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The Honeymooners: 1952

The Honeymooners: 1952

"Folks at 51st wedding anniversary - 17 Feb 1952." We return to Blue Earth, Minnesota, and the home of Abe and Julia Tuttle, parents of Hubert (behind the camera) and in-laws of the lovely Grace. Now, who'll have some of this delicious creamed corn? 35mm Kodachrome. View full size.

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Same as my great-grandparents

My great-grandparents celebrated their 50th Anniversary on September 16, 1951 from which I attached the photo. The event took place at some long forgotten banquet hall in the Springfield, MA area. Which means, like the Tuttles, 1952 would have been their anniversary #51. The happy couple is in the lower center, and my father (at age 17) is in the upper left corner in the back row. His father (my pepere) is third from left in the back row, and my grandmother (memere) is dead center back row.


This is so like similar occasions at my grandparents' house when I was a little boy in Kansas. The motley collection of chairs dragged from all over the house to fill out the table, the pile of rolls from the store on the plate, and especially the way that Abe has tucked his tie into his shirt to keep gravy off it. My grandfather solved that problem by tucking his tie into a new pair of overalls which he wore with a blue chambray shirt and the tie on the two or three days a year when he went to church and came home to such a dinner.

More details

That kid on the right is holding Grandpa's glasses. Grandpa is almost laughing at this little inside joke.

I thought originally that they had plastic utensils, however a closer look indicates that they are using the real silver. The kind that my grandma would hide in the register when they went on vacation.

The lady's daughter

is standing to her right--same face, just younger.

[Grace is Julia's daughter-in-law. -tterrace]
[As we explained in the caption! - Dave]

I wish for a real time machine

transport me back to the half-painted chair. Typical meal, I doubt those meat balls are Swedish though, no sauce for one reason. Someone said these people would not ask for seconds, and I believe that is true. People were very polite then. The jello sits in for lettuce salad and that is mayo--I dreaded seeing that festive dish because I detest fruit cocktail. Still do. I would pick out the fruit bits. The star is the cake. That young'un will be having his eye on it the entire meal. So will I.

Julia was a first generation American

Julia Tuttle was born in Iowa on August 10, 1880. Her parents were Edvard and Hannah Helland, both born in Norway. She married Abe in Iowa, where he also was born. She died in Minnesota (presumably Blue Earth) in January 1974 at age 93.

"Jello" mold

Actually, I believe that is Tomato Aspic which uses a gelatin with beef broth and tomato and then add olives etc. I remember my mother making that in the 1950s. As a kid it really wasn't to my taste.

Slender Folks

These no doubt frugal people would have eaten this meal sparingly and been polite about seconds. The fact that they all stood off-camera and let the food be the star of the photo shows that memories of the Depression were still in their minds. There are so many homely details in this charming photo, the mismatched and partially painted chairs, the wallpaper, the mysterious male figure behind the old curtain, the sweet boy in his good clothes and the daughter-in-law's homemade red apron. And of course, the food. This photo's a treat.

Another Who Has Flashbacks

Like others here, these images are almost personal. Abe and Julia are about 5 years older than my grandparents in Boone, Iowa. Every scene we have viewed reminds me of times visiting them. I am sure others will say that Julia's dress could have come out of the closet of their relative of that age and time period.

Having spent a fair amount of time for 8 years in West Central Minnesota in the early 2000's all of the Scandinavian references strike home as well.

Happy Anniversary Abe and Julia!

Ancestry Info

According to a quick search of ancestry web site:

-They were married in Story, Iowa in 1901.

-They were living in Hebron, Iowa in 1920.

- By 1930 census, living in Blue Earth,Minnesota

- Abe died in 1966

- Julia died in 1974


I was born 4 days after that meal.

Real butter

Of course it's real butter - yellow colored oleomargarine was illegal in Minnesota until 1963.

Jello Mold

I bet that's not "Jello" but rather a tomato aspic made from tomato juice or puree, plain gelatin and ... green things. And yes, it would be served with mayo. Quite tasty if done right.

With the olives

Are those pickles or is it a bullfrog?

Bonus appearance: Sally the dog!

And for long did the marriage last?

Married the first year after the turn of the last century; one wonders how much longer these two stayed together. And the meal is an example of the abundance of their world at that time.

So much to savor

The Dalmatian almost disappears next to the wallpaper and mom's skirt...and that jello mold close to the camera, are those green olives embedded in that red jello? Would those be meatballs next to the rolls? Enough is enough, please pass me the relish tray. Happy anniversary folks...

And Sally is back as well.

Almost out of view standing by Grace.

Someone say Grace already!

I'm ready to dig in. As my late mother would say, the cake looks out of this world. And the creamed corn might be fresh corn that was cut off the cob and frozen last canning season, as my mother's mother in East Texas used to do (I got to help her cut, cook and freeze corn from her garden a couple of times).

The meatballs (Swedish?) look good and homemade, but I suspect the rolls came from the market.

Scandinavian Smorgasbord

Being in Minnesota in 1952, this lovely family may be having a typical Sunday night supper of Swedish meatballs with gravy, boiled potatoes, vegetables, dinner rolls and assorted relish trays, as it is likely they may have been originally descended from Scandinavians as so many in Minnesota were at that time. The most tempting item on the table, the beautiful made-with-love homemade Anniversary cake, completes the picture. The polite little boy on the right seems to be admiring his grandfather. I love this photo as it depicts a scene that was very familiar to most of us who were kids in the 1950's and gets the nostalgic juices flowing. I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Themed Menu

All very denture-friendly.

Mayo with the jello ring!

Boy, does that bring back memories. Don't know who came up with the idea, but it works.

Mix 'n' Match

In an effort to avoid putting on airs by having even two matching chairs -- "You folks think you're somebody special?" -- someone has painted part of one of those Cedar Rapids spindle-backs white. Perhaps the tyke on the right.

Or maybe the wallpaper got restive late one night and did it?

Please, Please, Please

Let that be whipped cream in the jello mold, not Mayo, as was common in 50's recipes.

The Great Mystery is the partially painted chair.

I'll have seconds

I would have enjoyed celebrating with them. That meal is mighty tasty looking to me. As long as the butter holds out for the spuds and rolls.

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