18 May 2011

Nineteen Fifty-Three In Living Color

My Grandmother Joan with my then-newborn Uncle Kevin and Mother (nearly two years old).

Uncle Kevin is christened as his Godparents look on. 

My Grandmother receives baby gifts at a party thrown for her by former co-workers at AT&T.

Thanksgiving Dinner with Uncle Richard (in front, at left), Aunt Marion (in rear, at right) and their growing brood.  Cousin Lois is on the left (in red) and her fraternal twin sister Dianne is wearing a matching red top across the table from her at right.  Baby Cousin Janet is peeking around from behind Dianne, but there is no sign of Cousin Ricky, who was most definitely around at this time.  I don't know who the man in the blue tie is, but the older woman in the blue dress toward the back of the photo is my beloved Great Grandmother Mae Costello.

Classic Father & Daughter Moment:  My Grandfather Norman with my Mom at the park.

ABOVE & BELOW: Two gatherings... Many cousins.

My Grandmother tends to my (rather unhappy) Mom's pom pom outfit as Cousin Janet makes her best "grownup face".  This photo seems to have been taken at a scenic overlook on the Hudson River overlooking NYC.

ABOVE & BELOW:  My Grandmother and Grandfather with my Mom and the infant Kevin in front of their apartment on Hoyt Avenue in Staten Island.  Saint Vincent's Hospital can be seen in the background.

My Mom pushes a doll in a brand new toy baby carriage.  I'd like to think that she was just getting in some early practice, seeing as she would be pushing me around in one of these exactly 20 years later.

This must be where my Mom's love of the equine decorative motif began.  Who knew that such a highbrow taste level would have its origin atop a coin-operated storefront ride on a Staten Island street?

Though somewhat soft focus and oddly composed, this is one of my favorite images from the family slide archive.  I first happened upon this slide and took some sketches from it some time in the 1990s (when the slide carousels were first given to me by my Grandfather).  I remember being transfixed by the complexity of this Kodachrome frame (and the questions about the holiday activity around it) as I projected it onto a white wall of the studio in my Brooklyn apartment.  A short time later, after boxing up all of the carousels for what would become a whole decade, I would use elements of those initial sketches in the composition of a kaleidescopic drawing called "Every Xmas Ago".