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Summer of '51

Summer of '51

Our family poses for our first ever color photo in July 1951. We're joined by my godmother's son Alfred at the far left; his father is taking the picture and it's their green 1941 Cadillac on whose bumper I'm perched. Another thing that's not ours is the house; our own just-purchased summer place here in East Guernewood, California is out of range to the right next door. The only bad thing about this photo is that it was shot on Kodacolor; by now the negative, if it even exists, would be totally opaque. All we have is this 3½ x 5-inch print and, like all Kodacolor prints of that period, it's faded and acquired a predominant yellow cast. Over the years I've tinkered with it several times, and this is my latest restoration effort. For reference, my father is 49 here, my brother almost 14, my mother about to turn 43, my sister 17, and I'm a month away from 5. I didn't have to say "cheese" for the camera; summers at our place at the Russian River were just about the happiest days of my life. View full size.

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Am I seeing things?!

Looks to me like Mom is holding a cigarette, which means I don't know "the family" as well as I've been thinking I do! In my world, TT's mother does NOT smoke!!

[Modern young women of the 1920s usually took up smoking; she quit at some point in the 1960s and went on to live into her early 90s. -tterrace]


I'm from Bucharest, Romania. Living in other part of the world I don't know to match about American habits, traditions etc. But, your pictures Tterrace are the best. I can imagine, back in the time, my family picture just like yours (of course without the cars). Thank you Tterrace!

Beautiful greens

In the restored photo the Cadillac's color beautifully complements the trim of the Russian River house in the background. Makes me want to tinker with our own family's faded Kodacolor pictures from that era! You have a handsome family too, in faded or bright colors. Thanks for posting.

It's not a Dodge

It's really a Cadillac, not a Dodge. The grillwork is different and there is a Cadillac logo on the hood of the green car.

[We know the green car is a Cadillac. The question was about the white car in the background. Which is indeed a Dodge. - Dave]


Nice restoration really thanks for sharing this worderful moment of the past.

Pale Riders

A literal snapshot from the height of Anglo culture in a colony of the Spanish Empire (and later part of the First Mexican Empire) named after the writer Rodriguez de Montalvo's mythical paradise ruled by Queen Califia.


What a great picture! Having been born in 1947, I can relate to the clothes and the cars, for sure. I don't have many color photos taken by my parents from that time period due to the higher cost of color film. So most of my "photographic memory" from the early through the late '50s is in glorious monochrome. Thank you so much for posting this wonderful "time capsule."

Beautiful picture, TT

You always have great photos, also! Thanks!!

The car in the background

It's a 1949 (or maybe later; they didn't change much the next year or two) Dodge. Our family had one so I recognized it, then I found the pic below here.

Wonderphul Photoshop

I don't know if I'd call it a gift from "our scientists." More like geeky software developers.

Photoshop - A Gift From ...

What a great picture.

Your brother here is ... er ... almost 14? He looks about 27. I swear people looked more adult 60 years ago.

Photoshop is indeed a blessing to us all and a great gift from our scientists. It enables us, average people, to bring again to full vibrant life what would have remained a sad faded memory.

Patiently Waiting

I'm waiting for someone to identify the car in the background. I want to say that it's from the Kaiser Frazer family, but I can't seem to match it to any of those shown on the Internet.


That is an impressive restoration and a wonderful family picture - I love your brother's pants! Thanks for sharing.

Quite a Car

Hydra-Matic? (Oh, and the people. Yes, nice-looking group, blah blah blah.)

Happy Days

Something about this picture makes me smile just looking at it -- stirs up some great memories from the past with long departed family and friends. Thanks for sharing!

Antebellum Cadillac

Love the '41 Cadillac. A car Don Corleone would have enjoyed riding in.

"Sorry, I don't belong in this picture"

Looks like Alfred is apologetically, shyly mouthing something like "Well golly gee Mr. Terrace, I really am not part of this immediate family, I'll just stand behind y'all and try to blend in with the scenery, sorry, so sorry to be in your family picture, I can stand over there if you want -- "

What a great family!

Dad looks so proud and the little boy on the right is showing total happiness. Thanks a few dozen more, Shorpy.


I'm in the process of scanning several albums full of several hundred Kodacolor prints onto my computer. I now understand why I think back on my wonder years as a golden time.

Love your photos, tt. Feels like I know you and your family as if you were neighbors back in the day, even though we lived about 2500 miles apart. Thanks for letting all of us meet all of you.

Just lovely.

I'm of the same generation. But from western New York. So this landscape looks exotic to me. I love the house, with the trellis, or outside beams. Ah, childhood.

I guess you had to be there.

That's a great restoration, relying (as you said) on many happy memories.

I wonder what the picture would have looked like if you didn't enjoy your summers.

Summer of '51 unrestored

Here's what it really looks like.

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