Rosie the Riveter

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L to R, John Nutt, Betty Reid Soskin, and Ann Nutt at the Rosie the Riveter Visitor Education Center


On a recent trip to the Bay Area, Ken and I met with our film and sound editor, John Nutt, to discuss I Married the War. It is always gratifying to brainstorm with John, not only because he’s a great friend, but also because he brings a lifetime of experience to the table, including his work with well-known filmmakers on movies such as Amadeus, for which he won a BAFTA Film Award, Apocalypse Now, and The English Patient. He is also our film and sound editor for Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor.

As a bonus to the visit, we went to the Rosie the Riveter Visitor Education Center in Richmond, CA, where John’s wife, Ann, has volunteered since her retirement from her career as an attorney. The Center is part of the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historic Park, and was founded to preserve the history of women during the WWII years, and the difficulties they overcame when faced with “gender discrimination, hazardous working conditions, food rationing, and shortages of housing and childcare,” as mentioned on the website.

Rosie the Riveters were women who stepped forward to do the jobs of men who were out of the country fighting the war . . . jobs like building warships in Richmond, CA. Not only did these women show their strengths during the war, but they also helped their husbands who later came home forever changed by the mental and physical wounds of combat, the latter of which is not unlike that of the women, and now men, in every war.

The highlight at the museum was when Ann and John took us to hear 95-year-old Park Ranger Betty Reid Soskin, the oldest national park ranger in the US, who spoke about her experiences as a young African American woman during WWII. She worked as a clerk at a union so men could go on to the more dangerous work related to the war effort. Ms. Soskin keeps a rigorous schedule, speaking three times a week. Many other park rangers attend her sessions in order to learn from her. She is a beautiful example of how to master the challenges in our lives and use them for good.

Here are links to the museum’s website, and two articles about Ms. Soskin:

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