« May 2009 | Main | July 2009 »

my "modern" family

I wasn't present for these photos, not even as a future ideal. By the time I came along, my mom had two sons, a daughter who lived only two days, a five month stillborn son, and a doctor's warning to not have any more children.

Before that, though, it was a black and white world, which I can visit only through the few remaining old photos in my possession (most were stolen by a rabid former in-law,) and, of course, the world wide web.

All these photos are around 900x900 when you click through to full-sized.

I'm not sure about the date on this photo. I mean, they're all wrong, as Mom wasn't the swiftest film developer. But in May, 1958, she was only about three months along with my brother Bob, and boy, was she showing, or what? So I don't know, it sure looks like a puffy 50s version of me, and that looks like my cousin Joey, who later became known as Joseph, to his credit. Good lord, if he's still alive, he must be about 62 now! Anyway. Attend to the awesome shelving, wall treatment, and divan leg. The wicker chair is also cool, of course, in that abstract "looks good, not sure I'd want to sit in it" way.

These are my brother Bill's Christmas presents. He was about 2 1/2, and Bob was born about ten days later. These toys are so fully iconic, I'm giddy thinking about them. A Dennis the Menace doll!

Here are Bill and Bob's Christmas gifts the following year. It is so much easier to buy toys for little kids! And it had to be even better 50 years ago, when they weren't enticed by as much advertising and sheer product glut.
The small kid in this picture is my big brother Bill. I think the other two are my cousins Gary and Ann, but I kind of suck as a relative, and never kept up very well. Mostly I just really love the sectional seating in this room, which, if those are Gary and Ann, must be at Uncle Benny's place.
I think this is from Bob's 6th birthday in January 1965, during which my mom was pregnant with me. And this is probably our grandma's—Dad's mom's—apartment. But I don't know, it could have been their place. It's sort of stylistically tragic, but I'm not going to be too critical. I'm related to whoever decorated this room; I should be nice.
I'm including this picture even though it doesn't quite fit because I like it and because it's kind of odd. This is December, 1964, so technically it belongs above the other one. I don't think this is a Christmas dinner, but I suppose it could be. It is, at any rate, at the home of someone who believed in the attempt at formal place setting, and it certainly looks like the home of an older person. The woman sitting at the head of the table is my great-grandmother Lillie. :-) I do not precisely remember her; she died when I was very small. To her left is my grandpa, her son. I used to think, based on my time spent with him, that Dad's people were a bit on the rough and possibly less cultured side. But looking back, it's mostly just him. He had some fine and fun qualities, to be certain. However, he thought my mom was sort of snobbish. And, well, if he thought my mom was snobbish, I can't imagine what he'd think of adult me. Because I outsnob her any day of the week, though I don't really. I just appear to. He really loved me, though, in his certain manner, and I know he wished we spent more time together.

Okay but the really odd thing about this photo is what's hanging between the two lights of the chandelier. !!

Saluto, Dino

Most years I do a tribute to Dean Martin on or around his birthday. Last year I put him in my NaNoWriMo book in a way, and he appears here on a regular basis.


I have most of his recordings, but this is one of my favorites. I can't do a whole blog post at the moment; as my neighbors know, it's been a hassle lately so it's better for daytime hours. Plus I have had a rather strong gimlet this evening, and am contemplating another. Whee. So this is the thing here, so awesome, and worth the entire listen, I promise. If you hear this (but ignore the slides because they're lame) and don't just *love* this man, well, I don't quite know what to say.

I Love Vegas - Dean Martin - I Love Vegas Medley

Scroll down a couple of posts for a fun live Dean performance.  

June 4, 1965, self-indulgent blather

So yesterday was my birthday. I got presents. I got a dual membership to the Philadelphia Art Museum, a waffle maker, a 36x48 inch canvas and two new brushes, a jar of pumpkin butter, and a super chocolate orange cake, made by Kat. Plus a new bottle of Hendrick's gin. :-)

I wanted to share lots from the LIFE magazine that appeared the day I was born, in a "This Week In." Plus I have a POST from June 5, 1965 to share as well. But it was a very busy day. And now? I think I've come down with the illness that has crept through our house over the past couple of weeks. So we'll see how much scanning I get done today, plus I want to write a few things for the late May scans I haven't yet posted.

I have a couple June 4 pages scanned already though, that I posted elsewhere a couple of years ago. Here they are:

In 1965, it was a big deal to wear sunglasses. We were told in the article that only baseball players wear them to actually block the sun, and that everyone else wears them to look cool. Personally, I don't like sunlight in my eyes, and have been wearing them for that reason since I was old enough to buy them.

The top half of this ad featured only a large VW symbol. This was part of a continuing series of ads; you can see more here. Bill Bernbach, who helped start Doyle, Dane, Bernbach, had a hand in changing the face of advertising, along with some other people who got big in the 50s and 60s, such as David Ogilvy, who is fairly accurately referred to at wikipedia as the "Father of Advertising." But that's another subject for another day.

Also, ooh! I got a new desk. It was my birthday present to me. Here's a photo.

Now I really need to repaint the bedroom walls and get a new bedcover. I am worshipping this clearance bedding from Target,
Product Image
and really hope it's still available next weekend, when I will have a bit of cash because of how PSE&G super-overcharged us last month so that we now have a credit on our account instead of a bill to pay. We won't use the bottom sheet because it won't fit over the water mattress and feather bed and would probably be too scratchy anyway. But the top one could be layered over one with a better thread count.

I'm fussy about my bed. I probably need to get into it now, but will read a few neighbor posts first. 


Oh, hello, here is a photo review

LP got my touchpad working yesterday, so I can use my computer the regular way again. It's such a relief. But my CD drive is inexplicably not working. It is acting like there is a CD in it, which there is not, and it is slowing things down. And I've been missing Vox so much! It's been kind of a drag to use the computer at all; I've barely even been at Twitter, but I want to catch up on some things today.

Here are a few photos from Memorial Day:

And a few in the backyard yesterday:
I have to put those trays of flowers in on the other side.

I prepared pictures for a This Week in for the week before last, but then last week I couldn't do that at all. So I might post those and backdate them, or something, and then skip ahead to this week, which is a special one.

Most of you have seen some of my paintings before at my old blog, but I took snapshots of them yesterday to send to my dad, so here they are, if you are interested, plus the new one, which is a little different. (And I will need a better photo of it.) Maybe a new direction, maybe just a change of pace.

Finally, one of the big girls with her guitar.