Saturday, May 09, 2020

Vintage People

People. There's been a lot of them. Some of them lived a long time ago. Let's take a look!

The date: August, 1953. The place: Palo Alto (California). That sure looks like a nice little post-war housing tract (the trees are still saplings, the bushes still need a few years to fill out). Snug homes for families with a mom, dad, and a couple of kids! Thanks to the writing on the slide, I can tell you that the little girl's name is Debbie, the boy's name is Mike, and their mom is Olga. I hope that dad grills a few steaks for dinner later and the family can watch Candid Camera, or maybe Dragnet, or even (zoiks) I Love Lucy.

Looks like these fellas are reliving their days when they were in the Army. "Look hon, the uniform still fits!". I'd love to know what the story was - the slide was undated but is probably from the 1950's, so I guess it's possible that these guys served in WWII; if they are in their 60's (which seems likely), they could be veterans of WWI.  Either way, thank you for your service, boys!

And finally, here's a house full of kids, circa 1951 - probably from some sort of church group (based on other slides in the batch). So much squirming! I don't know why, but I get a kick out of looking at these faces, and how some personalities come through over 60 years later. Freckle-faced jokesters; the boy with the cowboy hat; the future movie star to the right (in blue, with the pearls), or the glum girl with the bangs just below her. I can't help thinking about how their lives might have played out. Who went to Vietnam? Who got caught up in the counter culture of the 60's? Who got married and had 2.4 kids? And so on.

I hope you have enjoyed today's vintage people!


Nanook said...

...or even (zoiks) I Love Lucy. Aw shucks, Major. Parked behind Debbie, Mike, and Olga is a 1953 Ford sedan, and a 1952 or 1953 Ford station wagon.

My vote for best 'kid' in the last image has to go to the youngster in front of, and to the right of the lad sporting the cowboy hat - talk about a lopsided 'bowl haircut'-! What a beaut-! Also - extra points to the future Hopalong Cassidy, who has gone so far as to include cowboy leather wrist cuffs as a part of his western garb.

Fun stuff today. Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

One of my favorite subjects on GDB. Vintage life. One person in the last pic was obviously born in the 19th Century. All those kids with their futures ahead of them which has now come to pass. Wonderful images! Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I think that last slide is the "Redhead Kids & Their Friends Club" - as there are a LOT of redheads in that one picture! Growing up, I was usually the only redhead in most groups of kids. It was unusual to see 2 of us, in any one picture. There must've been something in the water, in THAT town!!

Thanks, Major! I love this category - Vintage People!

"Lou and Sue" said...

I also see, in that last slide, there's a helpless child drowning in this sea of children. He/she is to the (our) immediate right of Nanook's favorite (with the lopsided bowl haircut). Poor kid! (I wonder if that one also had red hair??)

TokyoMagic! said...

Little Debbie is hoping that one day, she can drive her blue convertible all the way to New York City and make a U-turn in the Holland Tunnel.

I don't know anything about military uniforms, so I should probably wait and let Chuck tell us what's what in that second pic.......but, is that the medical insignia/caduceus on the lapels of the man on the left?

JC Shannon said...

I like the first photo, I had a pedal tractor as a boy and I always wanted a convertable like she has. Ike jackets fell out of favor in the late 50's so perhaps these doctors (I'm guessing) are part of a Korean War MASH unit. I am sure a house full of kids was fun to get to stand still for a photo. Say cheese! Thanks Major.

Chuck said...

That second photo is almost certainly of WWII vintage. The man on the left is a U.S. Army colonel and the man on the right is a lieutenant colonel. As TM! has pointed out, the colonel is wearing the Medical Corps caduceus insignia on the lapels of his Ike jacket, and it also appears that the Lt. Col. (I'm using the WWII abbreviation intentionally) has one on his left collar. That may be his footlocker on the ground behind them.

The colonel is wearing ribbons for the American Defense Service Medal, awarded for service between September 8, 1939, and December 7, 1941, and the European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, awarded for service in that theater during the war. The lack of a WWII Victory Medal ribbon or a combat patch on his right sleeve date this uniform combination to no later than the first half of 1945.

These guys look to me like they are in their '40s or early '50s, which is not inconsistent with their rank. Doctors recruited or drafted from the civilian medical world were (and still are) given rank commensurate with their professional experience, although based on his ribbons the colonel at least began his service before the U.S. entered the war.

Note the wall tents (Stock No. 24-T-323) in the background are on elevated frames with doors, allowing occupants to be able to stand anywhere in the tent without having to stoop. The letters "US" were stamped on tents and equipment as an aid to identification. Nazi equipment was stamped with the letters "SIE," which is German for "them."

zach said...

Vintage America is one of my favorite weekend categories also. I see Jimmy in the right upper corner, always in the shadows. No one knows what every happened to him.

I grew up just down the street from Palo Alto in the same time frame. But we were in the county and didn't have sidewalks but we managed. We had to go off road with our peddle cars or stay on the driveway or street. I assume the 'sheds'(?) beyond the homes to the upper left have something to do with fruit. It was too soon for computers.

Is that Alfred E Newman peeking up to the lower right of Brown Haircut?

Fun scans, Major


stu29573 said...

Major, your first paragraph is the first paragraph of every one of my history reports as a kid. Heck, sometimes it was the whole report...

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I love that station wagon, I call dibs! There are some definite “mom haircuts” in that batch. I’ve seen cute bangs on girls, but boy, some of the ones in this picture are not so good! Thanks for pointing those leather cuffs, never seen those before.

K. Martinez, YES, isn’t it crazy to think that? “Born in the 19th Century”. I’m glad you enjoyed these!

Lou and Sue, it does seem like there are more than the usual percentage of redheads; wonder where this was taken? There’s a palm tree outside the door, so… somewhere in the southwest I guess. Other than hair color… not a lot of diversity in this group!

Lou and Sue, ha ha, I see the drowning kid, waving for help. I think it’s too late.

TokyoMagic!, as is often the case, I have no idea what you are talking about! ;-) Little Debbie? Holland Tunnel? Like you, I am waiting for Chuck to bail my lazy butt out and provide some real information.

Jonathan, that is a pretty sweet toy car, and I like the sporty blue color (red is so overdone!). I was thinking that these might be from the Korean War era, but without a date on them it’s so hard to tell.

Chuck, as usual you have gone above and beyond the call of duty! Thank you for all the info. I did notice the caduceus, but I am surprised that a colonel and lieutenant colonel don’t have more “bling” on their uniforms. More ribbons or stripes or that sort of thing. I didn’t really consider that these could be from WWII because color slides from that time are not exactly common, but I do have some going back to 1939, so it is certainly possible. I love that you can tell what the ribbons are on the colonel, it really brings so much more depth to the photo! Gosh, I would have guessed these guys were in their mid-to-late 50’s at least, but what do I know. THANKS Chuck!

dzacher, I’ll have to scan some more old “Americana” images, I have a few boxes with some good stuff. More content to keep the blog going! Jimmy was slowly absorbed ito the wallpaper. It happens. Hard to imagine Palo Alto before the tech boom, it was probably a nice suburban place. I thought those “sheds” might just be unfinished houses? And yes, that is definitely a young Alfred E. Newman.

stu29573, ha ha, old habits die hard! Barely related: my little brother had to do a book report every year, and he turned in the same “Watership Down” report over and over. Alway got a good grade too.

Chuck said...

Major, I just realized I forgot a uniform detail I had intended to mention. If you look at the colonel's lower left sleeve, there are three gold Overseas Service Bars. Each one denotes six months' service in a combat zone.

So, at the time this photo was taken, he had 18 months' combat zone experience, which would have have to included time in either North Africa or Italy (or both) since American troops were only on the ground in combat in northern Europe from June of 1944 to May of 1945. Is there any other indication as to where this photo might have been taken?

Melissa said...

Sue, something in the water and a very busy milkman? ;)

Itt not just the hair color; some of the kids have a striking facial resemblance to each other, too. I wonder if this congregation included a lot of the cousins from one very extended family? Not too unusual in small town churches.

I wonder how many of those little girls had headaches from spending the previous night in curlers.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I am amazed at what you can glean from that photo! I love that you can tell that the colonel had been in North Africa or Italy. Seems like he really was in the thick of the war, I wish we could get a detailed account of his life. Again, thank you for all that great information. And no, sadly, there was no other information… like 99% of slides, there was nothing written, no names or dates or anything.

Melissa, I definitely think at least some of the kids are siblings, like the girl in the red dress (to the left) and the girl next to her - definitely sisters. You’re right though, it’s like many of the kids came from a variation on the same mold! Busy milkman indeed! You can definitely see some fresh curls and severe bangs. Meanwhile the boys probably put on a clean shirt if you are lucky.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Melissa, I forgot all about wearing curlers to bed, as a little girl. Even the sponge rollers were uncomfortable. I was glad when curling irons became really popular, in the mid 70's. No more curler head pain.

Speaking of bad hair, I'll have to send the major one of mine to post (when I find it) - where my mom had trimmed my bangs (at least I think that's what she had tried to do), and must've put A roller in my hair the night before. It's a real winner.

In the last picture, see the handsome young man in the doorway, with the 'poop-eating' grin on his face?? I would love to know what he's been up to!!

Anonymous said...

Chuck, thanks for the info on the servicemen. Good to know so many details.

Thanks Major for vintage people.