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The Reluctant Debutantes: 1956

The Reluctant Debutantes: 1956

This circa 1956 Kodachrome of five pastel princesses has no label, so you'll have to pencil one in yourself. ("How long does it take a boy to come back with a cup of punch"?) In the meantime, maybe there's someone out there who'll recognize the room, or an old flame. Scanned from the "Linda" slides. View full size.

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Red Eye

I'm a bit surprised to see a few red eyes in there. In the olden days, flashes were usually off camera by a fair amount, and that prevented the direct reflection of the blood vessels in the eye back to the camera. Red eye became ubiquitous when smaller 35mm cameras had on-board flashes right above the lens. I suppose it was always there, just not as common and so not as noticeable as nowadays when you see it in just about every subject in just about every picture.

No Corsages?

That says to me, "Not a Prom!" Even if you were a reluctant date you supplied the necessary wrist corsage.

Nice "P.A." system

Nice "hi fidelity" P.A. speaker on the stage - maybe for the piano player to sing out of?

Those green high heels..

..are "simply too chacha for words" to quote Miss Truvy.

Chaperon perhaps?

Maybe a disgruntled teacher standing in the back along the wall. Seems to old for this crows and might be wearing a wedding ring.

Birmingham, perhaps?

Using clues from former Linda photos ... ie: Rancho Chevrolet license tag on her car, (Reseda, CA) ... The school colors (crepe paper) of Blue & Gold, almost has to be Birmingham High, in Van Nuys, CA.

[Different photos, different people. Dave picked these Linda Kodachromes up on eBay; the Bel Air Belle is a user-submitted photo. - tterrace]


Love the guy in the back, hugging the wall and trying to look cool.

Unwonted Stress

I'm looking at all that crepe paper in what are probably school colors, and thinking that these girls seem to be dressed much more formally than the (admittedly few) others visible. Are these Homecoming candidates, forced to come early and wait and wait and wait for the dance to begin?

Where is Linda?

Is there Linda here?

[This photo is Lindaless. - Dave]

There may be two happy people

The two young ladies on the far right may be smiling, judging from the shapes of their cheeks, but their mouths made the mistake of not getting captured by the film.

The Girl in Blue

The girl in the blue dress in the back could fit right in amongst the beauties if she'd ditch the horn-rimmed glasses and don a formal dress.

[Refreshment Committee couture? - Dave]

No Smoking!

Who are they kidding, it's 1956, smoking is mandatory.

Whispered comment

Who invited Carrie to the prom?

Two of these girls

didn't get the memo about matching shoes.

Reluctant Debutantes, Maybe

But they don't hold a disgruntled candle to that poor guy standing by the back wall!


Smiling or not, they are lovely young women.

The painting top right sure looks like Saint Isidore the Farmer. Wherever it is located, I guess this 1956 school wasn't as strict as the Chicago-area parochial high schools were a decade later. Strapless and spaghetti strap dresses were forbidden by the mid-1960s.

[The venue might be a parish hall. - Dave]

Not exactly Enchantment Under the Sea

Perhaps this was a fashion show? They are much more formally attired than the people in the background.

Far left

"Darn those boys. Looks like they went out for a quick smoke again, instead of bringing us our punch. Anybody want to dance when the band plays another fast song?"

Photo Tip

All dressed up and not a smile on anyone. Next time ask them to say CHEESE!

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