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North Pole Colorado: 1956

North Pole Colorado: 1956

My father and his sister in 1956 at "North Pole Colorado -- Home of Santa's Workshop," at the foot of Pikes Peak. Dad was 6 and his sister 8. View full size.

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I love the family photos

Family snapshots help me position myself alongside folks of backgrounds alien to mine, sometimes in settings very different from those I know, and in many cases before I was born.

I've never visited a "Santa's Village" or "North Pole," but I see the joy that these children take in visiting one with their family, and that brings these people, so different from me, together with my family (as I am sure my children would sport similar grins in similar settings).

Samuel1940, Illegitimi non carborundum.

Keep 'em coming, Team Shorpy.

It's ALL good

This is THE best site for vintage photographs that I have found on the Web, and believe me, I have searched for them. I enjoy each and every photo posted here. Some I don't dwell upon as long as others, but each one has its own merit.

No one has mentioned the fact on this particular thread that you are willing to post dissenting views, and that it's OK to have them. It's fine that NotaJoeYouKnow doesn't approve of certain things. You acknowledge his views and move on.

As many people have expressed: KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. This is a wonderful site which I treasure highly.

On pins and needles...

Can't wait for the debut of NotaJoe's website. I hope he allows comments!

[I wouldn't be surprised if both he and the nice person who posted this photo were halfway to Mexico by now. - Dave]

The Way I Read It.

It reads" "Always Something Interesting."
Not: Always Something Perfect.

Shorpy as Time Machine...

For the life of me, I cannot fathom how anyone can complain about the content of this or any other website, when there is so much from which to choose on the Internet.

Speaking of Shorpy, this site offers wonderful glimpses into the past, part of which I did know, part of which I might have known, and part of which was before my time. Even when admiring others' photographs, I'm reminded of times, events and places in my own life that I would absolutely love to return to and relive.

I'm 45 years old, and just last month I laid my 59-year-old brother to rest, God keep him. I'd show him some of the content here (especially that which dealt with automobiles; our family has a history in auto refinishing) and even he was moved to reminisce. Now that he has become the most recent of my dwindling family to leave this mortal coil, I see Shorpy as more of a connection to the past, when times may have been a little more hardscrabble, but a lot of things were simpler.

Sorry for the ramble. To Dave and all the contributors here, I thank you sincerely. Keep up the good work.

Straw men

>> There are always people who rise in indignation when anyone dares to suggest that one picture or poem or pasta is better than another. Such elitist snobbery must be opposed!

As far as I have seen, no one has made this point in any of these discussions, and certainly not in this thread.

I haven't read all the comments on everything, of course. NotAJoe, can you point to any comment in support of these pictures of which you so disapprove in which anyone has said, or even implied, that "no picture is better than another"?

(Of course, if this is an attempt at reading the minds of those who differ with you, I can only say -- as one of those who is capable of skipping past pictures that are not of personal interest to me -- that it is not a very accurate try.)

Not a Joe I'd like to know.

>> There are always people who rise in indignation when anyone dares to suggest that one picture or poem or pasta is better than another. Such elitist snobbery must be opposed!"

You seem to be the epitome of what you claim to object to. You've stated your opinion, and it has been duly noted. Now you can do one of three things.

1. Leave and be done with it.
2. Stay and enjoy, but don't continue to belabor your point regarding the content.
3. Go and start your own web site, and post only that which you deem appropriate.

I enjoy whatever is posted here. Keep up the good work!

Sidewalk Superintendents

Poor Dave. How is it that some people seem to think they can run your site better than you do? Did the cover price they paid to get into your saloon entitle them to complain so loudly about the floor show? There may be only a few whiners and gripers out of the thousands of mostly silent readers, yet the grumpiness seems pretty strange. But never mind. They remind me of the Yogi Berra quote: "Nobody goes to Coney Island any more. It's too crowded."

Speak for Yourself

>> There’s been a definite and regrettable shift in this site. Virtually all the photos used to be fascinating windows into a time none of us knew.

And they still are. This photo was taken in 1956. I was born in 1968. Thus the photo was taken during a time I didn't know.

Insofar as I find the 1950s a fascinating era, this qualifies.

Not a Joe I know

Dave has the site set up so that if you see something that doesn't interest you, you can move right along to something that does. Dave, it's your site, and I defend your right to "ruin" it by letting people air their fractious views, but I wish you wouldn't: comments like these are beginning to grate and take the fun out of Shorpy. Didn't Mother also say that if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all? I don't see how denigrating user photos or user comments benefits anyone.

Re: PeaceOut

Cluelessness abounds!


Okay; last one. I think folks have moved on, anyway. I really don’t think the problem is my insensitivity to some subtle magic that more perceptive individuals can appreciate. (That is, of course, one of our stock responses when someone criticizes a thing we like.) My reasons for writing are laid out pretty clearly in the earlier posts: The pictures I’ve complained about are not good, and I think they’re out of place here.

Of course some people are going to defend them. There are always people who rise in indignation when anyone dares to suggest that one picture or poem or pasta is better than another. Such elitist snobbery must be opposed! But come on now . . . “The little girl probably became President of a university and the little fella has all kinds of possibility written across his face! They look so amiable that perhaps they didn't even torture each other in the back seat. Too cute.” Honestly, is this the audience you’re aiming at? There are millions of people who love their unicorns on black velvet, too. Should you throw a few pictures of those on the site?

I’m baffled by all this. You’ve started two sites that I know of. (I started coming here from Plan59.) Both were much, much better than 99.99% of the sites on the Web. Now you’ve left one to wither on the vine, and you’re letting the other one be dragged down to the Cute Overload level. I hate it when people who can do good work don’t do it.

[Ever program a website on a holiday weekend? - Dave]

Too cute!

This photo is absolutely adorable. Love the details. These kids look so happy and wholesome. It's historical from a textiles and style stand point as well. Love that crazy little shirt he's got on. The little girl probably became President of a university and the little fella has all kinds of possibility written across his face! They look so amiable that perhaps they didn't even torture each other in the back seat. Too cute. ~Love the guy with the fish too.

[Let's not overlook that lollipop. - Dave]

It's a big website

More content is more content, and it's grand. I look at and occasionally comment on the pictures that interest me, and skip the ones that don't. It doesn't seem so terribly difficult.

Colorized photos? Great; the originals are still a click away. Family pictures? Wonderful; they bring back memories for some and are a "window" into an unknown time for the younger Shorpyites.

I suppose I don't understand why people who enjoy one sort of thing feel they have to put a stop to any different sort of thing -- which others might enjoy just as much. Nobody's taking anything away from anyone here, at least as far as I can see. Different POVs, I guess.

View of the Past

To me, Shorpy is a view into the past. The professional photos are usually well composed or at least have an interesting subject (even if the chicks in the figure-hugging swimsuits ain't all that hot). And the user-submitted photos are, for the most part, an incredible look into the lives of some humans in another part of the country. I'm all for that. I'm sure most of us would like to step into a time machine and go to some other time and place just to experience it firsthand. But flux capacitors are still prohibitively expensive, so that ain't happenin' any time soon. I'm all for more "family photos," color or B&W, just as long as they aren't colorized via computer. Hand-tinted, maybe, but none of the colorized examples that have been posted recently are worth diddly, except that fiddle.


I feel compelled to add my 2 cents here. I spend a lot of time on As a matter of fact, over a two week period, I went through *every* page of photos so I could see them all, and now check in at least once a day to see what's new.

One of the features that I enjoy about Shorpy is the member photos. Not all of the member photos are 100 years old, but I find them interesting and entertaining -- especially if the poster adds some background to the shot. I appreciate that Dave allows members to upload their own photographs here. I think that's very generous of him.

As to this photograph in particular, I grew up in the Bay Area of California and we had our own Santa's Village in Scotts Valley. Having also been born in 1956, comparing the Colorado Santa's Workshop to my own visits to Santa's Village is kind of fun!

My advice to folks who don't like member photos is to just skip them. There's a whole lot more on this site to engage you. I guarantee it.

Fire up the slide projector

This pretty much distills the essence of the mid-1950s family road trip. Well done.

Just Sayin

I thought it was obvious that the crayon analogy referred to the colorized photos – e.g., the garish Fourth of July offering – that have been posted. Then again, I would have thought it was obvious that the blurry snapshots and colorized pictures fit in with the rest of the content about as well as a Spike Jones number fits in at the Philharmonic. Nothing wrong with a good Spike Jones number, but it doesn’t fit in everywhere.

And as for the other color vacation photos posted in the past: (a)they've generally been well composed and technically good for their day, and (b)they've generally contained something more interesting than Dad and Aunt Maggie standing in front of Santa's workshop.

In conclusion: It's your website, and while I'll defend your right to ruin it, I won't say it's not a shame.

[I can't help but think you might not be seeing something other people don't fail to appreciate. And that "garish" flag photo -- webmaster gift from God on a holiday weekend! Perfect Fourth of July page topper. - Dave]

I love EVERY photo

I too am a follower for quite a while and while I do enjoy the "historical" photos the most, these snapshots into your family's life are very interesting as well.

I am just a little younger than your dad, but we didn't have a decent camera -- much less color film -- until well until the 1960s, so these provide a glimpse into what my life might have been like if I could remember back that far.

Your photos are so well-presented in all of their original (and occasional retouched) glory, that I have found myself feeling like I was a witness to history.

Keep 'em coming. It's your site and it's your choice. We just get to share.

[Thank you, SLP. Again let me note: These are not my photos. Check the "Submitted by" tag above each photo to see who posted it. In this case, Samuel1940. This is just one of almost 1,500 user-submitted photos in the Shorpy Member Gallery. - Dave]

Bring on the dreck!

The North Pole is a place I know well, having visited it several times a year when I was a kid. I like this photo, not much had changed between then and when I was a kid in the 80s. The pole had some kind of refrigeration gizmo built into it, so it was always covered with ice. Leaning on it was a nice break after playing around on a hot summer day.

Don't like what's happening here.

There’s been a definite and regrettable shift in this site. Virtually all the photos used to be fascinating windows into a time none of us knew. Some of them were great photos, some were banal, but with very few exceptions they were, as the motto says, "interesting." Now there are more and more pictures that seem to be posted here just because someone wants to say, "Look at me!"

Everyone has family photos; I have thousands, stretching back eighty years. My father was a talented amateur and local-newspaper photographer, and a high percentage of my family pictures are much better than the fuzzy family album excerpts that have appeared recently. My family albums are interesting to me, but I’m not so full of myself (as my mother would have said) that I think I should post them on a website of historic photographs.

And speaking of my mother, she used to say that my coloring book work was wonderful. However, I know now that applying a crayon to pictures someone else created does not: (a) make me an artist, or (b) produce anything that’s worth other people's time.

So Dave, I hope you'll turn the dreck filter back on. If there’s a shortage of good pictures to post, I certainly don’t mind if you post fewer pictures. Don't let this terrific site that you created be ruined.

[There is maybe some confusion here. This photo is in color because it was taken on color film. And it's certainly not "dreck." Color vacation photos are a summertime tradition on Shorpy. We've published dozens over the years. - Dave]


Yep, all us little shrimps wore suspenders back then. This is about 1953.

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