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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

It's Curtains: 1955

It's Curtains: 1955

Here's my mother's drapes and curtains again, not to mention my mother, along with me and my father. I didn't get decked out like that for an ordinary Sunday, so this has to be some special occasion. Mother's all dolled up, but the fancy apron and the condensation on the window point to a major cooking operation going on in the kitchen. All the relatives are probably coming over. Her African violets are cooperating by not only being alive, but blooming. Appropriately enough, there's a Saturday Evening Post in the magazine rack, and, good California family that we are, a Sunset. The only mystery is the yardstick on the floor under the chair. An Ansco Color slide by my brother. Phantom images from the desk lamp must mean he had a couple misfires before the flash went off. View full size.

Red Ryder BB Gun

It's Ralphie from "A Christmas Story"!

Happy Hour

Regarding tterrace's Sunday dinners with wine, when we had dinner with my grandparents, my grandfather would give us wine diluted with 7-Up. The older we got, the less 7-Up. None of us turned into alcoholics. By the way, great tie and thanks for all of the great pictures you post.

The Edsel and Me

Given my interest at the time, I have surprisingly few photos specifically of cars, and none of the Edsel. I know didn't think much of the design; the front end reminded me of a silly-looking cartoon fish or something. A year or so earlier, though, I trotted down the hill and across the street to Hil Probert's DeSoto-Plymouth and snapped off this shot of the business end of a 1956 Plymouth. Funny, I just now noticed the trunk lid is popped.

[Ooh. Flat duo jets. I still have my 1956 Plymouth. It's blue rubber with yellow wheels. - Dave]

E-Day

My favorite tterrace pics are the ones with cars. Where were you and your camera 9-4-57?

Happy Hour with tterrace

I missed responding to the title of the first comment. We were never big alcohol drinkers. Father always had a small glass of Burgie (that's an old beer brand) with dinner, poured from a brown quart bottle, and we'd have wine for Sunday dinners. At around this time, I'd be having a diluted one, wine, water and sugar. We had before-dinner drinks only on Sundays as part of the cheese-and-crackers ritual. Eventually, I was able to have a very weak highball (aka bourbon-and-Seven) or wine cooler on these occasions. For big deal, dining room dinners with guests, the after-dinner liqueurs would be hauled out - Cointreau, creme de menthe, creme de cacao (with a layer of cream or half-and-half floating on top), Forbidden Fruit. In any event, the supplies in our small liquor cabinet lasted forever. I myself never took up regular alcohol consumption.

More family secrets

My mother mostly smoked Philip Morris, interspersed with mentholated Kools when her throat got too raw. The one in her fingers is cork-tipped, which my memory, such as it is, associates with Kools. Family lore is inconsistent on the timing depending on who you talk to, but my recollection is that she quit just a few years after this. She'd gotten a scare by accidentally dropping either an ember or a lighted match into her apron pocket where she carried her matches and only later, upon finding the scorched fabric, realized how close she'd come to burning herself up. Regarding the look on her face, it's more likely just her putting-up-with-getting-her-picture-taken expression.

That is indeed a clip-on bow tie, and I still remember those cufflinks; they had large blue glass stones about the size of marbles. I assure you I wasn't responsible for the color styling, tie, pants, cufflinks down to blue socks. I just now noticed my father and I both have tortoise-shell eyeglass frames.

The yardstick is more likely there having been used to determine the focus for this shot. I'm happy to say I now have possession of it, and indeed the last time I used it was to retrieve a spoon that had fallen down the crack between the counter and the refrigerator. I also have the floor lamp, and right now I'm sitting at the desk behind the brown chair (not in this house, regrettably). Mother's brown TV-watching chair is now the treasured possession of her granddaughter.

Thanks for all the positive comments, people.

Yuppie dreams

As someone who knows what sjmills is all about, "I thought going to college WAS your job!"

When do we eat?

Perhaps your mom found a dead mouse under a piece of heavy furniture and used the yardstick to drag it out? It seems like good ol' wooden yardsticks have always been used as reachers more often than as measurers.

And I think I'd disagree with Older than Yoda on his "better jobs" point. As someone who barely studied in school, barely went to college, and makes a very comfortable living at his dream job working from his home office, I'm not so sure I'd say this is worse than most jobs available in the '50s or '60s. Well, OK, it might've been more fun to work in a "Mad Men" type place, smoking, drinking, and pinching the office girls.

tterrace, I am glad you were born

I smile after the first words of commentary because I know it will be a tterrace. I was a child at the same time and my life was nothing like yours--you were indeed blessed. Surely I'm projecting my own home life, but looks like Mom is giving someone the stink-eye, probably Dad.

Let the good times roll!

Do you realize "tterrace" how lucky you were to have such a nurturing family and a welcoming home? ("'Twas so good to be young then") I sure would have liked to be invited to a dinner at your home where it is quite obvious all preparations have been made and a special home-made meal will be served. Perhaps 70% of today's families will never experience this type of united togetherness and planned celebration. In your photos you have captured the idyllic 50's "everyone's family" in that relatively peaceful era of prosperity, decency, civilized society, modernistic changes, sleeker cars, better jobs and emphasis on the importance of education. It seems like a simpler time, too good to last. Where and when did we all go wrong? Thank you for sharing your Camelot to share with Shorpy readers. I love your "slice of life" photos, they are ALL keepers.

What, no cocktails? The sun is over the yardarm!

Can you recall what brand your mother smoked? By '55, my parents had made the healthy switch from Camels to Pall Malls.

I take it your bow-tie was a clip-on. All of mine were.

Look at your French cuffs.....spiffy!

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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