Posted by: marthabernie | November 10, 2014


WWII, World War II, Mabel SHank Carlisle, Shank, Taft California, Taft Oil FieldsThis is another of my mother’s older sisters, Mabel Ada Shank Carlisle.  She married in Missouri and had a baby which died at birth, then later divorced and came to California, where many of her siblings ended up in the 1930’s because there was work here.  During World War II, she took a job in the oil fields at Taft, California, and this photo was taken during that time.  I got a copy of the photo from my Cousin Judy around 2000, and Judy thought it had been taken for a newspaper or magazine article, describing how women had jumped into jobs vacated by the men who were drafted to go fight in the war.  Mabel met Percy Carlisle when she was in Taft and they later married.  They lived in Taft, in Cambria, and then moved to Arizona in their later years.  Mabel loved and collected antiques.  This photo is another of my favorites and it is hanging in my bedroom today.


  1. Love her. Thanks for sharing aunt Mabel!


  2. Yes, love this photo, and thank you for posting it She is a real life “We Can Do It!” poster from WWII


  3. I am fascinated with her clothes. She was stylish. Those shoes are very popular today. It all comes back, doesn’t it?


    • Yes, she was very short and long-waisted, but she always wore very stylish clothes! In the 60’s I remember she wore cashmere sweater sets!


      • Hi Martha, I remember my mom showing me that photo and telling me the same thing you wrote above. The picture had a fascination for me, and looking back now, I think the outdoorsiness, capablness and contentedness of Mabel in that picture was one of the many tiny bits of life events/experiences that shaped me into being an archaeologist. What an inspirational photo for me to see on a Monday morning!:)


      • I had never seen this photo until after your grandmother died and your mom and I were going through her photos when I was up in Napa with them. I think your grandmother got it when Mabel and Percy died, as it never seemed to circulate in the family…or at least that my mother or I ever saw. Anyway, I got the story from your mom also. Glad it brought brightened your day.


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