Rosie the Riveter has died ... She was a cellist

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    Dec 30, 2010 10:03 AM GMT
    "Geraldine Doyle, 86, who as a 17-year-old factory worker became the inspiration for a popular World War II recruitment poster that evoked female power and independence under the slogan "We Can Do It!," died Dec. 26 at a hospice in Lansing, Mich.

    Her daughter, Stephanie Gregg, said the cause of death was complications from severe arthritis.

    For millions of Americans throughout the decades since World War II, the stunning brunette in the red and white polka-dot bandanna was Rosie the Riveter.

    Rosie's rolled-up sleeves and flexed right arm came to represent the newfound strength of the 18 million women who worked during the war and later made her a figure of the feminist movement.

    But the woman in the patriotic poster was never named Rosie, nor was she a riveter. All along it was Mrs. Doyle, who after graduating from high school in Ann Arbor, Mich., took a job at a metal factory, her family said. ...

    She barely lasted two weeks. A cellist, Mrs. Doyle was horrified to learn that a previous worker at the factory had badly injured her hands working at the machines. She found safer employment at a soda fountain and bookshop in Ann Arbor ... "
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    Dec 30, 2010 11:18 AM GMT
    Sad to hear, my friend reminded me and another friend of her cause she would wear her bandanna the same way as Rosie the Riveter. So we gave her the nickname Rosie, so sad to hear
  • MusicMan87

    Posts: 305

    Dec 30, 2010 3:50 PM GMT
    wow totally cool, I probably played for her last semester! Our clarinet quintet played at several hospices in Lansing (where I go to school) and I remember someone talking about how they used to play cello and such, but I guess it could be anyone... Would be cool if I got to play for her before she died
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    Dec 30, 2010 8:58 PM GMT
    I'm totally wearing my shirt like this tomorrow:

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    Dec 30, 2010 9:19 PM GMT
    Don't forget the head scarf. You can't pull it off without one of those.
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    Dec 30, 2010 10:35 PM GMT
    I have always been in awe of people, women or men, who do what no one thinks they can do.

    My own mother, at 20 in the middle of the Great Depression, went to work to buy her parents a house, after my grandfather had been ruined by the stock market crash. He had suffered some kind of mental breakdown, unable to deal with his misfortune, living in a series of rental homes. This when many men couldn't find work, much less buy a house. But my mother did, by 1939 at age 22.

    And when the war came she put on a Civil Defense uniform, her own mother going into an aircraft plant (though no riveter, just a secretary). Her only brother voluntarily enlisting (as did my father and his 3 brothers), fighting in North Africa but killed a few weeks after landing in Normandy. I was named after this late hero in 1949, shortly after his body was brought back from France for US reburial.

    When I put on an Army uniform myself I was the 10th generation in my family to do so since early Colonial times, and my oldest son wears a US Air Force uniform today, now the 11th generation. Our family has served during every war the US has ever fought, including the Civil War, the women in some manner, too.

    Funny, because I never thought of my family in those terms when growing up, nothing we ever discussed among ourselves or made a fuss about, but when I do think about it today, there it is. And the women served, too.

    You serve your country in time of need, woman or man. All my family has, for 350 years in this country. Forget politics crap, which I argue here endlessly; bottom line is that you serve. If you haven't done that, you don't have a lot of credibility with me.

    "Rosie" and her fellow women were heroes in the Second World War. Whatever this particular woman may have done herself, the women on assembly lines across the US helped to win the war. I'm just sorry that when the war ended, Republicans set women's rights back another 50 years, creating a "Loretta Young" version of America, where women were a pretty wedding cake doll, and nothing more.

  • somedaytoo

    Posts: 704

    Dec 30, 2010 10:53 PM GMT
    @ Art: Very moving post. Even though it was lengthy, it was very engaging reading. Props to all who serve. I admire you all.