As I mentioned, during Christmas I looked at many old family photos. It had been a few years since I last perused our collection, and this time around they seemed even better than before. This could be because I’m more obsessed with the past than ever (or just that I’m turning into a sentimental sap as I age).
I’m fascinated by many aspects of these photos: the clothes (naturally), the way NJ used to look, the way America was. It’s always interesting to learn about the day-to-day life of past decades, and even better when it’s your family (especially members you didn’t know that well). I love the photo below of my young nana (possibly aged 15-22?) looking caught off-guard, holding (what appears to be) a cleaning rag and possibly smirking like, “why are you taking my picture?!” Maybe it was one of her brothers playing a joke on her; a gag that will always transcend time.
As much as we’ve advanced over the years, there are still so many similarities. When I went through these photos I kept wondering how it must have felt to be the first in your family born in America, a feeling that continues to exist in present day of course. Pretty sure my nana’s family had been in the US at least a generation prior to her birth, but I’ll bet there was still friction between old world and new. Such as: many photos of my nana and her sisters emulating pin-up photos, or posing with midriff peeking out or a generous amount of leg (hehe). What did her parents have to say about that? Granted it was 1940 not 1840, but I still feel like parents of the time would not have totally approved. I know my grandma and her sisters were surely nice girls, but now I can’t help but imagine them sneaking off to buy OUTRAGEOUS FRIVOLOUS FASHIONS and drink sodas with BOORISH AMERICAN BOYS. I really hope that was the case.
Here’s the potential room-cleaning photo. She looks like such a little baby teen! I love the sunglasses in the bottom photo too.
Another set that is CLEARLY from the 40s. Peep the American flag towel on the couch. My grandpa wasn't in WWII so I'm wondering what that pinup-esque photo on the left was all about! I assume those photos were very trendy during that time, regardless of who you knew in service.
I’m not quite sure who these kids are but this party is so charming.
My grandma and her sisters. I’ve never seen her look as tiny as the picture at the left so she must have been really young. Love the peplum suit in the middle! So #ontrend right now too ;]
The photo of my nana with the dog melts my heart. Not to mention the light/blur in that top photo make it one of the most beautiful I”ve ever seen. At bottom right, my grandma rocks a sweet peasant blouse with my grandpa, mostly likely at the (crowded!) New Jersey Shore.
My grandma and her parents and (I think?) brother. I believe this is in their backyard, complete with gardens and chickens. So old world – I know very few people with large gardens or chickens in NJ these days!
Oh, that coat. The embroidery on the sleeves! Looks like something I’d find in Dear Golden’s vintage shop!
My grandpa begins to make more appearances in photos as we advance chronologically. He served in the Korean War, and these photos are likely from that era.
Over time my mom (middle) and her brother came along! 50′s livin’, smokin’ it up.
More of my mom as a kid.
I’m obsessed with both of these photos. The right photo for obvious reasons (glovesglovesgloves), but I love the left because it’s so mysterious. It appears my nana is wearing a negligee?! She’s a little older here, so I don’t think this is a case of “photos sent to husband during war”. Very strange indeed. How risque, Rosie!
Moving further in time…check out the stuffed snake in the back window of that car. Alternate caption: my mom is killin’ it in awkward 60s preteen fashions, on the right.
New Year’s Eve! The “still-life” at right is special to me because of the framed photos on top of the TV. After we found this photo, we also uncovered that exact frame including the original photos. Very weird to see an object in 1960s time, and again/identical in your hands during 2013.
Extended family members included for awesome fashions and hair choices. Also, as a kid I had a mini version of that chair at right – it’s covered in a Bicentennial USA celebration print. I would do. anything. to. have. it again.
, korean war
, old family photos