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If you need a little pick-me-up today, and your job description (or your liver) (or your mental health) (or your security clearance) won’t tolerate a breakfast dose of tequila, and your favorite Beatle died a decade ago, and it’s too late to fetch yourself a double-glazed Krispy Kreme donut, and the last time you went shopping at Lord & Taylor for a present for yourself you discovered that the designers of today expect women to dress like either Miami Beach hookers or Soviet-era policewomen (since when is the color combination of black, dark brown, and puke green “fashionable”??) WELL.

This is just for you. A photo I found on the interwebs while researching a press release I was writing about a small (pop. 152) village on Kodiak Island, Alaska; I came across a modest website about a man’s remembrance of living on Larsen Bay. This is a photo of his birthday party in 1956:

This is the kitchen of the very, very small cabin that this guy lived in, in 1956, with his family while his father was serving as a missionary amongst the heathen (see the extremely cute, solemn,  black-haired, pudgy-cheeked kids left and right).

Oh DoG. The wallpaper, the clock (it was Winter — I’m pretty sure that’s 9:30 AM), the curtains, the kids, the coziness…the mugs of cocoa, and the green icing on the B-day cake. I love it. I want to dive into this scene, confirm my suspicions that that wall calendar is illustrated with scenes from the Bible, find out what the heck was in that bucket on the table, give this kid an Etch-A-Sketch or a Slinky or a Howdy-Doody six-shooter.

Mostly, I want to be as happy as these kids, with a cup of cocoa and a green-icing-ed cake, and a  place to sit where I know I am safe, and warm, and loved.

Is that too much to ask?


I want to take this opportunity to thank all the winners (and you all are) of my Catology contest last week. Especially those who have mailed me photos of their own fat-assed, cranky-hearted, self-involved, totally unrepentant familiars. (Hello, my name is Vivian and I’m a Cat Addict Cat Lady). Those pictures are  a welcome fix addition to my neurosis pleasure.

And in honor of all those horrible, selfish, bossy, demanding, completely irresistible moggies out there, I give you this (also Larsen Bay, c. 1956):

This is a photo taken of the little sister with the New Short Wave Radio (cutting edge  technology in 1956) and the new kitten. Oh, my DoG: the wallpaper (again), the curtains (again), the scarf, the bare light bulb, the pin curls that I bet that girl slept in to get her hair curly, the clock that says it’s dusk at 3:15 PM.

The happiness in that little girl’s smile.

Have a good weekend, everybody.

3 comments to This picture makes me happy:

  • Shelley

    Thank you so much for this wonderful slice of nostalgia. It definitely made me smile, and experience a few twangs of longing for those Leave It To Beaver days of the 1950′s (my early childhood years).

    I love everything about those photos, but especially the warm, cosy happiness of the smiles on the kids. That little girl could light up a room. And a gorgeous kitten too. It doesn’t get any better than this!

    Like you, I want to know more…And I find myself wondering how life turned out for these kids. Bet they would be amazed if they knew that long-ago birthday party was being celebrated again here today.

  • Wouldn’t it be amazing if any of those kids saw their pics on the internet today? I love it. And I also wonder how their lives turned out.

  • Ah, yes. Simpler times. I love the pics! Thanks for finding them and sharing them with us. Brings back memories of my own childhood birthday parties!

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