Chuckles and Tears

Looking at old photos from another century that were in Mom’s photo box was an unexpected kick in the feels. You know how photos were back then, more than a half century ago, mostly birthday parties, Christmas, and Summer vacations taken on an old Browning box camera with Kodak film.

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This photo makes me chuckle. It was an unwritten rule. Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, Construction Sets…. Dad got to play with them first. We always had to build the picture on the box or tube first before I could chew on or lose any of the critical pieces.

Birthday parties were always in pairs. Every child shared the party with cousins born that month. Diane (in the high chair) and I both celebrated in the November party. Nancy. in front, appears to be ready to toss the cake on the floor. I don’t believe she was trying to get even for anything I did during her September party… at least nothing I will admit to here.

Here’s a triple portrait from when there were only three of us. Nancy, Mary (the littlest one) and Me. No David then. But a 60’s space-age design on the curtains.

Mary was one of the triplets all born the same year. Jeanette and Janice were our twin cousins. The three of them celebrated their birthdays together.

Here is the situation the stork dropped down the chimney when I was eight. David was my little brother that is now taller than me, and he weighs more too.

Three of us on Halloween. We were very scary. Especially the evil little demon dressed like a princess. My kids like to make fun of this picture.

Here’s the one that made me cry. Patty was the second cousin whom the Berillas (On my mother’s side of the family) put in charge of me when we went all the way to Cleveland to visit. She was three years older than me, and she kept me out of trouble when we visited the Cleveland Zoo. As we were looking at these pictures, Mom told me that Patty came out of retirement last winter to work as a nurse again during the pandemic nursing shortage. For her trouble, she contracted Covid and died in December. I’m devastated still.

And here’s the last one for today (though not the last one I copied to share with my poor phone-camera skills.)

This is not the Cleveland Zoo. This is the Deer Farm Zoo in Mason City, Iowa. We could feed the deer by hand then with corn and little green “deer-food” pellets. There are still deer in East Park in Mason City half a century later. But they are fended off from people now. They still don’t bite… the deer, I mean. But they have to be out of the reach of people now so they don’t get hurt or get fed something that will kill them (even if it is considered food by crazy people.)

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Filed under autobiography, nostalgia, photos

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