It is always nice when one of my blog posts opens a door to a connection and a discovery or further elaboration of a topic. Such was the case recently when I was contacted by Adam Randazzo from New York, who had read an old post here about the unusual children's photo books published back in the 1950's by husband-and-wife team Dale and Sally Rooks.
I found your name and blog while Googling for Dale Rooks. There isn't much information I can find about him online, but I have some pretty interesting photos he took during WWII. During that time, my grandfather was a medic in the coast guard. Dale was placed on my grandfather's ship and was a photographer for LOOK magazine at the time. My grandfather was given the duty of basically accompanying him wherever he wanted to go to while he was taking photographs. Their travels took them all over France, Italy, Iceland, and North Africa.
During the process, the two of them became extremely close friends. After the war was over, Dale travelled to my grandparents wedding and photographed it for them. As a wedding gift, he presented my grandfather with a large collection of photos that he had taken during the war. This collection is in a large book and contains over a hundred of photos that he took. My mother received the book after my grandfather passed away at the age of 94 late last year. I am currently in the process of scanning and digitizing the entire collection. When I am done with that, I will be putting up a website with all of the images as its a truly amazing collection.
You are correct that Dale died young. According to my grandfather, he lived fast and was completely fearless. Next time I see my grandmother, I will see if she can tell me more stories about him. I believe Dale died of lung cancer if I remember correctly - but I may be wrong. I will also try to find out what happened of his wife.
Anyways, after reading your blog, I felt that I would share this with you as you sound like someone who may really appreciate the history.
I have attached a couple of photos that Dale took. My grandfather is the medic in the one picture and it was in LOOK magazine.
Thanks again for making the blog post!
Adam Randazzo / Western NY
Adam now has a great new blog up and is posting this collection of Dale Rook's war time photography.
It seems like a strange journey from being a Robert Capa to making books about Cute Bunnies and Puppies, but when you think about the myriad experiences of men at war struggling to come back to civilian life, perhaps not so odd after all.
Check it out!