Monday, August 29, 2016

More memories...

More memories ... from my mom's photo collection...

Here's one that I'm sure will amuse my siblings: it's me, in an undated photo.  In my mom's handwriting (with a fountain pen!) on the back: “Tommy - note the wet pants”.  Really, mom?  Really?  That photo was clearly taken in our home, I'm guessing in 1954, but I'm struggling to place it.  I have no memory of a doorway with a curtain.  From the placement of the two doorways, it can't be our living room.  From the paneling it must be a bedroom.  I'm going to guess it was the boy's bedroom, in the southeast corner of our house.

Here are a couple photos of my sister Holly.  The first one is a studio portrait, dated (in pencil on the back) 1964, when she would have been eight or nine.  I'm guessing it was a school portrait.  The second one is dated (by the lab) February 1959, when she was almost five.  Holly is holding a holly in a pressed peat moss pot.  For a few years, roughly 1958 to 1964, my dad was selling hollies of this size by mail order.  I got involved in this business in many ways, but the two I remember the most are packaging the hollies for shipment, and printing the marketing materials (newsletters and brochures) on our own offset printing press – a monster in the basement.  Packaging them was straightforward enough: we wet the plant and pot thoroughly, stuffed them into a thick polyethylene bag, secured the top of the back with a twist-'em, then stuffed them into a red cardboard cylindrical tubes (with a tin top and bottom).  These tubes were very nicely made, with bright shiny red cardboard on the outside, and a cap that slid on tightly.  We just circled the cap's joint with some tape and we were done.  Then we slapped on a label and my dad took them to the Post Office for shipment by Parcel Post.  For some reason I don't remember either Scott or Holly helping with this, though that could just be my memory failing.

This photo is of a scene I have utterly no memory of.  It's dated (by the lab) December 1955, though it was clearly taken before fall 1954 (given the trees still have leaves, and they're swimming.  On the back, in my mom's handwriting (again in fountain pen): “Mike Dilatush Bonnie”.  Mike (my cousin, son of my Uncle Earle) is furthest away in the photo; he's holding my brother Scott.  Bonnie I don't know – possibly his wife or girlfriend.  That's me in the foreground.  There's something (or someone?) under Bonnie's left hand, but I can't identify it.

Update from Mike, responding to my query:
Boy, you do bring back memories! One time when I was about 15 or 16 (maybe less) I stayed with you and your folks for a week. This pix is of me, you and Holly (I think) and a young girl about my age named Bonnie who came along with us on a day trip to a cedar colored lake down in the pine country of south jersey. Your dad took the picture as I recall. The water was warm and so tea colored you couldn't see much more than a foot or so underwater. I do remember that the mosquitoes had a feast on us that day.
That tea-colored water Mike refers to is the norm in the New Jersey pine barrens – the streams are quite acid from the tannins in the tree roots they wash for tens of miles.

Here's my brother Scott in an undated photo.  On the back, in my mom's handwriting: “Scott flag he designed in Navy”.  That scene looks like boot camp to me, which would put this in the early '70s (maybe Scott remembers better?).  Another clue that it's boot camp: the “Co. 016” (Company 016) – that's an organization I saw only in boot camp.

Here I am again, in a photo dated (by the lab) March 1955 when I was two and a half.  This one messes with my mind, as the location is clearly on the north side of our house (those three adjacent windows were in the kitchen bay) – but it's full of things I don't remember at all!  I don't remember a swing set like that we ever owned, and I don't remember that fence (with a sidewalk behind it).  There's something weird on that swing set.  Look at the left end of the upper bar – there's a weather vane, tilted over at about a 45° angle.  What's up with that?

Finally, here are three photos that include multiple kids.  The first one is dated (by the lab) September 1957.  Left-to-right it's my sister Holly, my brother Scott, and me.  I've no idea where we were.  The second one is undated, but I'll guess it's in 1955 from our apparent ages.  That's me on the left, my brother Scott on the right, and my dad.  There's something in my dad's pocket, but I can't make out what it is.  That couch used to be in our living room, which had knotty pine paneling, so I'm pretty sure that's where the photo was taken.  The last photo is undated and has no notes on it.  Left-to-right it's me, my sister Holly, and my brother Scott.  From our apparent ages I'll guess this is from mid-1955, when I was almost three.  I can't tell what room this was, but from the paneling it had to be either our living room or a bedroom.  We're sitting on something draped with a blanket, but I've no idea what it was.

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