One of the things I love about old snapshots is the cultural history that lurks in even the most casual image. I'm not sure when this one was taken, but I'm guessing 1959 -- my brother David would have been almost three and I, six, and our baby brother three months and apparently asleep. NB: the many bookshelves in what was a modest home; the many Christmas cards, representing friends whose greetings were joyously displayed; and the young mother of whom someone thought enough to gift with a blouse embroidered with her initials. And look at the smiles!
If it is 1959, then one of my earliest memories is of an event that took place a week later, on the afternoon of New Year's Eve. I was wearing a yellow cotton turtleneck of which I was quite fond, and leaning against the living room picture window, looking down at the hill and bare woods and creek behind our house. My mother was explaining that the next day a new decade would begin. "I don't want it to be 1960," I declared firmly. "I like the 1950s."
Looking back, decades after the upheavals of the 60s, that seems an oddly prescient remark for a six-year-old girl. But I think I was just happy ~ with my parents, my brothers, my school, our house, our yard, our grandparents, our animals (one Great Dane and one stray cat whose name was about to be changed from Tom to Tomasina), and our impending departure for five months in Florida.
Who knew that the Sally Draper years lay ahead?