We made it Friday, people! I can almost TASTE the weekend! I'm still digitally rifling through the USB drive my dad gave me a couple weeks ago of the FULL family archive. There are snips and snaps from Victorian times to the present, but what's funny about my attitude towards these photos versus the ones I usually seek out on the internet is that I actually gravitate towards ones with the most mundane, recognizable backgrounds. When I'm looking at Flickr, I tend to scrutinize forties' footwear or how a pretty blonde did her makeup, where the setting may be, who the guy with the umbrella with her is. In these photos, most mysteries are solved-- I know the people in the photos, and where they were taken. However! One background detail has caught my eye in sixities' and seventies' photos of my mom's family and it's driving me nu-u-u-uts.
I love my grandadddy's "No Pictures Please!" response to my grandma's papparazzi attempts at catching a slice of life photo. This is the living room their house, and that's the same couch (reupholstered in the late seventies', I think) and coffee table that was still sitting in the same spot in that front room all my childhood. The pinch pleat drapes had a complicated system of closing via pulley system that always confounded me when late afternoon was upon us and my grandma had sent me from the back room to get her a Diet Rite and "close the front curtains". It was like cat's cradle, except harder. However! The one thing I DON'T recognize from this photo is the freakin' fiberglass shaded lamp on the far right of this tableau. Where've you been all my life!
I know it's not the most amazing fifties' lamp-- there's no stalking panther or embracing gypsy couple or atomic whoosh as the base, but still! Look at that shade! Turquoise, with black lined swoops. Having a curator's-own memory of each and every object both in the house and the substantial garage of this property, I can vouch for the fact that it must have been given away at some point before my 1985 and onward tenure as a frequent visitor in the house. The lamps in this room in my childhood had foot high black square bases in high gloss, with two foot high, tall barrel shades.
I bet this thing looked gorgeous lit up. Oh, wait, I don't have to bet. Here's another photo of it lighting the room for a Christmas past (early 70's judging by others from this same set) on my granddaddy receiving a wallet for a yuletide gift.
My grandparents were always a little weird about hanging onto something forever and then throwing it out/giving it away in a fit of cleaning pique that never made sense to me. Example, in the late nineties', I found something like fifteen boxes of old Redbooks and Better Homes and Gardens magazines from the sixties' and seventies' that had been kept in the garage since they were recent. You can imagine my little heart quailed with love of old fashion spreads and advice columns for the totally ace Nixon-era housewife I could have been! I came down one weekend, expecting to dive back into this moldering archive, when I found the boxes were gone. When I asked about them, my grandma related that they'd taken them "over to the school to be recycled". My tiny heart sunk. It was the right thing to do for space in the garage, but dang! I could have really enjoyed those! Ah, well. Nothing g(old) can stay.
Do you have any old photos of familiar interiors made unfamiliar by just a couple decorating touches that predate YOU? Are there any items from your childhood home that are long gone now, but you wish you could have kept in the family for just ONE more generation? What surprises you most about looking through your own family photos?
That's all for today, I gotta hit the sales, people! Have a fabulous weekend, and I'll see you on the other side. Til then!