Show and Tell

Show and Tell

OK, I do look like Winston Churchill as a baby. Damn. So maybe it's time to eat a little crow. I'm sorry, Mother, you were right. Now, do you feel better because I sure as hell don't. Note to self: It's probably best not to leave any photographic evidence behind if your baby is a little homely. There's a chance he could grow out of it. PS-If this is the best picture they had what did the bad ones look like?!

The 1957 picture was taken in the living room of Mom and Dad's recently built (1955) Watson Drive house-which was the first modern house built in Wilson. It had a living room that was almost 23 feet square (huge) that they couldn't afford to furnish and, if memory serves me correctly, in those early years they would put up a huge Christmas tree and there wasn't much else in there except a Christmas tree (and a hobby horse) during the holidays. In the late 50's and 60's they would fill the room up fairly often by having large dinner parties as well as cocktail parties. We would be in the kitchen eating maraschino cherries and scavanged party food. To this day when I eat a maraschino cherry I think of a party at my parent's house. Then we'd crack the swinging dining room door to see what was going on and it was an exotic world to a kid of 5 or 6. Adults dressed to the max, heads thrown back laughing, rapidly talking to each other, eating cocktail food, many were smoking and all had highballs of liquor, beer or glasses of wine in their hands. Everyone seemed to be having a great time. One party I remember particulary well was an "Oriental" theme where everyone dressed up accordingly and Asian food was served. Being politically correct hadn't been invented yet nor were the hazards of smoking. This group of revelers and friends knew how to have a great time (or at least it looked like that to me, behind the kitchen door, eating maraschino cherries). I can't see a party on the TV program "Mad Men" and not think of these parties as the Wilson version of the ones filmed later for TV.

It's kinda obvious why I call this picture "Two big heads, four huge ears and one gingerbread house" but what I'm really wondering about is what's up with my brother's cowboy outfit? And where is his cowboy hat? As it turns out he's recently confessed he also has trouble being fitted for hats so it seems to be a family problem. Who knew? The matching cowboy hat I'm curious about would not have fit either of the heads in this picture. Moving on....mother made the gingerbread house and she loved it so much she saved it for many years and used it even in a dilapidated state in later years. Finally it disintegrated to the point it could no longer be used and she had to throw it out but she didn't want to. She was very proud of that hand-made Christmas decoration and couldn't ever bring herself to build another one because it wouldn't live up to the original, memorialized here. Also, look at the Christmas tree in the background which was probably 10 feet tall with the huge colored lights. Those lights were the size of an adult man's thumb and were so hot they could burn the fingerprints off of your fingertips. I can remember being told not to touch them which I would promptly do and get burned. The Christmas tree was in a metal bucket with bricks around it that Dad struggled to get stable every year. I'm not sure why the tree didn't fall down, or catch fire or why the house didn't burn down but none of those calamities ever happened. We had our fair share of other things happen, but not the ones mentioned above.

It's Christmas 1960 and there's another little Big Head joining the Hackney family but she's a darn cute little big head. Is it an optical illusion or did Mother got her Christmas wish that Johnny's ears as well as mine seem to be flattening out? I can't see the huge colored lights on this Christmas tree but I can see that it's all decked out in tinsel which was de rigeur for the trees of that decade. We're also sitting on a cork floor which was the flooring throughout our modern house - the only one in Wilson, NC that was the source of much conversation around town. "What is it? A train station? was a common refrain". My grandparents and their Williamsburg and Colonial architecture loving friends definitely did not approve. My parents, as usual, were a little ahead of their time by about 60 years. In 2016 cork floors are the rage again as are modern houses.

"I wanna hold your hand"-Christmas 1962

Guy Cox, the local Wilson photographer (or the huge camera he was using to take our picture with), scared the bejesus out of Lou and she kept running into the house crying every time she saw him. After many tries we finally got lined up and if I held her hand, she would stand in the correct position that Mom and Guy had in mind for the perfect Christmas card for that year. If you look closely, you can still see the terror on her face and some tear stains on her cheek, but most people were probably looking at the overall card quickly before passing over it to the next family Christmas card received in the mail that day. Plus it's a great picture of Mom so who cares if one of the kids looks a little tearful?! Mom was 33 in this picture, younger than my older daughter, Elizabeth, is today and I was 5, younger than my oldest grandchild, Page, is today. Wow, that completely confuses me. Thinking about the Mad Men analogy again, if that TV show was about a family in Wilson vs. New York and about if it was about an Insurance Man vs. an Ad Man, and if the family was southern vs. northern, then this picture could be of that family, don't you think? I'm confused again. As usual. Actually, I really like this picture and it says a lot about the family we still are today (and check out my snazzy shoes).


Post has no comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

Captcha Image

Stay In Touch

Subscribe to my blog.

Get Connected

Recent Posts

  1. Better Than Darryl's Ribs Tom Hackney 26-Jan-2018
  2. 1 Day - 11,443 Steps - 47 Pictures Chelsea Perry 13-Jan-2018
  3. Snap - Crackle - Flop Chelsea Perry 06-Jan-2018
  4. Christmas Day Sunset - Atlantic Beach, NC Chelsea Perry 25-Dec-2017
  5. Tipsy Chelsea Perry 13-Dec-2017