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In 1936, Civilian Conservation Corps photographer and landscape architect Edouard Exline took this photograph of a boy in the Smokies. Though the scene depicts a run-of-the-mill chore—drawing water from a well drilled on the property—it’s a favorite of Mike Aday, the librarian-archivist for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. No matter what the season or weather outside, to Aday, the image evokes cold, clear water on a hot summer day. “I can almost hear the song of cicadas and the whisper of a warm breeze through the dry grass,” he says. “Was he daydreaming, looking into the depths of the well? Was he wishing he was somewhere else? Fishing perhaps, or sitting under the shade of a poplar reading a comic book?”

NPS, GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK PHOTO

In 1936, Civilian Conservation Corps photographer and landscape architect Edouard Exline took this photograph of a boy in the Smokies. Though the scene depicts a run-of-the-mill chore—drawing water from a well drilled on the property—it’s a favorite of Mike Aday, the librarian-archivist for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. No matter what the season or weather outside, to Aday, the image evokes cold, clear water on a hot summer day. “I can almost hear the song of cicadas and the whisper of a warm breeze through the dry grass,” he says. “Was he daydreaming, looking into the depths of the well? Was he wishing he was somewhere else? Fishing perhaps, or sitting under the shade of a poplar reading a comic book?”

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