Shirlie Alice Montgomery • June 9, 1918 – Nov 5, 2012

Shirlie always had her camera handy.
Shirlie Alice Montgomery was born on Chapman Street in San Jose on June 9, 1918. She was an only child. To her friends and neighbors she was a treasure trove of history. Shirlie remembered it all. She remembered the Great Depression as a child, the Second World War as a young woman, and eventually the transformation of the Santa Clara Valley from a moderately sized agricultural town to the hustle and bustle of modern Silicon Valley. The majority of her memories were supported by the thousands of photographs in her collection.
Young Shirlie Montgomery

Shirlie a few years ago from an article in the Rose Garden Resident.

She was the grandniece of San Jose’s forefather T.S. Montgomery. Shirlie lived a colorful life but professionally she photographed it with a 4X5 Speed Graphic in B&W. She was a celebrated photographer that shot Hollywood stars, U.S. Presidents and pro wrestlers. Although Shirlie did work for the S. F. Examiner and the San Jose Mercury her works remain some of the best representations of pro wrestling from the 40’s thru the 60’s. When asked about her penchant for shooting professional wrestlers she would answer “I always liked the big boys”. Such stories Shirlie had! She passed away quietly on November 5, 2012. She will never be forgotten. God rest her soul.

Obituary written by Shirlie's good friend and neighbor Joe Holt

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Letter from Harry Truman

Shirlie had a friend who was a Rennaissance man of sorts ... an author, a photographer, an inventor, a book publisher and a dabbler in politics. Hal Stewart. This is a letter from ex-President harry Truman in Dec 1956 responding to a request ... or inquiry ... from Mr. Stewart. (At the time, I believe, Stewart was pursuing with the military an invention of his for an early warning air raid detection system/alarm.)

What makes this letter interesting is that ... one, it does appear to be Truman's actual signature, and two, his lament that he is no longer insider. (The image is poor, as I scanned this years ago when memory was precious.) The letter reads:

Dear Mr. Stewart:

In reply to your letter of the 14th, I am sorry I am not in a position to give you any information on this subject. I have been a complete outsider since January 20, 1953.

It seems to me that the best approach would be to contact the ?? Research Institute yourself and tell them what you want.

It is a great institution and has made many very valuable contributions to the welfare of this country.

Sincerely yours,
Harry Truman



This letter is in a private collection.

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