17 February 2012

Three Days in April 1961

I finished the 3rd reel of slides.  The last photos from that reel were all taken in April 1961.  I am in each picture and it's hard to believe they were all taken in the same month because I look completely different in each.

The first photo was taken on Easter Sunday, April 2, 1961.  It looks as though my dad called us all back from the car to take this one and only picture of that day.  I envision my mother sitting in the car staring straight ahead, lips pursed.  Because I'm sure Dad was already late getting us to church and then he decided we had to have a picture.  It looks like he plucked each of us from random family cars driving by.  Karen is movie star perfect in the coat with the double gardenia corsage and that amazing hat with the matching gloves.  Fred looks like a young Elwood of the Blues Brothers.  I just look pissed (a word I don't think was used at that time).  No two things I'm wearing appear to belong together.  The hat seems small and I just verified my suspicion - it is the same hat I wore for Easter 1960.  The hat is not helped by my hair which appears to have been styled with an egg beater.  Contrary to the hat, the gloves look big and they seem inappropriate for an 8 year old.  (I can not deny the likelihood that I begged to wear the gloves because Karen was wearing gloves.  I quite possibly pouted until granted a reluctant OK.  I had a similar experience a few years later when I absolutely had to wear nylons because every other girl in the 6th grade was going to - another fashion moment that ended badly.)  I am however glad to see that dress; I have always loved it and I've wondered when I got it - mystery now solved.  It can be seen to greater advantage in pictures I've posted of my 9th birthday party  in January 1962 - here it looks drab, as does everything in the picture except Karen.  The only thing I love is my purse - that's just wonderful (even though that doesn't match anything else either).

This picture was taken later in April after a fishing trip my Dad took to Lake George.  I am posing in our basement with his catch of Brook Trout.  Contrary to the mismatched Easter outfit, these pants and the white-pebbled sweater are really quite fashionable for an 8 year old.  I actually remember those pants.  They were wool and they were lined with a silky material - no doubt they required dry cleaning.  In spite of that I am sitting on the cement floor - though no doubt safe from dirt because Dad had the cleanest basement ever.  He is about to turn 90 and I've recently been in his current basement - you could still eat off of his floor.  While I have inherited a need for some degree of cleanliness, I sometimes wonder if my dogs should be eating off of my floor - and that's in my kitchen.

Lastly is a picture of Karen, Fred and me.  I have no clue why this was taken or where we were going - no label except that it was taken in April 1961.  I know that the fancy poodle belonged to a neighbor - it was the first poodle I had ever seen - he and I became good friends through the years.  Unlike the tiered lavender dress from Easter I did not have any established memory of this red dress. But as soon as I saw it in this picture I remembered that Mom and I had gotten it in an Albany dress shop at the beginning of the school year.  It would have been for second grade, my first year in Elsmere Elementary.  

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