Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Little Lisa Williamson. A Darling for the Camera. 1974/75. Oh, And a Few Other Things - As if That Mattered.
In this photo we see her preparing to dive into her delicious store bought cake right from Safeway's Bakery. I think I still remember that cake, strawberry topping, whipped cream, white frosting sprinkled heavily in coconut.
Did you notice the absence of friends? A birthday party for one. Just what we could afford in those days :) Our family philosophy was one of budget simplicity - if they were too young to realize what a proper birthday party was then why waste the money and throw one? Better to tell them its their birthday, dress them in their swim suit so you could hose them down before letting them back into the house if they make a mess with the frosting and cake Present the cake while telling them how lucky they are to get their very own cake - but you're sure she'd want to share it with her six other brothers and sisters hungrily standing just out of camera range, also in their swimming suits and ready and wanting to partake of the luxury of a store bought cake - a treat indeed even if it was off the week old shelf! Once she agreeed to share you brought out the cake, holding it in one hand and using your other (plus one foot if necessary) to fight off the starving siblings clawing to get at the pastry. You presented the cake, told her to smile and snapped the picture. You had to step back quickly, for at the sound of the shutter the cake was attacked and devoured in a frenzy of kicking, screaming, flying hair and bloody noses. Present was unnecessary. She was only two for Pete's sake.
Here we have Lisa's third birthday party in 1975. You'll see that Glenn and David (the boys from next door) were invited. At three years old, Lisa was old enough to understand what a party meant. That understanding included friends, cake, ice cream and singing. Mother did her best to accommodate the normalcy of a typical Midwestern party.
You'll see Janice and Jilane were present in the picture. Once again notice Lisa's perfect smile compared with her sister's. Yea........ You see what I mean - Lisa was born for the camera. Janice and Jilane, on the other hand, seemed uncomfortable. Jilane was straining to make 'just one good picture..... just one' and Janice seemed to have given up.
Mother looked good in this picture. She was in the grips of another diet - Weight Watchers I believe. She did well.
Glenn was a bit 'off'. David was the normal one of the two. No matter how many I times I asked Glenn to look at me he wouldn't. I can't decide who he was checking out in this photo. I'd like to think it was Lisa - someone near his chronological age but I think it was Jilane. I'm thinking Glenn was smart enough to know Lisa was out of his league. He had a chance with Jilane, even though she was older and more mature. Well, everyone was more mature than Glenn.
Here they are again. Lisa is opening her one and only birthday gifts. You'll be happy to see that we weren't spoiled as children. Mother was actually brilliant in the giving of gifts. If you cold kill two birds with oe stone - she did. Because Lisa's birthday was in July, mom purchased a few of her back to school clothes early and give them to her for her birthday. That's why Lisa was the only one of us that got pencils, pens and erasers on her birthday as she was growing up and the rest of us didn't.
David is still perplexed by the after taste of her birthday cake. We religiously skipped the day old bin at the Safeway and dug this one out of the special 'bin' in the back of the store for speciality items. We were used to the 'off' taste but our neighborhood friends found it 'interesting'.
Glenn is practicing his Barnabas Collins vampire stare from the 1970's hit TV show "Dark Shadows". I think he plunged for Lisa's neck after the picture was taken. I pulled him away from her and gave him a pound of thawed hamburger to suck on instead. Our goulash supper that night was meatless - just elbow macaroni, tomato sauce and lots of salt.
Our final picture is that of a lazy afternoon spent deseeding Bing cherries. My, doesn't Jilane have a high forehead? She has her nose curled as well. It was her normal reaction to work. That little blond boy is Shane Mattson. I'm not sure how many cherries her added to the final tally. I think most of his were digested as soon as the pit was released.
This photo shows one of the few times Lisa was NOT in perfect pose for the camera. She was having a bad day. The cherries were getting more attention than her and that was inexcusable.
There you have it troops. A few pictures from our time at 2214 38th Street.
P.S. Aren't I the smart one for always being the one taking the pictures?