Friday, December 7, 2012

Photo Friday: Flickr Spotlight Edition

Good morning!

I've been a bad little egg and forgot to scan anything for you guys to see this Photo Friday! Between night classes wrapping up and work and every other little thing, remembering to run Doris and Ray's snaps under the old scanner just slipped my mind. However! Thanks to the bounty of the internet, we still have some pictures to look at-- from a Flickr account, might I introduce you to Carol French:

When I was in college, and the internet was new to me, and I had a lo-o-o-o-ot of free time on my hands, I used to spend scads and scads of time on Google image search. I might have mentioned this to you before, but by using search terms like "mom 62" or "xmas 74", you can find al-l-l-l-l kinds of other peoples' family photos. I don't want to sound like a creep, but it's a perfect afternoon for me to pore over vintage vernacular photography until my eyes go numb, trying to spot particular wallpaper patterns, or how one set up one's kitchen in late 40's, or how to wear bobby sox, saddle shoes, and pegged pants in a historically accurate way. The thrill of getting a special little peek into someone's family history is too appealing to me. Is that bad?

I'm not sure which search term turned these up, but in one photostream, I found 92 photos uploaded by Carol French's daughter or son, and was struck by this bespectacled beauty's pictures of growing up in the forties' and fifties'. Even better, each photo also included the handwritten notes the subject herself, carefully noting who was in the picture and what was going on.

Here's Carol at Christian summer camp, "before boys and girls could swim together". Can you imagine? Nearly nude teenagers frolicking in the same swimming pool? It kind of seems indecent, now that you mention it, that you would be seeing people in pretty much their underwear in public. I always secretly wished for the "bathing costumes" of the pre-flapper era, complete with tights and booties. Even now that I'm decent shape, I haaaate exposing my upper thighs and spandex-clad torso in front of God and everyone almost as much as I lo-o-o-ove going down the hundred foot slide at Wave Country. Luckily, one outweighs the other by just a breath.

Carol is a pistol packin' mama in the next picture, on the left-- see her tiny victim on the living room carpet? "Oooh! YA GOT ME." ((crumples to the floor)). Can you spot the Santa dolls on the back of the oh-my-God-I-love-the-print-on-that-couch? Before cable and the internet, I think kids had a lot more time to come up with "stunts" to you ever think about the Little Women characters writing books and putting on plays in their spare time? If you said your kids did that nowadays, you'd actually have to be a extremely wealthy, a character from a Wes Anderson movie, or lying. At left, a pre-glasses Carol is wearing a beautiful dress with a duster ruffle, I would like this in a grown-up size.

This picture is nice, but the story on the back is the real selling point. "Left that purse on the train going home at the end of the summer. I was sad because I loved it." Heartache! It's a particularly sweet little box purse, too.

Here, a grown up Carol, nineteen, (now married I assume by the name change?), is in her first apartment! Look at the gingham cafe curtain and the big sink and counter piece behind her, so late fifties'. That said, doesn't her hair and clothes and glasses look like it could have been taken of someone today? Neat as a pin. Once again, the notation on the back of the picture is almost the star of the show. And to think! There they were in someone's album, face front, unseen, for who knows how long. I think some of the wording was added later (in one picture, she's asleep in bed and the caption reads "I'm 71 years old and I still sleep like this!"), but again, I'm so used to no-identifying-information-whatsoever on the backs of pictures that these are really treasures.

And last but not least, two of the best stories-on-the-back. At left, a hand-me-down-dress that I think looks wonderful, but Carol has other opinions about. The old caption reads "15 yrs dress was 3 shades of green sounds yuk but it wasn't to [sic] bad"; the later caption revises "yes it was. It was given to me. I had no choice." At right, as they break ground for an addition to the house, a story about how Carol's daughter Rhonda (a name I never, never see anymore...why? It's a great name!), when "very little", climbed up an unattended ladder and knocked herself out when she fell off. Oh my GOD I bet that was terrifying for her mother! "Came to on the way to the doctor was ok," the caption goes on to reassure the reader. Phew!

You can seen tons more from Carol French's family photos at Flickr. And if you are Carol French, I'm sorry to pillage your pictures! You're a gorgeous lady with a lot of life in your captions, and I hope you don't mind my borrowing them to show them off.

Have a great weekend! I'll see you guys on Monday!

Post-script-- Ruthie just pointed out that Carol French is also the name of the fictitious head of French's product family recipes from Tuesday's post! I can't believe I was in such a pre-coffee haze that I didn't even notice! Ruthie definitely gets our "return reader" award of the day!! :)


  1. wow! i love these, even without the captions they are nice.

    1. Right? I can't get over how cute she looks in her eyeglasses. The latter day hatefulness she felt for that borrowed dress, though, really takes the cake for me.

  2. I can understand why they wouldn't let Carol swim with the boys; look at her come hither look as she coyly splashes in the water. I'm dying over her getting knocked out...glad she was okay, but how was the ladder?

  3. Haha, when you're right, you're right! No word on the ladder. The answers to some mysteries are lost to time.

  4. Hello,
    I just found your darling blog, and became your newest follower. Everything here is so pretty! I look forward to reading your future posts soon. I hope you are enjoying the countdown to Christmas.
    Chloe xx
    P.S. If you would like to discover more beautiful vintagness then be sure to check my blog and especially my shop which is crammed full of all types of bits and bobs from the past! :D xx

    1. Thanks for reading! I'll have to check your site out!



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