Though my father William Lloyd Beck, known to his family as Lloyd, came from a family of modest means, a camera was always nearby. His mother Kate took charge as the family photographer, developing glass plate negatives and prints herself. Lloyd began taking photographs after buying a camera with income from his first job in 1925.
Too old for the draft, Lloyd first enlisted with the US Army in 1942, then signed up for a second hitch in 1945. He had advanced to the rank of captain in the Transportation Corps by the time the Army sent him to Yeongdeungpo, Seoul, Korea in June 1946. Though he was stationed there less than a year, the time affected him deeply. He saw many young boys selling brass pieces on the streets to get by, and he returned to the US with an Army-issued foot locker filled with these pieces, several of which I still have.
These photos were always special to me as a girl because they show a place and people so different from where both my father and I grew up in rural western Kentucky. He would be happy to know that these pictures have meaning for others.
- Nora Beck