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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • NORWAY IN SEPTEMBER, c. 1920s

Family Gathering: 1958

Family Gathering: 1958

This was taken at my uncle's house near Venice Beach, California. I was about 3, so this would be 1958. From the left, my uncle (Dad's brother), a biochemist of some renown; Dad's other brother; their mom; my mom (squinting in the sun); my granddad (father of the two guys on the left); and last but not least, my aunt (wife of the biochemist), who was one of the finest people I knew. I do not know what became of her after the early '70s. Finally, the boys. The bigger one eventually became really wealthy, an owner of a professional sports team, and had legal trouble. The smaller one is yours truly, squinting like his mom! This was taken at a time when my little extended family was not only alive but still functional. As usual, the cameraman was Dad! Back then, he had a 35mm camera he bought in Japan on leave from fighting in Korea. Some of these peeps have appeared in my Christmastime pictures, posted earlier. Enjoy. View full size.

Little black dress

Your mother is very chic! It was relatively unusual for younger women to wear black, especially in the daytime, before Audrey Hepburn popularized the look in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1960).

What a lovely scenario

That could, would and should have happened! Thank you.

Just a guess

That big kid is Bruce McNall, it hit me like a bolt. Didn't even need to look up a recent pic!

I thought the same thing

tterrace, When i first looked at the smaller picture I thought you had made two posts because it reminded me of your sister - a more elegant more grown up sister.

Wow!

Your mom was quite the stylish lady! Love the dress.

Little towhead

You're a ringer for my brother at that age and year.

Digging the Pearls

You're the little guy? You look exactly like my brother did when he was that age. And the ladies all have their pearls, a la June Cleaver. Very proper.

Family ties

Granddad's tie is awesome. Wonderful Aunt could be my sister: the bangs, sweater and all. Was Dad's Other Brother a Republican? He looks like Patrick Buchanan meets Joe McCarthy.

Superior Siding

The siding on Uncle's house must have inspired the now infamous T-111 siding that flourished in the 1970s. This earlier, apparently varnished siding looks much classier than does its current incarnation. I would absolutely wear Granddad's tie today.

Let me guess

It's eight o'clock Sunday night. Dinner was great, and dessert divine. After second cups of coffee and a little more conversation, the guests get up to leave when, suddenly, Dad says "Oh no! We forgot to get some pictures! Everyone out in front!" The sun is starting to set, so everyone has to stand facing it, just as it is starting to sink behind the horizon. "But Daddy!" cry the children, "The sun is hurting my eyes!" After a few false starts, everyone's eyes are starting to water, but they persevere and finally get the shots. At the next family get-together, the same thing happens, and the one after that, and the one after that etc. etc.. Decades later, as one of the younger generation sits looking at the family album, a small voice will be heard to ask, "Daddy, why did people in the olden days used to go around squinting all the time?"

How do I know this? Because the exact same thing happened with my (now ex) husband's side of the family! (Just substitute the coffee with alfalfa/mint tea.)

Addendum

The older boy is the son of the biochemist and the wonderful aunt. Despite his affluent background and superb education, he slid into white collar crime.

Interesting Phrase

"I do not know what became of her after the early '70s."

 
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