Thursday, December 26, 2013

Spirit of Christmas Past

I stopped by to visit Cousin Merty a couple of weeks ago. While there, she handed me a box of old slides marked "Carpenter Girls." I was a Carpenter girl, before I became a Galloway girl, so I was curious to get a glimpse of my childhood through kodachrome transparency slides. Holding them up to the light did little to reveal the details I desired, so I borrowed an old-fashioned slide tray and projector from our neighbor, loaded the 20 or so slides in – upside down and backwards – and put on a slide show for Ed and me on our blank bedroom wall.

It was a little weird. I had never seen any of these slides before. There were slides of my parents as 20-somethings in a fancy convertible, ones from my 1st birthday (1958), from Christmases (1960 and '61), Easter (1961) and one of my next-younger sister in 1963. Many of the slides were dirty and out of focus. I took a handful of the best ones to a photo lab in Louisville and they scanned them and put them on a disk.  I gave prints to two of my sisters for Christmas. (Sorry Julie, you were not yet born.)

Here's a look at two of the slides from Christmases Past.

This slide cracks me up. Older sister Kathy is turning baby sister Sherry's head so she is looking at the camera. We are sitting in antique desks that Santa brought us. (Don't ask me how he got them down the chimney!) Kathy and I are in matching dresses (as always) and you can see Kathy's black patent leather Mary Jane shoes. We got a new pair every Easter from Byck's, on 4th Street in downtown Louisville. Santa also brought us each a Raggedy Ann doll, which I still own.

I think this photo is from the next year (1961). Sister Kathy and I are looking quite serious and quite fashionable in matching pink robes. But what are those things on our feet? They look like an early version of Swifters -- we could just slide around the hardwood floors and dust as we go. That's an easel that Santa brought for me, the little artist.

I loved discovering these old photos. They made me realize that my Mom and Dad put as much thought and effort into making our Christmases special as Ed and I put into Christmas for our three. It was a wonderful gift that my cousin gave to me. Thank you Merty and may 2014 be happy for you.

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