When (and Where) Marvin Met Mildena

It’s late September 1942 and Marvin Mischnick is in the army and stationed in Los Angeles. Late one Saturday night (actually early Sunday morning) while out with some friends Marvin spots an attractive young lady (one Mildena Bates), chases her down and introduces himself. They go to a bar where they have a beer, kiss and then head to the movies where they make out some more. How do I know all this? Because in 1946 Marvin returned to L.A. and photographed all of the places they went that night and many other places where they spent time during his time in L.A. ┬áThere are also shots of the spot where they got engaged and multiple locations where they made “passionate married love” after they moved to Chicago. It’s an amazing record of their relationship as well as a great look at downtown L.A. in the mid-40s. Click here to see them all.

p.s. Spoiler Alert: Sadly the last photo in the series is the last photo I have of them together. It was taken on Thanksgiving Day in 1947in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. But by 1948 (as far as I can tell from my rudimentary googling) Mildena was back in L.A. while Marvin remained in Chicago and became a commercial photographer. He died in 2018 at the ripe old age of 99 and his obituary (which might be as good as the photos themselves) makes no mention of Mildena whatsoever.

 

How I Spent the War (or Memories of My Melancholy Whores)

WWII wasn’t all D-Day and Guadalcanal. These photos were taken from an album of a soldier who spent the war stationed in Venezuela and Antigua and he and his buddies seemed to have spent most of their time drinking and literally whoring around. I should note that I don’t know if all of these women were prostitutes but given the effect of the war on what was already a pretty bleak third-world economy (food shortages, inflation, etc…) you could hardly blame them if they were. See the full gallery here.

The Mysterious Chin-Tickler and Her Military Men

Who is this woman and why is she ticking these soldiers under their chins? These were part of a huge lot of 1940s era photo booth photos that has since been dispersed into many different collections. There were photos of her with lots of other non-military men as well as plenty of photos taken in the same booth (if in fact it was a booth) without her in them at all. Was she working for the U.S.O entertaining soldiers about to head off to war? Or were these soldiers just returning from overseas? A mystery. Click here to see the series.