I only have a hot second here before Matthew and I head out the door for the Chattanooga Aquarium as a belated birthday trip for my Bab (we're gonna meet a fish!), but I wanted to share with you what MAY BE my favorite Photo Friday Flickr discovery yet. I don't know her name, but folks, meet this guy's mom. She's stylish, cute as a button, and most of these slides/photographs look like they are literally reference photos for a set dresser on Mad Men. I could actually die:
I was going to do a post on eyeglasses and my lasting misery over having to bespectacle myself for another week owing to an overtaxed-from-contacts left eye and my optometrist's orders, when I came across this woman in her cats-eye sunglasses and bright print floral dress on a sixties' vacation to Puerto Rico, and said eyes just about bugged out of my head. Now, based on her looks and fashion and the location and time alone, I'd obviously be hooked, lined, and sinkered...but check this out. For each scanned photo, her son has asked her to describe, in detail, what is going on in the photo. So while this is a GORGEOUS photo of someone who looks like one of Don Draper's secretaries, watch how much better it becomes simply by virtue of having "the whole story" accompanying the image:
From this photo (which IS PERFECT, by the way):
Mom: This one is at the airport hotel.
Me: The morning after the wedding?
Mom: Yeah, because we had to catch a flight.
Me: That was your first flight ever?
Me: You look relaxed.
Mom: Well, I was excited. Flying was a luxury in those days. They weren't that many people, or that many flights. Stewardesses treated you real special. It was a real experience. There was room in the plane, they weren't so big. It was just a special experience, and just seems so horrible today to fly. You feel like cattle. It's just not the same feeling. So yes, I was excited to fly. This was the first time anybody in my family had flown out of the United States. I felt real grown up. And I was what, twenty? And that's how you flew, dressed up like that. I'm sure Daddy wore a suit and tie. So that all added to the ambiance.
From the photo on the left:
Mom: This is a dressed-up dress. I may have worn it to go dancing, or a wedding, because I could also tell from my hair. Yeah, that was very popular hairstyle then. It was evening hairstyle, because it had all these curls at the top.
Me: How does that make it an evening hairstyle?
Mom: Well, if it was during the day, you wouldn't wear the curls. It would smoother, sleeker. You wouldn't have all these curls on the top.
Me: How about that pin?
Mom: It must've been one of my favorites because I remember wearing it with my pink mohair dress in an earlier photo.
Me: How about the flowers?
Mom: The vase was a wedding present, I think from Aunt Pat. It was Stuebing glass.
Me: What do you mean, was?
Mom: Oh, I still have it! Steubing glass was a very...
Me: Classy glass?
Mom: Yeah, yeah! And the flowers were made of plastic. The delphiniums were purple, and it looks like there's some blue poppies. Horrible now! But I liked it then. And in the background, in the mirror, hanging, was a birdcage I bought and stuck more blue poppies in it.
Me: They must've been a pain to clean.
From the photo on the left:
Mom: I would say we were going out at night because of my black gloves. And it was night because of the lack of light coming in from the curtains. So we were definitely going someplace fancy.
Me: I notice you guys don't take a lot of pictures in the day time.
Mom: Well, that's because we would take them when were doing something special like throwing a party or when we got dressed up to go somewhere, and in both cases this was at night. We didn't want to waste film. Film was expensive.
Almost every single photo, and there are tons of them, have some accompanying story from the guy's gorgeous mom telling us about the circumstances under which the photo was taken, what was going on in their lives, how she felt about the dress, the decorations, the person in the photo with her...but don't take my word for it! Click through to the sources so you can see the real deal unfolding before your very eyes!
Have you undergone any family history projects like this? I can remember my grandma going through the old photo albums and telling me about all her uncles and aunts and various relatives in 1930's Falmouth, MA, but of course, we took no notes. DRAT.
Have a great weekend, and I'll see you on the other side!