This is a 8Ē X 10Ē studio portrait of my dad, R. C. Hardy. I donít know exactly when it was taken, sometime in the forties.
He was born in Hempstead County, Arkansas, near the small town of Belton. His father Henry Hardy farmed and worked in the oil fields of southern Arkansas. I donít know a lot about my dad's youth, but I do know he attended high school in Luann, Arkansas, where he played on the football team. Henry Hardy moved his family to Gregg County in East Texas in 1931, at the start of the oil boom. My dad told stories of working for the Civilian Conservation Corps, near Woodville, Texas as a young man. The CCC was a Roosevelt Depression-era program that put young people to work on construction projects in parks, forests, etc.
R.C. joined the army in the late 30ís and served as a rear gunner in the A-17, a two-seater attack aircraft. He met my mother while he was stationed at Barksdale Army Air Corps Base near Shreveport, in 1937 or 38. He was discharged in 1939, and they married in October, 1940. He spent the war years working in defense plants and shipyards, primarily as a sheet metal worker.
After the war, R.C. worked for various small companies in Shreveport, as a sheet metal worker and later as a welder. In the late 1950's he joined the Boilermakers and Blacksmiths Union, Local 79, and worked as a welder on large industrial construction projects throughout Louisiana. He retired from construction work around 1980.
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© 2006 Gary Hardy