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Backyard Picnic: 1960

        We dedicate this golden (Kodachrome) oldie to picnic-partakers everywhere. Happy Memorial Day from Shorpy!
June 1960 somewhere in Maryland. "Picnic in yard." Janet, of Kermy and Janet, pointing at the camera. Who wants more potato salad? View full size.

        We dedicate this golden (Kodachrome) oldie to picnic-partakers everywhere. Happy Memorial Day from Shorpy!

June 1960 somewhere in Maryland. "Picnic in yard." Janet, of Kermy and Janet, pointing at the camera. Who wants more potato salad? View full size.

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I was the same age as the boy in the stripes in 1960. That definitely brings back some memories!

Still with us

A follow-up to my previous post: while their parents have been gone for 10 years, Kermy and Janet are still among us, both in their 70s, which is why I didn’t want to post much more about what I found. It is tempting to reach out to them to tell them about Shorpy, but that’s not my place. Maybe Dave ... ?

[We would love to hear from Kermy and Janet! - Dave]

Late to the Dance

I was just about to post the Sanders family 1950 US Census info, but Doug Floor Plan and jckazoo already have done all that work. Well done great sleuths!

Let's ask Dave

Thanks for the credit, jckazoo, but you're the one who identified Kermy as the elder child. One thing I've learned reading Shorpy is, you don't tell Dave, you ask. Dave, are these kids Kermit H. "Kermy" and Janet C. Sanders, children of Anna and Kermit H. Sanders?

The house at 4003 Fleetwood in Baltimore looks like a match. I understand many houses were mass produced. But the bottom of the window to the left of the fireplace is the same in relationship to the fireplace mantel, the mantels are identical, the bricks are the same make, and there are six rows of bricks between the underside of the mantel and the top of the firebox. The back porches are long with identical posts and parapet wall, and the door to inside is at the top of the steps. The only difference is in 1960 the house is clad in cedar shakes and I'm not sure it is in the Realtor photos.

Click to embiggen

Doug Floor Plan for the Win!

I'm on Ancestry right now, and there is huge evidence that the 2nd census listing he posted is indeed Shorpy's Kermy and Janet. I don't even know what to link to, there's so much stuff.

I too thought that Janet was older than Kermy, but the little blonde boy in this photo is not Kermy - look at this to see Kermy in 1957:

And then this to see Janet the same year:

I even went so far as to look for their home, which was at 4003 Fleetwood in Baltimore. There are old listing photos still online at Two stood out to me. The one with the fireplace looks like the one in this photo of Janet:

And the one taken from the back porch looks like the porch in this "Backyard Picnic" photo.

I'll stop before I'm arrested for stalking. But there's so much more ...

For someone with superior search skills

When Dave posted Hawkeye Troop: 1956 in 2012 (see the Kermy and Janet link), noelani wished we had access to the 1950 Census so we could look for a boy named Kermit in Overlea, Maryland. The 1950 Census is now available. I am mediocre at searching for my family members; but I looked for Kermit, born 1948 in Maryland, and found two possibilities. One has a sister named Janet, but she is three years younger than Kermit and the Janet in the picnic photograph looks like an older sister to me. Someone with superior search skills is welcome to show me how it's done.

Click to embiggen

Surely, they did not get store-bought

In my 1960s childhood, Memorial Day gatherings in the backyard with family always included homemade ice cream. When my parents hosted, my father somehow convinced his three sons it was a privilege to turn that crank until your arm could crank no more. Inexplicably, the next brother would be standing there, waiting for his turn. That was some good ice cream.

Not our backyard picnics!

If we were going to have a picnic, it would be when Dad took the family on a road trip and we'd stop for a break. If we were going to eat in the backyard, the picnic table would be covered in newspapers, a bushel of steamed crabs dumped out on top (covered in Old Bay seasoning) and bottles of Black Label beer for the adult beverage and iced tea for the kids.

Ashtrays in the backyard?

Not in our 1960. The butts went in the grass under your foot, or they were "flicked" across the yard by most men to be stomped on by us boys. Also, there appears to be an airline size pack of menthols near the second blue cup.


We always had a bucket of Kool-Aid in a Tupperware container just like the one at this picnic.

Ashtrays and lighters

I too remember lots of ashtrays. And lighters or matches. An older brother and I were accused of trying to burn the house down one time. Of course, it is all his fault, I was the innocent one. He had the lighter.

It is surprising that no one is smoking.

IDEAL brand ketchup

The IDEAL brand ketchup was the store brand of the American Stores Co. ("ACME" stores).

Love the coffee mug

Love the coffee mug directly below the young girl's pointing finger. I've got a set of about 8 of those that my dad and his hunting buddies used during their annual deer hunting week at our cottage in northern Wisconsin. Everyone had their name painted on their mug. The guys are all gone now and those mugs have become a treasure to me.

It's Seems Complete, But...

Where is the Jello mold?

I am of a similar vintage, and trust me--whatever gathering, whatever state you were in and whatever picnic especially--there was always, invariably a Jello mold. Subversives, maybe?

Humble pleasures

These sensible moms used a bath towel as a tablecloth; an excellent idea. As was always the case with gatherings like this, everyone is nicely dressed. I see Grandad in the background. This occasion must have taken place on a weekday while the dads were at work.

Where are the ashtrays?

Hard to believe we have a photo from 1960 and not an ashtray in sight! I was 9 in the summer of 1960 and every mom but one that I knew smoked. If they were like my mom and were married during the WWII years and worked they picked up the habit then. As for the younger moms seeing the older ladies smoke and the massive advertising rush of the 50's convinced the others they should smoke.

Always kids to play with

I was 5 in the summer of 1960, about the age of those kids. Born at the peak of the Baby Boom, there were always kids my age around.

Also between that and Sputnik, we always had new books and desks in school too, not to mention new buildings and young teachers.


Back in the day when "red" was a flavor, at least to the kids.

I have the radio, but

I'd like a pair of those striped chairs, please.

How about some Kool-Aid?

Looks like what's being ladled into those Dixie cups is red Kool-Aid. The favorite drink of kids from the era.

Scalloped Seating

I sold a set of four of those and a matching round table on Craigslist last year. Same color, probably about the same vintage.

Dixie vs Hard Plastic

Notice a stack of Dixie Cups on the table, but we are drinking from the durable, washable plastic tumblers. The two "Dixies" that are upright have spoons in them. Maybe to serve Aunt Dora's special homemade relish? From the way they are stacked, I'll bet the plastic utensils get washed too.


I love the variety of chairs: the plastic web loungers, the wooden-frames with canvas backs & seats and that metal one that most likely leave a scallop-shaped impression in your back.

By the way, the ketchup is "Ideal," the house brand of the local Acme Market.


Hubby and I have two of them out back, both gotten at auctions.

Not just had, but burnt

When our parents' picnic table reached the age of about 40 years and had rotted to the point that it was structurally finished, my youngest brother and I threw it on the bonfire and watched the flames leap higher than a man, a long-suppressed wish of ours. Bonus treat was the unexpected sight of it burning: looked like a giant BBQ grill on fire. Nice smell, too, the cedar.

Sheesh, that's unusual ?

When I was a kid everybody had that table.

Picnics are made of

tasty Heinz pickles and some kind of generic local-brand ketchup. Otherwise, everything else seems homemade, as it was back then.

And don't forget real Dixie brand cups, the only kind being sold then.

[There were many brands of paper cups. A major competitor starting around 1920 was the Lily Cup. - Dave]

Table Still Going Strong

My father bought an identical solid redwood picnic table in southern California, in 1960 no less (a year before I was born in LA). We moved back to northern Missouri in 1963 to be closer to Mom's parents and that was one of the very few large items that made the move. It served as our kitchen table for a few years. It's been refinished a few times and is showing its age (Missouri winters are rough compared to LA's) but is still in use up on my deck and I hope to pass it on.

But me,

I'll take the radio.

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