02 March 2011

Circa 1960: The Kids' Table & Beyond

And so begins another series of images from the 35MM slides in the Nelsen Family archives...

My Mother Kathleen looking adorable on her Confirmation Day... Having gone to the same parochial school as she and her siblings (St. Joseph Hill Academy in Staten Island's Arrochar neighborhood) I can tell you that First Communion and Confirmation is a HUGE deal.  Each requires a lot of studying, memorization, rehearsal and overall preparedness.  These ceremonies really don't need to be stressful as they made them out to be, but it wouldn't be Catholic School if it wasn't somehow imbued with the potential for judgement, shame and threats of damnation.

 Mom with her parents Joan and Norman (above) and her Aunt Marion and Uncle Richard (below).

My Aunt Karen (age three) in front of the still-fairly-new Nelsen Family home at 95 Browning Ave.

Another Easter with The Best Dressed Kids on Todt Hill... After seeing this blog post, my Mom phoned me to note that in this particular photo, her somewhat boyish (but still adorable) bowl cut was courtesy of Vince The Barber, whose services my grandmother employed to save money.

Yet another First Holy Communion Day... Though my Uncle Kevin may look angelic here, can you see the Pint Sized Hellion behind his eyes?  I'm shocked that he didn't do an immediate "home plate slide" into the topsoil of the flower bed just to mess with my long-suffering grandmother. 

Winter 1960... Two autos adrift in the snow next to the woods at the foot of Browning Avenue.

These unmarked slides are from an amusement park outing, but I am unsure as to the venue.  They do look a bit like the images in the brochure for The Land Of Make Believe (which I found a copy of in a manila envelope of tourism brochures at my grandparents' home ages ago) but it could also be Wild West City.

And then there's THIS... I have gotten conflicting stories on this particular event, but I'm just glad that there's photo evidence to at least corroborate some of this insanity.  Apparently, someone in my family decided it would be a good idea to put my Uncle Kevin in drag as Shirley Temple for a look alike contest.  Why this was a good idea for a 7 year old boy who lived for sports, tree-climbing and fort-building, I have NO clue whatsoever.  Let's just say that he should thank his lucky stars that this was 1960... a good 35 years before the internet and 45 years before YouTube.  And while we're at it, I must tell you that is was NOT the start of a career in West Village piano bars for him.