Friday, October 18, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Let's Pretend

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

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt is a picture of a theatrical troupe in costume.  The stage is probably the ultimate world of pretend where an otherwise unassuming person can release his inner villain and a fresh-faced youngster can be transformed into a crippled oldster with the aid of a wig and makeup. 

As a child growing up in the Cradock neighborhood of Portsmouth, Virginia, my stage was my grandparents’ garage.  Every summer discarded window screens were rearranged to create walls for houses or schools.  Paint cans were lined up as sofas and chairs.  Stoves and refrigerators were drawn with chalk between studs. 

Wendy and the Allen girls, Portsmouth, VA about 1959
Left to right: The Allen girls Anne, Mary, Peggy,
and moi on the far right in a red and white dress
buttoned behind me to create some exotic outfit.

All my friends contributed dress-ups so that we looked the part of teachers, mommies, pioneers, or whatever was the character du jour.

Mary Jollette Slade and Susan 1966, Portsmouth, VA
My sister's friend Susan (left)
and my sister Mary Jollette (right) in 1966
both wearing taffeta gowns that had belonged
to my mother.

I loved playing dress-up.

And speaking of dressing up, I must cut this post short.  I have to get dressed up.  There’s some place I need to be.  Can you guess where and why?

All the world’s a stage at Sepia Saturday where my friends will be making plenty of curtain calls. 

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. Oohh I get to be first! Let me guess. Some person wearing a kind of white tarp with flowers, hmmm ...wait I can get this .... something special involving lots of people taking pictures on their smartphones ... I think I went to one once. It's kind of blur now as I don't remember much. The food was good, I'm told. Could it be someones wedding?

  2. A wedding!! I forgot how much I loved playing "school", my sister says I was always the teacher because I am so bossy.

  3. Memories. We loved playing school - I was always the teacher and very bossy. Nothing changes. Mainly boys in our street so mostly we played cowboys and Indians or Pirates.

  4. I hope you have a lovely time at the wedding and get to dress-up in something special. Contrary to received wisom all eyes are not ony on the bride!

  5. Dressing up is fun. I am guessing you are off to a wedding.

  6. Looks like a wedding to me too. Dress up for little girls today seems to be quite different than it was for us. My nieces purchase little dress-up outfits the girls wear routinely...those little ballet skirts and fairy dresses. We had to make-do with Mom's old dresses and hats and were forced to use, gasp, our imaginations. How primitive.

  7. Helen's right. We had to use our imaginations to come up with costumes. But back then, made-at-home costumes were usually better than store-bought as the latter were usually rather poorly constructed unless one paid beaucoup bucks for one from an actual costume store. Of course today's parents think nothing of paying ridiculous amounts for store-bought costumes for their little ones. I still think my Spanish Princess costume created with a velvet dress of my Mom's, plus a dotted-swiss curtain held up with a tall comb & pinned in place with a gem-filled pin was the best ever!

  8. Anything that stimulates a child's imagination is great. One if my favorite photos has a three year old son in a parka with a fur-trimmed hood using the metal extension part of the vacuum cleaner as his stickto be a mountain climber. I guess we must have watched something on the TV.

  9. The way you arranged things in the garage was very creative.

  10. It appears you're going to a wedding! How fun, as were all your other photos of past family times. Enjoy yourself!

  11. A Wedding!It's good to Dress Up Enjoy & Take Lots Of Photos!

  12. What a beautiful dress! I hope you had a wonderful time at the wedding.

    I've missed you. I'm so glad to be back! ☺

  13. A wedding by the photo nice to have these photos from childhood...

  14. It was either a wedding or a really spectacular sale day at the Goodwill.