Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Steve in Palm Springs, December 1954

When Steve Stuart offered to share many of his personal scans on GDB, I made a counteroffer to rescan his slides, including the ones that were not theme park related. And he took me up on that offer! With his permission, I thought it would be fun to take a little detour from Disneyland and head back to 1954, to sunny Palm Springs. Here's Steve with his commentary!

Here I am, evidently catching-up on the latest comics from the “LATimes” funny pages.  If memory serves – back when this image was taken – my guess is the side of the paper facing me had Li’l Abner, Peanuts and/or Nancy appearing on it.  (I always loved her aunt’s name ”Fritzi Ritz”, or merely ‘Aunt Fritzi’.  And then there’s ‘Sluggo’).  On the backside we can make-out Ella Cinders, Brenda Starr Reporter & Smokey Stover.  And just for the record – my posture has never been so good-!  You can just see my ‘infamous’, purple, “bikini” bathing suit – which only a Mother could love.  I, on the other hand, had no opinion at the time – or I’d like to think so.

These shots were taken at the Howard Manor Hotel, in Palm Springs, California – and it’s very much still there – although now re-named the Colony Palms Hotel.

This next view has me once again speed-reading my way through the “LA Times” – this time it’s the ‘Home’ section.  (Again with the bathing suit…)  And sitting next to me, some other unidentified magazine [most-likely Life], featuring an ad for Maxwell House Coffee and an article about Thanksgiving.  I believe these images were most likely taken in November of 1954 – which would make me about 3-1/2 years old.

Paddling through the crystal blue waters of the pool at the Howard Manor, is my aunt (my mom’s sister) and me – this time I see wearing more ‘modest’ outdoor attire.

And the final image has my mom relaxing on those same crystal blue waters at the Howard Manor pool.

These look like some great memories! For those of you in colder parts of the U.S., you can dream of lounging by a turquoise pool in the bright and cheerful sunshine of California's desert resort town. MANY thanks to Steve Stuart!


TokyoMagic! said... cute! And just think, the opening of something called Disneyland was only 7 months away! Nanook, I know you made a comparison earlier, of your mom to Dorothy Malone. Your aunt is reminding me of somebody, but I can't think of who it is. Maybe Loretta Young? Thanks for sharing more of your family pics with us!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Auntie looks like Audrey Meadows (of Honeymooners fame) to me.

@Nanoonk/Major P.
These are some great family photos from one of the best locations (Palm Springs) for vintage photos. You're lucky to have such a stash of familiy photos (and an ace scanner/retoucher in Major P.), thanks for sharing.

K. Martinez said...

Nanook, Every photo is a gem today. Like I said before, the photographer in your family knew what he was doing.

I really like the second image. Very sweet. And the third one with you and your aunt in the pool looks like a moment right out of a home movie of some Hollywood star from the 1950's.

I love these! Thanks again for sharing your personal family photos.

Unknown said...

Nicely done, Nanook. Thanks for sharing.

Melissa said...

Such a serious expression in the first picture, and then so gleeful in the second! I dub this set "The Before and After Kid!"

Nanook said...


I was in the throes of the 'cute business' back than. I think Alonzo P Hawk hit the nail on the head - Ms. Meadows gets my vote. Although in-person, my aunt more resembles herself.

Alonzo P Hawk-
Thank you for identifying the comparison to Audrey Meadows. I think our family has 'just-enough' family photos to paint a history. But many families seemingly have boxes and boxes of slides/snapshots, which definitely does not describe ours. And a shout-out to The Major for all his re-touching skills is always in order.

The shot with my aunt really does look like an image which would populate the 'society/celebrity' pages of magazines or newspapers, or captured in a newsreel back then - but that would decidedly not describe our family. Although you might describe our family as "celebrity adjacent".

Patrick Devlin-
You're welcome.

The real question is: Which one am I these times-?? (Even I'm not always certain). It reminds me of these lines from The Bishop's Wife (1947)...

"Oh Dudley, I never know when you are joking.
-Ah, I am at my most serious when I'm joking."

Chuck said...

Late to the party, but thanks for sharing another great batch, Nanook!