The Summer Of ’61…

Last Sunday, in honor of Grandparents’ Day, I posted a picture of my maternal grandmother. I commented that I wished I had a photo of her and I together.

Shortly after I posted it, the husband of one of my cousins shared this photo in a comment to my post:

mom grandma etc-001

That’s my mom on the far left (rockin’ the red “tennies”), me sitting on the ground, and my Grandma directly behind me, wearing the blue dress. It was 1961. I was eight.

Whenever I’m fortunate enough to obtain a new-to-me copy of an old family photo, I just study it for days and days. Here are my observations about this one:

It was obviously taken in the summertime, since we’re all in short sleeves (except Aunt Lucille on the far right, who’s wearing a sweater and scarf. But if you ever knew Aunt Lucille, you’d understand…).

 My mom had suffered a severely broken ankle the summer before, and wore a cast for about four months. And, when this picture was taken, she was ten years younger than I am now.

I was going into the third grade that fall, but summertime when you’re eight years old seems to go on forever. School was probably the farthest thing from my mind when this picture was taken, thus the smile.

My mom had, most likely, attempted to trim my bangs. And I had not wanted to sit still while she did so, thus the lopsided hair cut.

I was about to become an aunt for the fourth time a few months later in November, when my sister would give birth to my niece, Donna.

On tv that summer, we were watching, among others, Dick Van Dyke, Red Skelton, Danny Thomas, The Rifleman (I had a crush on his son, Mark) and Dr. Kildare (also an object of my affection). Back when tv was good.

This picture was taken in the yard of a little country store that my grandmother owned and operated. Since it was about a half mile from where Mom and I lived, we visited her every day. Grandma would be with us for eight more years. I’ve often wished I had spent more time with her, asked her more questions about her life…

Although I remember her as a sweet person, she looks so serious in many of the photos she’s in; I’m glad she’s smiling in this one. And I’m very grateful to my cousin-in-law for sharing it with me.

~These Days Of Mine~

18 responses to “The Summer Of ’61…

  1. Don’t you love it when you come across photos from the past that you have never seen!! Enjoyed your observations!!

  2. Whee love your observations. Our Mummy tends to get excited when she find family photos. They always have some special meaning or something behind them


  3. Such a wonderful post. I can relate with loving running across never-seen-by-me-before photos. Such a sweet smile on your grandmother’s face. What a treat to get to visit her at her store every day. No wonder you make friends easily with that early experience of meeting folks coming and going in and out the store.

  4. Wonderful! Such innocent times. Miss them! Whenever I get a new-to-me picture, I pepper Mom with as many questions as I can think of. I should record her answers better.

  5. I love this picture and I’ve never seen it either. I have a feeling it was taken by the cousin whose husband sent it to you! TV was worth watching in the ’60’s. No stupid reality shows !!

  6. Sweet memories of an “oh so much simpler” time……isn’t it grand that you have a new photo to add to your collection of family photos.


  7. neat to get a ‘new’ blast from the past! 🙂

  8. I love seeing old photos I’ve never seen before too! So interesting to really study them and see our relatives in a ‘new light.’ Good times back in 1961 when life seemed so much simpler, huh? And Dr. Kildare? Oh yes, swoon…so handsome. TV was worth watching back then.

  9. You all have the same smile!

  10. This is so sweet and brings memories to me of my own family.
    Thanks for a wonderful post today!

  11. Great photo .. one of those ‘trips back in time’!
    And it’s good to see all the smiles …
    Nice addition to the collection !

  12. A great photo loaded with memories and people you loved. Priceless!

  13. This is a wonderful photo. It’s wonderful this photograph awakens memories of special people and the way your world was then. Thanks for sharing your special photo and memories with us.
    It my early years, my bangs looked like yours did. I was so happy when I finally was old enough that Mom didn’t insist on bangs. The crooked bangs still gives us a good chuckle when my sis and I talk about times-gone-by. lol

  14. Gosh! Don’t you love extended families. Getting photos like that are wonderful!

  15. I had a huge crush on Mark!!! So funny. And my bangs were never crooked (if you knew my mother, you would understand.) But they were appalling short, like a blonde version of Prince Valiant. I despised them. And isn’t always remarkable to look back on these old photos and realize that an elder was actually younger than your current age? They seemed so old, didn’t they? Great post.

  16. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    Wonderful post Dianna! Good memories.

  17. When you encounter a picture like that = everyone so young … you just can’t help but be caught up in it … beautiful! MJ

  18. We didn’t know then that we wouldn’t always have our grandmothers, and had yet to discover the decades they had lived.

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