Mom and Dad at Papà's house in 1952. Mom was evidently feeding Dad well back then! Check out the suspenders!
My first Christmas, 1955, with Dad holding me in front of the tree. I'm about two weeks old here. Dig the 50s wallpaper, the print curtains, and that big metal radiator behind the table the tree is on. Any windows not over those radiators had frost on them during the winter.
Here I am with my first doll at age 1; it had odd, soft skin. And the beloved "Skotch" cooler, that accompanied us on so many trips to the beach!
Just turned two, here I am with Mom. I see a tea set and a toy telephone. I also got a doll carriage that year.
My grandmother died in 1958, so we had a small tree and did not put it in the window and only lit it on Christmas Eve. There's my tin stove! The stuffed dog was named "Little Lassie." Guess which show I could stay up to watch!
No Christmas tree here, It's 1959 and I am at the right of my cousin Eileen, who is reading the Christmas story, with my cousin Kathy at her left. I think we were acting it out in "the cellar" of Papà's house. Note the neat built-in china cabinet and the beadboard. The cellar also contained a treadle sewing machine, and, off left of the china cabinet, an old icebox.
At age six, I was a bit embarrassed being kissed before the camera by Dad. That was one of two dresses I had with a velveteen top. I loved velveteen. That was my second phonograph; my dad gave my grandpa my old one to play in his garden shed and bought me a new one. Grandpa used to burn out the tubes in the phonograph by leaving it on overnight one too many times.
BTW, I'm pretty sure I still have all those 45s. I just looked and I know I have the Frosty and the Perry Como that's lying on the floor. I think one of the others is the Alvin and the Chipmunks' "Christmas Don't Be Late," which I still have.
I've noticed some folks comment about the "odd looking" Christmas trees back then. That's because back then they just let them grow naturally. Today they "strip" (prune) them multiple times during the growth process so they are full. Sometimes you had to be creative because a tree had a big empty spot on one side; you either turned it toward the wall or put the entire tree in a corner where it wouldn't show.
Here I am in 1962, or perhaps '63; not sure. In the new stroller is Matilda, the doll my Papà brought me back from Italy. Of more interest is the pink poodle (Pepe) and the grey poodle (Fifi), and my children's Bible sitting next to Fifi. After 1961 because the wallpaper is gone. I remember when they steamed all that wallpaper (it was in the bedrooms, too) off the wall. What a mess.
Frisky and I under the tree, 1968. This is the last time you'll see me with hair this short; when I went into junior high Mom said I didn't have to keep it short anymore. Notice the baseboard heat; the radiators were gone by then.
1969. I can tell, because there's my first cassette recorder, "Reese," keeping company with Frisky. And a Breyer horse.
Definitely 1970, because there's my typewriter, a Smith-Corona Galaxie Deluxe manual. Dad wouldn't buy me a typewriter until I learned to type, which would have been Miss Rossi's class in ninth grade at Hugh B. Bain. Look! New carpet!
This is 1972, and horribly blurry—just wanted you to note the maxi-skirt. Had two. Loved 'em.
1977: note the new paint scheme. Mom hated it, but we were tired of "everlasting beige" all over the house (their room was gold and mine was blue). After Dad died Mom had the bedrooms and the living room painted beige again. The other point of interest is on the right, in the white pot. This was the mimosa tree I was trying to raise. I called her "Fluffy" (for the big fluffy pink flowers mimosa trees have).
Oh, check out the Glass Wax stencils on the front window (also in the next photo). I used to do this all by myself. Loved it all except getting on the stepladder to do that top pane...
Corey, the big stuffed collie, under the tree in 1978, a gift I bought for myself after I went to work. You'd be surprised how many people came in the room and jumped when they saw him, or said "I didn't know you had a dog," before noticing he was stuffed.
The last of the set. It's 1979, and I'm very happy in my fuzzy bathrobe with Corey by my side and a John Denver album ("J.D.") on my lap.