I got my first camera for Christmas in 1962. I wasn’t very good with it, as the evidence below will certainly show, but I sure enjoyed it. My dad had a camera and I always knew I wanted one. Why and how we had the money for it I don’t know. I suspect it was a good crop year, or perhaps Gran helped pay for it, or maybe Dad made a good “trade” at the local pawn shop. I doubt that it was a new camera. Maybe I should ask him. I remember that it was some kind of Brownie and to take a picture I had to look at the little viewer in the top of the camera. It had a flash with little bulbs. The first lesson was: the flash bulbs get very hot!
I cherish these photos because they bring back lots of memories. Funny how little details like a lamp or a rug or a picture on the wall behind someone will evoke the sights and sounds and smells of that time.
In 1962 we lived behind a bar in Highway City, CA, in a cramped little house with cement floors. Our neighbor, Elizabeth, was a German woman with a thick accent who had survived the concentration camps. She told horrible but fascinating stories about shoveling manure for hours each day, and about the deaths of her relatives. She was just a child, but the effects never left her. She cleaned constantly and ironed everything, even underwear, to “kill germs” and to feel safe.
Elizabeth’s daughter, Anna, was Dan’s sweetheart. When they started school together he was in the morning class and she was in the afternoon one. He cried inconsolably, and even threw up a few times, until Elizabeth begged the principal to move Anna to the morning class.
The boys got guns and toys and paints that Christmas. Jim especially liked to do art work.
The picture of Mom shows her reading about the Kennedy assassination.
The following summer David and I spent days digging a huge hole in the back yard for a “swimming pool”. We just couldn’t figure out how to make the water stay in it! I think our boxer eventually got the benefit of it.
Not the best of photos…but good memories.