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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 • SYPHILIS ... SIX OUT OF TEN CURED, 1941

Dad and Me: 1957

Dad and Me: 1957

Daddy taking a break from the BBQ in West Covina, California, circa 1957. Mother took the picture and you can see her shadow. West Covina was one of the new suburbs east of Los Angeles back in the nifty 50s. Dad was a decorated combat veteran from the Korean War, and used his VA benefits to buy two homes. This was the first. This was a great place. I had wonderful friends and neighbors. My folks have often said this was the best place they have ever lived. Neighbors were friendly and they socialized with each other. There was an air raid siren nearby that went off twice a month as a test. This was the height of the cold war, but what did we know. View full size.

Air Raid Sirens

Though disappearing, many of the Cold War-era sirens can still be seen around LA.

Astroturf in Brentwood

Here's how we do it now.

Home Turf

You probably would see a very different front yard today. Love to know the address. There are no more "perfect freaking lawns" in Southern California.

Cities now mandate vastly reduced lawn watering. Many once-lush yards are yellow, dying, weed-infested. Not to mention, the voracious rabbits. They can denude a yard in days.

There are some water sneaks, and the Water Police is routinely called - so 1957 is long gone in yet another way for us hereabouts.

Awesome apron!

Yet another lost art - barbecuing with an apron on.

Ah yes, the GI Bill

I got a piece of the GI Bill for the Army, 1947. Got called back for Korea (1950) and got more of it. It put me through college and I decided I did love school so ended up getting a PhD and taught for some 27 years.

What a perfect freaking lawn.

It looks like a golf course. 50 years later with all these advancements and I still can't get my lawn to look like that. But then that pic is in California.

That's funny

Dad's got that Buchanan squint going, doesn't he?

Yes

Those days were good, and you were loved and well cared for. Achingly sweet.

Pat Buchanan? Is that you?

Oh, wait. It clearly says "combat veteran." Never mind.

Cute kid

And what a great dad. Thanks to your dad for his service to our country.

50s novelty apron

My dad had one. "Kiss me, I'm never too busy!" There was also a companion apron that read "Don't kiss me, I'm busy."

Formalities

What does it say about today's society that your father is bar-b-quing in kakies and loafers.

[It says, "Kakies! Kakies!" - Dave]

In Glorious Color!

Many thanks for posting your first 2 photos, Mvsman! I'm looking forward to all of your promised subsequent photos if they are as excellent as these two. And being rare 1950s color photographs is an added treat. Please, keep 'em comin'

I remember

If I close my eyes I can feel the breeze, smell the BBQ and hear a lawnmower off in the distance.

Vest and matching bowtie!

Dude, you rock.

Your Dad

was Pat Buchanan?

Psst, kid ...

Do you remember what the apron said?

 
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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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