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. !!