Friday, August 24, 2012

Photo Friday: Family Events Edition

Good morning! I'm feeling much better after the self-imposed R &R of yesterday's recuperative laziness. I thought today for Photo Friday I would share with you some group shots from family events in the Doris and Ray archives. Each of these is maybe the size of a paperback book cover and professionally photographed by "Russell Ray Studios". I was puzzled as to why someone would go to all the trouble of hiring a professional photographer for a small, family event like the one I'm about to show you, until I realized the woman in the angelfood cake comb party pictures, one of Doris's many sisters, is "Mrs. Russell Ray". That's free professional photography, son! It's crazy how the dots connect themselves sometimes.

At any rate, let's take a look at the snaps, shall we?

These are Doris's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Alex H. They were married in 1913, so I'm pretty sure this is their silver wedding anniversary party in 1963. There were invitations to this get together somewhere in the Doris and Ray archive, but I have gotten so bad about miscataloguing or at least poorly cataloguing things in that box that I am in truth a shame to the librarian profession. To assuage my guilt, look at the tiny Mrs. H's hat! Talk about a show stopper. Coupled with the white kid gloves, strand of pearls, and clip on earrings, this is definitely her best outfit for a big event in her life. Can you imagine getting married in 1913, and looking back on that date from fifty years distance? People hardly had cars in 1913, and here they are in 1963! It always amazes me to think of people  who were of an age to remember at the turn of the century, looking back on it from the midcentury with the kind of wonder astronauts must look back on Earth from the moon.

Here's a group shot from the event, with Doris fifth from the left and Ruth fourth from the left. I think the two women to their left may be additional sisters, but as said, I'm not up on the H family tree like I should be. What's interesting to me in this photo is the donning of hats on all ladies' present-- living in a practically hatless era, I wish I could find some kind of source book on what the etiquette was for wearing or not wearing hats as the occasion saw fit. Likewise for gloves, for that matter. Wouldn't you feel weird wearing a full on Easter bonnet for the duration of an evening's social event (assuming you're not me)? Two women in the photo are wearing the dreaded fox stoles that I've had ample opportunity to purchase and just can't bring myself to do so...DAD GUM it looks so vintage...and yet their little heads and feet bother me too badly to seal the deal. Ah, well.

The china cabinet, mirror, and table make me think that the event took place and this was taken at Doris and Ray's house...look at Doris's sweet little mom. "Ah! Candlesticks! Just what I wanted!"

Now, the next two photos came from another event, but were also taken by Russell Ray and also happened to be set at Doris and Ray's house. Look at the wall decoration of a harp in the background. This interior design detail was still there when I went to the estate sale that started all this Doris and Ray business for's eerie to think about how little notice I took of the house at the time, and now I spend every Friday poring over photos for clues about what it was once like!

Things to point out about the above photo:

  1. See Doris's folks in more casual attire on the couch?
  2. That plaid, wide collared dress on the woman at far left is SO. GREAT.
  3. See the girl to the Doris's mom's right, with Peter Pan haircut, strange white kitten heels, and crinoline showing? That same girl would turn out to be THE PRETTIEST collegiate deb and late sixties' bride you ever saw. I'll show you the pics from her wedding some Friday, for sure.
  4. The girl sitting on the arm of the sofa to the right is my new style icon. The dress, the glasses, the thong sandals...what is not to love?
  5. The kid at the far right (not Sonny, but looks a little like Sonny), is holding Doris and Ray's dog like a baby. Earnest expression +  terrier held as infant = the very best.

What did I tell you about the girl in the glasses? Here she is again, second from the left, and I'm still knocked out by her choice in spectacles. The lace dresses in this group shot, in general, are fabulous. See Ray's dangerously high waisted pants, and how much I want the brunette on the right's wide belted dress. I'm not sure who the older woman seated is, but I should be able to find out. If I ever get my act together!!

So, there you have it. Family get-togethers in formal portraiture! Did your grandparents ever have a silver anniversary party? Do you have any family photos of momentous enough occasions to have the photos professionally done? Which of the ladies' dresses in the above pictures do you like best? Tell, tell!

That's all for this week-- have to gather my gumption and hit a couple estate sales while the going is good! Have a great weekend, and I'll see you guys on Monday!


  1. Yeah, unless the fashion motif I'm aiming for is "Viking warrior, " I don't think I'm ever going to be draping myself in fur that still has visible reminders that I am wearing previously sentient life. But hats!! I could be down with hats. I'm totally off to waste hours googling proper hat etiquette, just you wait and see.

    1. Haha, tell me what you find re: wearing hats indoors during social events, during movie screenings, etc, etc. :)

  2. Hi Lisa, my name is Cassandra and my blog is Lapis & Llamas. I wanted to let you know I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award.
    I really like reading your blog and see what great finds you have acquire.
    Here is the post I wrote about it:


    1. Well, thanks for the award and thanks for reading! It's so sweet of you to think of me!

  3. As always, Doris and Ray give me the bittersweets. Mom found a little handful of pics that G-ma had squirreled away. In the pile was a date night photo of Mom and Dad, circa 1960. Daddy had the Butch-wax thing going on, so snappy!
    But Mom!! Oh, my God, what a beauty. Cat eye glasses, perfect rolled under blonde 'do. Big bosom and tiny little waist. A little gold watch on her wrist.
    It just kills me.

    1. I love seeing "when they were young" pictures of your own family like that. My dad unearthed a super-rare picture of his parents before he was was funny because I'd always seen them either grandparents-old or when-my-dad-was-a-teenager-middle-aged. They looked SO. GLAMOROUS. in their early twenties'. The details of your folks' photo sound so adorable, gold watch, catseye glasses, and your dad's waxed hair-do. Why won't people dress up anymore! Why!

  4. Doris's parents are adorable! My grandparents just celebrated their 50th anniversary last December. My parents gave a huge party. Too bad we didn't think to get a photographer!

    I LOVE those foxes--I have a stole that is four little minks all together. They still have their heads, feet and tails. I think they're adorable but everyone else thinks they're creepy.

    1. You are a braver woman than I, w/r/t those fox stoles! I almost, ALMOST bought a big, white, Jean Harlow-y set the other day at a sale, but my poor little heart quailed at the paws. THE PAWS. The heads don't even bother me that much (see: my enduring love of that taxidermied alligator head I got in New Orleans, Snappy). And they look so cool on!

      Happy (belated) 50th anniversary to your grandfolks! It's so sweet to see people who've been together that long.

  5. oh goodness i love the little terrier held like a baby. i try to get my dogs in every family picture too. so cute.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...