Monday, May 9, 2011


Back in the olden days, photographers would come to your home to take family pictures. Isn't this a lovely American Gothic photo? Since my younger brother, Alan, is missing, this picture was probably taken sometime between 1950 and 1951.  My father is at the back. My brother, David, is the one with ivy growing out of his ear.  My sister, Linda, is on the left and the only one with a smile.  Next to her is my oldest brother, John.  I'm the pouty girl sitting on my mother's lap. I think that I was afraid of the photographer, or just being contrary.  My oldest sister, Karen, is on the right.

This picture was taken before we moved to the red brick house. I'm most likely about three. My mother made the dresses that my sisters and I are wearing. Karen and Linda's dresses were made from pastel taffeta. Mine was a green and white checked dress trimmed with white rick rack. I'm not quite sure why we weren't all matchy, matchy in our attire. We are also sporting the hair dos achieved by using pin curls and bobbie pins.

 This picture was taken at the same time as the picture above.  From left to right are my father, David, Linda, my mother, me on my mother's lap, Karen and John.

This was taken when my oldest sister got married in September of 1959.  Prior to having this family picture taken, I had been outside playing with neighborhood kids.  I guess that my mother had failed to let me know that a photographer was coming to take pictures because I was kind of sweaty and my hair was dirty - thus the slicked back pony tail. I remember that I was called inside and told to hurry up and get changed for the picture.

On the back row, left to right, are John, Linda, David, Me and my sister's new husband, Niels.  On the front row, left to right, are Bobbie Lu, John's wife, who is holding their oldest child, Roy.  Next to her is my grandmother, Isabelle (my Dad's mother).  She had come from Utah to live with us for a while.  She was 81 in this picture.  Next is my Father, then my Mother, Karen and my brother, Alan.

When the proof for this picture came back, my mother was shocked that her skirt and Karen's skirt didn't cover their knees.  The photographer lengthened their skirts somehow....early photoshopping!

I see details in these pictures that kind of bug me.  In the first picture, the photographer should have noticed the ivy growing out of my brother's ear. Everyone should have been more right so that the we were centered against the mantle.  The window blinds on one side are open, while the other side are closed.

In the second picture, we all look pretty good with sweet smiles.  But it bugs me that Linda's socks are pulled up and kind of slouchy, while Karen's are folded down.

The only thing that is a little curious in the third picture is that you can see someone's arm on the stair railing in back.  I have no idea who it is.  I don't think this picture was taken at our home so perhaps it is a member of the family where the picture was taken.  I love it that both of my brothers are in full Boy Scout uniform.

In the fourth picture, the top of John's head is cut off.  The photographer should have raised the camera a little to show less leg and it would have solved the head cut off problem.  Again, one blind is open and the other shut. My brother in law has a candle growing out of his shoulder, while David has some kind of tail looking thing coming out of his shoulder. Alan looks like he's some kid that wandered in off the street and stood at the edge of the photo. At least every one is more or less smiling; well, except for my grandmother who was never very happy about being in Virginia, and...the newlyweds.

And as for me in the last picture, my mother must have been extremely distracted to not give me enough warning to properly get cleaned up for the picture.  She was always one who was keen on looking clean and respectable.

1 comment:

  1. How wonderfully fortunate you are to have these lovely family photos. Despite the "flaws", you are a handsome group. I have next to nothing of the family I grew up in, and have no idea where the photos may have gone. Mom was not one for saving anything that might result in "clutter", but photos?

    I kind of prefer imperfect pictures myself. One of the earliest professional photos of our grandkids includes two in the act of running, two crying, one trying to aggressively wrest a toy from another, one sleeping, one actually smiling, and one looking completely confused by it all. That was the best picture we could get, but then it looks like a typical day so I love it.

    Am also lucky to have a photo of my great grandparents. Not looking at all stoic as is typical of the time, they both look like they are struggling not to burst into laughter. For that reason, having little information about them, I feel I know them.