Friday, April 25, 2014

Sepia Saturday: Fab 50s

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.




This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt features the iconic juke box of the 1950s.  In the 50s, my parents were just young parents but already old enough to give up the jitterbug and bunny hop to stay home with one very precious child. 

For them, dances were replaced with other social outlets, most often a game of Bridge with their closest friends Betsy and John Lumsden.

Mary Slade, Betsy Lumsden, Fred Slade about 1955
Mary Eleanor Slade, Betsy Ward Lumsden, Fred Slade
John must've been the "Dummy"
Has Momma curled her hair with bobby pins??

Momma and Daddy learned to play Bridge when they were in college.  They said that at any time of day almost anywhere on campus there was a game in progress.  Lectures took a backseat to a no-trump hand.

Momma and Daddy weren't partners that night.
No talking across the table!
I wonder if this game was Men vs Women.


Photos of a typical Bridge night at the Lumsdens’ house in the swanky new upscale neighborhood of Sweetbriar help bring some fuzzy memories into focus. 

















Betsy's house as it looks today


First of all, I thought it was the most beautiful and modern house ever with that big picture window.  To me, the yard was enormous, such a long walk from the street to the front door.  (Amazing how that yard shrank over time – I hardly recognized the house the last time I drove by because that front door seemed a lot closer.) 





The Ricardos' house from "I Love Lucy"
photo from Flickr Commons

To a five-year old’s eye, the d├ęcor was something out of a magazine.  Betsy furnished their new home in “Early American” which was all the rage in the 50s, probably thanks to “I Love Lucy” when Lucy and Ricky bought that home in Connecticut.










Who is that adorable child? No, I mean the older one.


Betsy, baby Greg, Fred and Mary Slade
Momma had her "ciggy butt."
Betsy held a pacifier, but I'm sure there was cigarette close by.



Betsy and John had a baby boy, Greg.  He and I were born at a time when smoking and drinking while pregnant were the norm for women.  Both of our mothers were smokers and social drinkers.  I guess we turned out alright.












OK, you Cats and Chicks, don’t be a drag, man.  Don’t be square.  Beat feet to Sepia Saturday.  It’s Fat City, Daddy-O.  I mean it’s far out.  It’s outta sight.  Word from the Bird!



© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

21 comments:

  1. Aah, lovely photos. I'd love to learn how to play Bridge.

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    1. I enjoyed playing. It's hard learning and you're learning all the time. The really hard part is reading your partner's bid.

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  2. My parents were avid bridge players throughout their lives and tried desperately to teach us to play - I guess they needed more partners :-) When my dad died, my mom stayed in the bridge group and just found herself a new partner or two. She played in a "every other Wednesday" group and one Wednesday last year, she got home and announced to us that she just couldn't do it anymore as it was too hard for her to drive there, park, etc. and told the group she wouldn't be back. Two Wednesdays later, as the group played bridge, my mother died. It sure seems like bridge doesn't hold quite the attraction to our generation as it did for them.

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    1. Yeah, I don't hear of people playing Bridge anymore. My mom was in a club and I often got to join in as a substitute. I miss that.

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  3. This brought back some college memories of Back Gammon being played at the Fruity Rudy smoothie kisosk ...that was the game of the 80's I guess. I love those photos...esp of you and your baby brother.
    TGIF!

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    1. Oh yes, I remember when Backgammon was all the craze. I played once or twice but never got the hang of the rules.
      That's not my brother -- that's Betsy's son Greg.

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  4. Bridge and Canasta were the big card games back then. My mom tried to teach me how to play both games, but they were too involved for my taste. People still love & play the games, of course, but newer games like Hand & Foot, 3-13, & Wizard have become popular in the last decade or so. I have a few pieces of Early American furniture. I think you're right about the "I Love Lucy" show making that style so popular back then. It is a warm, comfortable style . . . though I think maybe it went just a wee bit over the top in the '50s.

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    1. I haven't heard of those games! I do remember people playing Canasta -- I don't think I ever played that one.

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  5. As far as I know, my parents never played Bridge. When I was in high school, I thought I should learn it but I never did.

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    1. I learned with some friends after college. A few years back we had a Bridge club with 3 other couples. When one of the husbands died, so did our club.

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  6. I love playing Bridge. Haven't played it for yonks. Wasn't very good at it, mind. But still loved the opportunity to sit down and socialize.

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    1. That sounds like me -- if only you lived a bit closer, we could get a club going.

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  7. Great Post. Never played cards much. Bridge sounds so exotic.

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    1. "Exotic" is not what I think of but the strategy is very exciting especially if you can finesse a play.

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  8. It's strange how what once seemed normal changed into rare and even abnormal. I don't know of anyone in the younger generations who play bridge, and smoking will soon be unacceptable everywhere.

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    1. Now see, the smoking thing gets me. While it's unacceptable in restaurants, in the workplace, on transportation, etc., people are still smoking. I just don't get it.

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  9. Wonderful pictures of your parents, but you're right about how time changes our perception of size. I don't think I'd want to go back to my childhood home now. Looking on Google street view at all the places we've lived it's quite depressing to see the changes.

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    1. Yes, it's depressing to see my childhood home. Actually, mine isn't TOO bad, but my grandparents' house next door is just awful.

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  10. People still get together to play Bridge here in oz, and there are Bridge Clubs in larger cites, I tried to learn but it defeated me. Five Hundred was the card game most played by my parents.

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  11. Isn't it disconcerting how the size of things changes as we get older. Canasta is my card game, although I haven't played for a few years now - too many other things to do.

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  12. My mother played bridge regularly. I think my father did, too, but wasn't into it as much as my mother. I just remember going downstairs the next morning and tasting the left-over liquor (wine?) in the glasses. I have a friend that had to spend an extra year at Cal Tech (California Technical Institute) because he spent his whole senior year playing bridge instead of studying.
    Barbara

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