But who was that nurse? What was her story? Where did she end up after that kiss? No one knows. The photographer never got either of their names. And it was exactly this not-knowing that inspired Ann Howard Creel to create Gwen, a young nurse making her way in New York City during World War II—a time when people made extraordinary sacrifices, and whirlwind romances often led to hasty marriages and profound repercussions. Creel wondered, what if Gwen had to grapple with the outcome of one of these hasty marriages? What if she was left to care for a child of an MIA soldier when his unstable wife disappeared? Could she love this child as her own? What if the child’s father or mother returned?
I love that Creel let a snapshot open the door to an entire world and then created unforgettable characters in heartbreaking circumstances to inhabit it. I wonder what picture might inspire her next.
- Jodi Warshaw, Editor