What an amazing back-story regarding the fancy (expensive) shoes worn for Dewey's graduation photo. I can see both sides of this matter, both from the perspective of wanting to celebrate an important occasion and have something wonderful to wear for special occasions--and also from the point of view of the father who's been sending money back home while far away from home, fighting in the Great War.
While this ought to be a time of joy and celebration, Dewey seems to be showing some mixed emotions here--a sparkle (deep down) of joy overlaid with layers and layers of solemness. This mixture of moods shows both in her facial expression and the way both of her hands are down low by her sides, even though she is holding a scroll of paper tied with a bow. She could have been holding this certificate / diploma up as one might hold a bouquet of flowers in happy times--yet that is not the case here, and there is a very somber tone.
I've found most high school graduation photos during both WWI and WWII to be similarly somber in tone, as clearly these times were scary--even for young people going to high school and graduating.
Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful photo, and it's back-story, too! The shoes really are marvelous!