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Birthday Posse: 1953

Birthday Posse: 1953

Larkspur, California, January 7, 1953. A photo of me I didn't know existed until a few days ago. I'm the second cowboy hat from the left at my best friend's 6th birthday party; I'd turned 6 the previous August. It's one of the rare childhood events that I've always carried a memory of; specifically: I insisted on leaving the party early so I could get home in time to watch "Time for Beany" on TV. My brother - whose hat that had been - came over and walked me home. My other classmates are the kid with the giant glasses on his head and the cowgirl behind the wide-eyed boy at right; I met up with her at our high school Class of '64 50th reunion last September. Others are mostly relatives, including June Cleaver his aunt setting up pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. I gotta say, for a kid with a birthday so close to Christmas, it looks like my friend made out like a bandit.

Many thanks to his sister, the little girl at my side, for getting this negative to me to scan. View full size.

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No Birthday Parties Card

Outstanding haul for anyone for any birthday but close to Christmas ... Fantastic.

I never had one party except for a cake with the immediate family ... Mom, Dad and snotty older sister ... and a present that would have been a Christmas present if I hadn't been born on December 23rd.

The only good thing that came of it was I have always been able to use the "No Birthday Parties" card whenever I was guilty of a minor family infraction as an adult.

California Casual..

You were a very lucky kid TTerrance !! You went to a cowboy party!!
I also have a birthday party memory from the same time period (more like a year later), a continent away in Jacksonville NC (Tarawa Terrace to be exact).

I, as a 5 1/2 or 6 year old wore a tie to the party. The white shirt that I wore had a collar requiring a "collar bar". Since I was 5 1/2 or six, I did not own a large selection of collar bars, so my Mom used one of my Dad's.

I lost (have now idea how or it would just be misplaced) the screw on end of the collar bar.

Of the few piecemeal, splotchy memories that I have of that era, this is one of them..

Help, Beany, Help!

Wow, I loved Beany & Cecil (the cartoon version of the puppet show). My favorite toy was a pull-string stuffed Cecil I carried with me everywhere. Today nobody has a clue who I'm talking about.

Childhood Aside

Not to detract from the kiddie festivities, but in the background just to the (viewer's) left of the door is a little brass cup, hanging from tiny brass chains, that was a popular item of interior décor in the '50s.

Missing is the trail of ivy meant to be planted therein.

Who says we weren't green back in the day?

Personal Contact

I love the photo! And would love to know the names of the folks shown. I am a Marin Catholic Class of '64 from San Anselmo and may have gone to school with some of you. You have my e-mail on account if interest.
Love your site!

Clever Cowpoke!

Looks like you may have left the party early, tterrace, but obviously you stayed long enough for the cake and ice cream! The best part of any party!


I don't know about anybody else, but I'd like to get a better look at your best friend's aunt.

Birthday parties

My 6th birthday was just shy of two years earlier. Don't know if my party was cowboy themed - have to see if I can turn up any photos. Probably fairly simple, though. My parents had bought our house less than a year earlier with a GI loan, no downpayment, and no spare money. Moving from a one bedroom apartment with my sister and myself, they probably spent what little they had that year on buying furniture.

Lasso 'em Bill

That looks like a Lasso 'em Bill Holster Set on the floor in the lower right.

[Yer durn tootin'. -tterrace]

Still Gettin' Poked in the Behind

I think we have the same artwork on our much-more-recent Pin the Tail on the Donkey game. Our youngest is ten now, so I probably won't see it again until I throw it out. (Though much like TTerrace, I clearly recall playing a round at a fifth-grade party at a kid's house on Crenshaw Boulevard in Torrance, CA.)

Rodeo & Fat Stock Show Day

Your group, which is about 3 years older than I am, would have been perfectly dressed for school in Houston on the day the Houston Rodeo and Fat Stock Show was celebrated. The Friday before the Saturday kick-off parade downtown, HISD encouraged students to dress up in their best western duds. If Roy Rogers was the headliner for the rodeo that year it was even more special.

Clever mom

Clever mom covered the gift box with Hopalong paper napkins. The cowpunchers would never have used them anyways.

[Hoppy seems to have catered the party. Click image to enlarge. -tterrace]

Time for Beany

That brings back great memories of black-and-white children's shows. In New Jersey we had Captain Video, "The Magic Cottage," Flash Gordon serials and "Junior Frolics," which showed wonderful cartoons from the 1930s and '40s. What a wonderful, innocent time!

Been there

In 1964 I went to a sixth birthday party with similar cowboy theme, a pinata and a donkey tail, too. Sally Starr was invited (as was Happy the Clown), they didn't show up, but I still remember this event.

She's cheating!

I think Hoyle calls for the participant to be blindfolded when attempting to pin tail on donkey.

Great photo, I hope you kept hat. Just this past weekend while in grocery I saw a youngster wearing a new coonskin hat. Goes to show you never know when fashions will make their return.

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