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Put Up or Shut Up: 1956

Put Up or Shut Up: 1956

That's what I like to imagine my future-brother-in-law was telling me as the showdown is about to come in our poker hand here in the living room of our home in Larkspur, California. The "shut up" part was, of course, something I was familiar with hearing often enough from others in non-wagering situations. At my side I had a glass with a finger of root beer, playing the part of whiskey, to emulate (pay homage to?) the saloon scenes in the old cowboy movies I'd watch on TV Saturday mornings. He became my brother-in-law in actuality two years later, and passed away just two months ago. Rest in peace, old friend. My sister took this 2¼" square Kodacolor negative. View full size.

Ah Memories

This is the reason I love this site. Recollections and stories of times gone by. My husband and I both have cabbages into things like these. With the passing of my mother, I am slowly sorting through what to keep and what to get rid of, because there simply is not enough space. Always fun to look through old photo albums and see where some of those things were kept or displayed; there is a drum style table in my living room that I discovered must have been one of my mother’s first purchases for her home as a newlywed because it is in the album from that first year of marriage in 1951-52.

My sincere sympathies on the loss of your brother-in-law. Truly looks like he was a good friend.

There's immortality in the mundane

It is in memories of moments like this that the immortality of those who have gone on most securely reposes. I can tell my daughter about the seven-year-old me happily playing canasta with my grandmother and her friends, but I know it's an "okay, Boomer" experience for her, however much she tries to feign interest.

Could I but show her one such moment, as this photo does, I think she would understand that what we tend most to pine for are not the big events we shared with lost loved ones but the small, comfortable interactions whose summation comprises our lives together.

Thanks for posting, tterrace.

Oh those ginger jars

we too owned such a green ginger jar in sisal rope in those days. But my mother's favorite was a nice Blue & White Cherry Blossom Ginger Jar, like the one below, which cracked down from the coffee table when my brother, father and I played around and fell down from the couch! My mother was not amused.

Where's the stogie?

You had the other two vices: drinkin' and gamblin'. All you need to add was smokin' to make it a trey; unless you had some naughty ladies hiding out somewhere, in which you had "the full boat".

That pink shirt

Interestingly, this picture was taken about the time when pink was starting to acquire a connotation of girliness. Mamie Eisenhower loved the color and wore it to Ike's inauguration. By a few years later, pink shirts on men were on their way out.

Interesting history here:


I am so sorry for your family's loss tterrace. Just another reason why family photos are such treasures.

Holding it together

I love it that you still have the tape dispenser and letter thingy. Continuity is hard to come by these days.

Historical preservation

I have that desk (I'm sitting at it now) along with the tape dispenser and the thing the letters are stuffed in, and the chair I'm sitting on. Letter thing has sketch of Mt. Tamalpais as seen from San Rafael.

So where are they?

Tterrace, I, too, love your photos and they are always worthy of close examination.

Oddly enough, I have looked at so many of your photos but have yet to see one that showed your stack of Mad magazines.

Perhaps you can do something about that omission sometime soon.

[The first one I saw was around 1955 at our summer place in Guerneville; my sister or one her friends had brought it along. I didn't start collecting those first comic book versions until after I was all grown up. -tterrace]

What are those white rectangular things by the lamp?

Pretty sure they are those relics from another time called letters.


So sorry for your family's loss, tterrace. It looks like your brother-in-law was a good sport. And as always, your photos capture a slice of life that is both unique and universal.

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