Smile Photo – Pocketbooks At The Beach


This is another of my “smile” photos. Pictures that make me smile whenever I look at them.

My grandmother, Mae, is on the far right. The other women are two of her sisters, but  I’m not sure which ones (it was a large family). The man is her brother, Jimmy.  My grandmother died in 1969, so this was probably an early 1960’s photo.  Maybe 1950’s.

I’m fairly certain this was taken on the shore of the James River, and most likely at Burwell’s Bay.  It was a small beach located not far from where most of Grandma’s family lived.  And I’m guessing this was taken at a family gathering.

There are a couple of things about this picture that make me smile. One is that all three ladies are wearing open-toe shoes.  Obviously the style at that time. 

The dresses are a “given”.  In that era, women in that age group didn’t wear slacks, only dresses. Can you imagine seeing a group of women dressed like this at the beach in today’s world? It would probably make the evening news.

The other is that all three have their pocketbooks.  I never heard my Mom or Grandma refer to them as purses or handbags.  And ladies of my grandmother’s generation were never too far from their pocketbooks. Even at the beach.

And it makes me smile. Every time.

10 responses to “Smile Photo – Pocketbooks At The Beach

  1. I’m sure you’re right about the dating of this picture. Until sometime in the early ’50, Grandma always wore her hair in a bun. Then she joined the MODERN world and had it cut and permed! Wonders will never cease.
    And ladies went nowhere, absolutely nowhere without their pocketbooks. And some of the women who live in this bldg always bring their “pocketbooks” just to come down to the Social Room…go figure.

  2. A treasured photograph for sure. Nice story.

  3. Thanks for sharing this historic family treasure of happy times. Shows a real appreciation for life when people get all dressed up for the special occasion of going to the beach as a family.

  4. I guess they never knew when they might need something out of there .. always good to be prepared! Love the old family photos, but I don’t remember seeing this one before …..

  5. And I bet – even with those open-toed shoes at the beach – that they were wearing pantyhose too! 🙂

  6. No, Texwisgirl – NOT pantyhose: they probably hadn’t been invented yet. It was probably the stockings with garters!!

  7. It looks like somebody MADE them pose for that picture on the beach. They sure don’t look happy!
    I’ll have to dig up some old photos of my grandmother at the beach. She has one of those old wool bathing suits on that covers her whole body. I don’t know how you could swim in that…and getting sand in it? Ewwww

  8. those ladies are Aunt Julia & Aunt Belle in the middle…

  9. I will never forget when Grandma got her hair cut. Aunt Lucille took her and mama was so upset. No they were not happy. Mama said Grandma did not like the beach. Everytime we had the family reunion at Uncle Bob’s mama would fuss because she knew Grandma did not like the beach.
    Every picture I have ever seen with Grandma she had her pocketbook on her arm or in her lap. Maybe a few taken at home but anywhere else she had her pocketbook. Can not recall ever seeing her open it though. Love, love family photos. This one I have never seen,remember Aunt Julia and Aunt Bell and Uncle Jimmie but always thought Uncle Jimmie was much bigger. He seemed so when I was little. Wasn’t Grandma the prettiest? And how about the aprons, at home she always had an apron on. So many good memories….

  10. That photo is a real gem! I can see why you have to smile when ever you look at it.

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