Four-year-old Jodi Jensen had had enough. She’d spent all morning at the Yakima Valley Regional Library carefully selecting her weekly library books (including Achilles the Donkey), playing in the water fountains, sliding down the banisters with her sister Tamera, and pushing all the elevator buttons. She was ready to go home and have a nap. Problem was, her mom Marianne hadn’t finished checking out her own books.
Exasperated, she leaned her forehead against the card catalog. A photographer from the Yakima Herald-Republic was at the ready, and snapped her sweet sourness. The photo won the sweepstakes in the annual 1969 Oregon-Washington Associated Press newsphoto contest, was snipped for family albums, and was all but forgotten.
Decades later, when the Washington State Library relocated from capital campus to its present location in Tumwater, it resurfaced as one of several photos used for lobby art. More recently, it was used in our ‘Hard Times Got You Down?’ resources bookmark and was distributed to libraries all over the state.
This past year we tried to get in touch with not Jodi, but Tamera, as the newspaper mistakenly identified the little girl as her sister. A few weeks ago, we heard from the Jensens. The whole family was going to be in the area for Byron and Marianne’s 50th wedding anniversary.
The family stopped on the way to their celebration destination excited to see the lobby photo and amazed at the celebrities they had become. Jodi, her sister Tamara, and parents jovially posed for photos and chatted with staff, remembering that fateful day. Jodi even recreated the Yakima scene on the second floor of the State Library. Thank you, Jensens, for making it such a fun day for the staff at WSL.
Where is the little girl in the lobby photo? She’s a hair stylist in Renton. And now you know the rest of the story!
Check out more photos of the Jensen family’s visit to the Washington State Library at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wsl-libdev/sets/72157627632872492/.