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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

In My Room: 1966

In My Room: 1966

This is a Kodachrome of my bedroom in Pacifica, California, in November 1966. I was 10 years old, and apparently an unnaturally neat child. That's my stupid dog Blackie on the bed -- Blackie eventually bit a neighbor kid and "got sent to the farm" - I was in college before I figured out that my parents had him put to sleep. They were also like beatniks, so the whole house was covered in that awful seagrass rug stuff that left waffle marks on my feet. My prize possession, one share of McDonnell Aircraft stock, is framed over my desk. That desk, which is now my wife's computer desk, had an elaborate drawing of a Gemini instrument panel on the underside, and I spent hours lying under it, on the overturned Cost Plus chair, pretending I was in orbit. That's a model of a B-57 B-58 bomber on top of the Zenith TV, which had a broken on-off switch and required me to crawl under it and plug it in when I wanted to watch anything. There are a lot of Roy Gallant books on astronomy and space travel on the shelf, and the window looked out on the driveway. I really miss that camel-hair comforter on the bed. View full size.

To John

Sorry to hear the story of the loss of your "Blackie." There are few things lower than someone who would poison a dog. They can't touch a snake's belly as they go underneath.

Same fate for my Blackie too!

Seeing your "Blackie" also reminded me of my dog by the same name. It was about 1970 when he jumped up on a child and accidentally scratched the kid's face with a paw. Later the same day my dog was found dead (suspected poisoning). I cried for ages about his loss -- he was like a friend, often waiting at the bottom of the street where I lived waiting for me to come home from school.

Blackie

Blackie is the spitting image of our dog Suzie, except for the stubbed tail. She was a Black Lab/Dachshund mix and was as gentle a dong as your could ever want. Her sister down the street was just the opposite, bit everyone that looked at here. Suzie loved kids, especially the small ones and would just the right height to slip under their hands for a free pet. She loved getting petted. Her favorite holiday was Halloween. She would stand looking out the storm door waiting for the kids to come up the walk. The speed of her tail would tell us how close the kids were to the door. One of her friends was a wild cottontail rabbit that would come to visit her and enjoyed her dog food.

B-58 1/96 scale model

My 1958 (never-finished) B-58 apparent 1:96 scale model was
likely a Comet kit judging by the tail number (50661). Here's a "restored" B-58 (2437), now on permanent display at Lackland AFB.

1/48 scale would be too big I think

A B-58 in that scale would be two feet long, way too big for its apparent size in the picture. I don't think the 1/48 kits of large aircraft came along until the '70s.

Monogram B-58 Hustler

The B-58 kit is a 1/48 scale Monogram kit. Built it as a kid myself.

The House

It's at 744 Cordova Court. It's up on top of the San Pedro Terrace, and the back yard looks out over Linda Mar and Pedro Point. I loved Pacifica - what a great place to be a kid. The beach, the hills, the crevices in Cattle Hill -- I'd leave the house at dawn and didn't come back until the streetlights came on. We moved away in 1969, and I still dream of Pacifica a lot. Mostly of closing my eyes as my parents drove down the PCH over Devil's Slide, which if I remember correctly didn't even have a railing in the 60s.

Low bed, everybody down

I loved putting my bed on the floor as a girl. I was a sprawler, and it saved me many a dangling limb or three-foot fall. One house we lived in had excessively large closets -- just big enough to accommodate a twin mattress. Guess where the bed went?

Mothraproofed

It's simple, really. If your bed is smack on the floor there's no way monsters can hide under it!

1966 TV

I remember 1966 (I was 12) as about the year my dad bought a console color TV from Sears, where he worked. The old b/w Zenith was relegated to my room to use as a table for stuff. We watched that color TV a lot, and in fact it went to one of my first apartments when I was in my 20's. It was still working when I watched the World Series with the Yankees on it. And what's the thing with boys and beds on floors? My boys did that when they were younger. I hated it since I wanted to be off the cold floor in our house.

Pacifica

I live in Pacifica, near Shamrock Ranch and Devil's Slide. Where is this house?

When I was a kid...

I'm not as old as some of you all ( 31) but when I was in 6th grade, my Dad bought an old color TV at the flea market for $10. I'm guessing it was from the early to mid 60's. I remember it ran on 50 zillion vacuum tubes, which was fascinating to me because I collected old radios from the 20's-50's. He put it in my room and hooked it up to the Nintendo my brother and I shared. The TV took at least three minutes to fully warm up. The color was sort of off and playing Nintendo on it was an almost psychedelic experience.

One semester I got a few D's on my report card. Mom grounded me from Nintendo. She worked as a schoolteacher and left 30 minutes before we caught the bus. So as soon as she was gone, we would turn the TV on, wait for the thing to warm up, then play until it was time for the bus, which we narrowly missed as a result on several occasions. The TV wound up being our demise because Mom forgot something and came back. Even though we had turned off the TV, she heard it cracking as it cooled down.

Space Cadet

I was also 10 years old in November 1966, and into the space program like nobody's business (I even had large baseball-like cards of all the astronauts). And after learning to build plastic models from my dad, I tackled the Gemini spacecraft, which stood up surprisingly well over time.

A few years later, I built the 4-foot-tall Saturn V rocket, which separated in stages. The command module docked with the lunar module, and it had a foot-square piece of moon. You could put the lunar module there and the command module overhead courtesy of a curved piece of plastic that held the CM in place.

I had to wait until 1970 for the first TV in my room, a 12-inch Sears (everything, from my guitar to shirts to underwear, was from Sears) black-and-white set that seemed to take forever to warm up.

Precarious

Aside from neatness, what strikes me is how precarious or tippy everything looks. The airplane model, the TV stand, the chair, the desk, the books ... all are just itching to tip over and fall with the slightest false move! You must have had extraordinary equilibrium to survive such a room.

A teevee in your room?

You had a TV in your bedroom??? In 1966??? Wow! I didn't know any kids with TV's in their rooms. Lucky stiff...I had a transistor radio, that was it.

Neatness

Well, my office is very neat, but my home, between the wife, the four teenagers, and a huge collection of pets, is more like the Addams family manse. (Gomez and Morticia were always my role models for a happy marriage.)

Bed

It was a really low bedframe my dad built. I've always hated tall beds - the bed in my bachelor apartment was just a box spring and mattress on the floor, and my bed for the last 20 years has been an Ikea job that isn't more than 10 inches off the floor. Must be a fear of falling or something.

Nope

I played it safe, majored in English at the University of Virginia, and I've been a federal bureaucrat for the last 31 years. The one thing I've tried to teach my four teenagers is to not do as Dad did - find what you love, and then find a way to make a living at it.

Cool memories!

You sound like you were a really neat child, in the sense of cool, not in the sense of tidy. By the way, are you still that tidy?

Great picture

Great picture, and the notes were super!

The Seagrass Rug

I like the design of the rug. I also think it is neat that one picture brings back so many memories for you. Also, the television set is amazing.

No box spring?

I had to look at the photo several times before I realized what I found odd about it....no box spring under the mattress.

Did you have your alarm clock on the floor next to you?

I do like that desk lamp though...used to have one very similar with a tangerine shade.

Navy?

To SPCOOK, did you ever join the navy and become a fyler?

Probably Revell.

Probably Revell. Aurora seemed to be more human figures, like Superman, the Wolfman and such. Revell specialized in aircraft and spacecraft models, and were higher quality than Aurora or Monogram. The Revell 1/24 scale Gemini was the creme de la creme of models - I had my dad build and paint it because I wanted it done better than I could, and I had it on my desk all the way through college. I really regret that the 1/48 scale Apollo CSM was made by Monogram and not Revell - it just didn't fit together right.

I stand corrected

You're right -- it's a B-58 Hustler. I got the poster in 1961 when my dad was called up for the Berlin Crisis and sailed off for a year. Blackie was indeed an abused dog. We found him in a Chicago back alley in 1963 and he was never really right in the head -- he bit me a few times. And if he was a Lab, he was a very tiny one -- he wasn't more than 30 pounds. This is my first post, and I'm proud to be a member of the Shorpy community.

"Heritage" USN Poster

I did some poking around to get some info on the poster on the wall. I couldn't find the name of the illustrator or the exact publication date, but it was apparently the most popular US Navy recruitment poster of the Cold War era, what with the Navy dad showing his young son the USS Constitution as a way of linking the contemporary Navy with its storied past. Check out the kid's JFK Jr. haircut and short pants! Notice how the the typeface is different on the example I located, suggesting that the version in the photograph is older:

 Zoom  |

Poor Blackie

Did anybody ever consider that maybe the neighbor kid deserved it?

(Yes, I'm a child-free dog-lover.)

The Blob

My first plastic model was the B-58 like yours, I remember "assembling" it in 1970 as a 12-year-old. What I wound up with was a mass of sticky, white plastic that looked like it had parts from a Hustler. It's nice to see what a completed and painted example looks like.

Love the site, it's now part of the morning ritual.

B-58 sonic booms

In the early 1960's (before routine supersonic flying was banned over the US) I'd sometimes glance up and see the contrails from a B-58. One could readily judge the speed (vs. a "normal" jet passenger plane) by that and then brace, if need be, for any upcoming sonic booms.

Labrador

Your dog appears to have been a Labrador Retriever. If it indeed was a Black Lab, they are not, as a rule, biters. I've had three of them over a thirty year stretch that ended a few years ago. They are intelligent, gentle, loving pets. They were barkers but not biters. If it wasn't a Lab, I apologize. If it was, it may not have been trained properly or it was abused.

Wow

I built that exact same model plane (whatever the name of the plane was, I don't remember now) and had it in my room, probably around 1966, too. I just had a 60's flashback!

B Fifty-Who?

There is such a thing as a B-57 bomber (thank you Wikipedia), but it's not a delta wing. It's shaped like a small B-17. The B-58 Hustler is what's on the TV set. Very supersonical and worthy of the attention of a Space Age Kid.

Pampered Dogs

I like dogs, but actually hate seeing them standing on beds. Maybe your parents thought the same.

B-57

Actually there WAS a B-57, built under license by Martin Aircraft, using the British Canberra design. B-57s were used in modest numbers in Vietnam by the U.S. Air Force.

That B-57 is actually a B-58

The short-lived but faster-than-blazes supersonic bomber of the USAF.

I wonder about the kit - Aurora?

The Plane

That's a B-58 "Hustler" supersonic bomber. Not sure if there ever was a B-57.

[And so it begins. This looks more like October 1966 to me. Welcome to Shorpy! - Dave]

 
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