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The Class of ’42
And like caterpillars shedding their protective cocoons, the
graduates of the class of ’42 were bursting forth upon the scene
with exuberance, confidence, hope, and high expectation of a life to live,
not unlike a kaleidoscope of butterflies spreading their wings for the very
Graduation came and went for the class of ’42. The oval pictures,
amassed as a collage of all of the graduates, were now placed into
their individual scrapbooks for posterity. They were somewhat
surreal, however. There they were, all of the graduates, posed self-consciously, looking out into an unknown world with their individually
unique perspectives. The men and women of the class of ’42 tried to put on as brave a face as possible in light of everything that was going on around them. While their facial features seemed to wear smiles, it was an illusion.
They were forced smiles or sardonic smirks that were coming back at
the camera—looks that were captured for all of time by an impartial
lens to the world that did not lie, looks that were both superficial and
unnerving and difficult to define. Their eyes gave them away as they
were lifeless, without spark or sparkle, draped in fear perhaps, apprehensive of an unknown future.
The women appeared tense and anxious as to how their lives
were going to unfold. Optimism, confidence, and excitement—traits
that were expected after graduation—were lacking in almost all of
their expressions. Nevertheless, they tried to put forth as brave a front
as possible for the camera. They may have deceived themselves in
their own minds, but the camera remained detached. It was as if the
camera’s lens could look right down into their very souls and extract
what was really on their minds, unmasking that truth to the world
The men appeared equally tense, but also displayed an air of
arrogance and false confidence, based perhaps on a fictitious notion
that their world was theirs for the taking. It wasn’t. They were delusional.
World events were suddenly in control of their lives, and of their sense and sensibilities, but they didn’t realize that sad fact.
Buy the book. Kurofune: The Black Ships