Friday, August 3, 2012

Photo Friday: Meet Sonny Edition

Good morning! I realized last Photo Friday when I was trying to show you how adorable Ralph the dog was that, in spending so much time in the middle aged years of Doris and Ray, I had completely neglected to mention that she had ((again, dramatic organ music)) a first marriage and a son from that marriage. Whoops! Ladies and gentlemen, meet Sonny:

                    Hey, hey Take It Away! Get that ball and Fight!

Sonny, and Doris's exhaustive collection of Sonny-related portraiture, both professional and off the cuff, is actually the entire reason I have the Doris and Ray collection. The gold frame that the sales woman mentioned I could easily take the photograph from was what sparked my divulging the fact that I was a low-down, dirty, other-peoples-pictures collector. And that frame held a studio-sat photograph of Sonny, all blonde hair and 1940's alpha child in a white collared shirt. It was what had stood out at me the most at the whole sale...I think I paid $2 for it. When I started digging into a series of old photo album with black, construction paper grade pages (you know the kind), there were about a MILLION pictures of Sonny, but very few of his father, Doris's first husband Harry (for obvious reasons, no doubt). Here's a Photomat snap intact from one of the earlier albums:

The mystery man himself, Doris's first husband Harry.

You can imagine what a cute family they must have made, with two blonde, blonde parents and a little towheaded kid with a face like one on a baby forumla label. Here's that chubby little cutie:

As Sonny was born in about 1939, a lot of his WWII era baby clothes include military inspired kiddie ensembles. Can you believe how adorable these two pictures are? I love the tiny enlisted man's garrison cap he's wearing in either picture, the baby-sized wool overcoat in the first and the tiny ringer shirt peeking out from the uniform on the right. I don't think that's standard issue, little guy! Can you see the actual serviceman walking down the city street behind him?

The picture I was talking about earlier was almost identical to this, only a little more soft focus, and hand colored. Honorable Mention! I couldn't find any information on the competition itself, but I think the placing was well-earned, if not a little low ranking for such a cute kid! He has Doris's blue eyes, doesn't he?

He was robbed!
Sonny went to Eakin School, in West Nashville in the late forties'. Eakin is still a school a little down the road from the building you see in the picture-- the original Eakin building is now Martin Professional Development Center, where MNPS teachers go for workshops and staff training (I've been to this place, several times!). Doris was active in the PTA, which you could tell by the handful of student programs and PTA committee meeting minutes she saved. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has to have items of a sentimental nature forcibly removed from their hands. Look at his teacher with tie-tack in middle, and Sonny on the front row.

I think the practically hairless kid at top left is my favorite. What ears! What a gaze!

There were three more class pictures like this from other years, but they were pasted in the album in such a way that I would have had to fold one over to get a good scan of the other. Ah, too bad. I think my favorite of the bunch is this next one, anyway. It's all about the details, folks!

On further inspection (and these closeup insets I've cropped for you), you can see some of the more important sartorial choices. The kid at top left, in the first photo, is wearing some kind of superhero pullover, while the boy at bottom right is wearing a Roy Rogers pullover of very similar make. The little girl next to the superhero guy's dress looks like she's wearing a tiny version of an adult dress I would like to wear. The kid in the middle has a really neat cowboy motif to his button up shirt . And at right, Sonny looks picture perfect as always.

WHY. WHY. WHY! Do kids not dress like this anymore?! You're lucky if an adult dresses this nicely!

Well, there you have it! Now that I've explained who he is, you'll probably be seeing more of Sonny in these Friday postings. He had one of the most Pat Boone-esque teenage years of any human ever, so you'd better believe I have photos I need to show you of 1950's prom and sock-hop-ish parties at Doris and Ray's house!

That's all for this week; see you guys Monday! Have a great time at the sales, let me know what you got!


  1. These photos are adorable! I just love old class photos. I love the little girl in the front (to the left) of the second photo who is totally rockin' the peasant look. They're all so cute! And yes, you would have trouble getting adults to dress that well now. Even the kid in the superhero sweatshirt is wearing a belt!

    Is it just me or does Harry look like a blond Kevin Spacey?

    1. I LOVE the uniformity (people in rows, all standing straight in a group) of class pictures, team pictures, regiment pictures; anything with a bunch of people in the same pose and all different faces. Seeing how much these kiddos look like miniature adults is such a trip, too. I think Harry does look Spacey-esque...I'm gonna have to scour the albums to see if I can find any more pictures of him to triangulate this opinion, haha.

  2. amazing. i love the little girls hair with the cute dress and glasses! i'm hoarding little dresses JuST IN CASE so my kid will be dressed like this, at least as long as i can force them. haha.

    1. I know! I have a hope chest (or laundry room storage stash) of neat toys and clothes from estate sales. It's so hard to resist tiny, vintage things! With that ski-squirrel dress, you're already heads and shoulders ahead of me on that one, though, haha!

  3. Wow, what a cool thing to collect. I often see random pictures at thrift shops, etc. and really and truly hope that my future family is appreciative and keeps the pictures of me! At least you're appreciating this family's.
    Have a great weekend,

    1. It's weird how attached I've become to them! And it's fun sleuthing through the papers to see who was related to whom and how. Thanks for reading! :)



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