polio-
children. The library was the complete visual history of Des Moines in the twentieth
century. Free 4.0 V2 Womens
Recently I returned to the R&T looking for illustrations for this book, and discovered
to my astonishment that the picture library today occupies a very small room at the back
of the building and that nearly all the old pictures were thrown out some years ago.
“They needed the space,” Jo Ann Donaldson, the present librarian, told me with a
slightly apologetic look. Free 4.0 V3 Couple
I found this a little hard to take in. “They didn’t give them to the state historical
society?” I asked.
She shook her head.
“Or the city library? Or a university?”
She shook her head twice more. “They were recycled for the silver in the paper,” she
So now not only are the places mostly gone, but there is no record of them either.
LIFE MOVED ON FOR PEOPLE, too—or in some unfortunate cases stopped altogether.
My father slipped quietly into the latter category in 1986 when he went to bed one night
and didn’t wake up, which is a pretty good way to go if you have to go. He was just shy
of his seventy-first birthday when he died.