From the Fortress of Solitude
In today's virtual family reunion we take the Way Back Machine to Kevin Williamson's 1st Birthday Party, June 1962. We lived at 39 East Signal Drive in Rapid City South Dakota.
Kevin is the third child of Charles and Luella Willamson. He currently lives in Los Angeles and has celebrated 47 birthday's since these pictures were taken.
In this picture you see me (Victor, 4 years old) on the left, then mom (Luella 23 years old) with Kevin (1 year old) on her lab. Kim (5 years old) is at the end. Kevin's angel food cake is there on the blanket with one candle ready for lighting.
You'll see Kevin's play pin in the background. Lovely things those old play pins. I think they've been banned in all nations today except China. I guess there were problems with kiddies getting their heads stuck between the bars. They didn't seem to worry about things like that in the early 1960's. Come to think of it, its a miracle any of us survived childhood at all!
I remember that TV very well. In those days you used to turn on the set and wait for the vacuum tubes to warm up before you'd get a picture. If you were late getting up, or took a bit too long walking home from school (yes I said walking home from school - something many of you younglings don't know anything about today) you'd miss the first part of your cartoon while you waited for the stupid tubes to warm up and the picture to evolve onto the screen. I remember sanding there jumping up and down many a time trying to get the set to warm up with my own enthusiasm. I'm sure mom mistook my jumps and running in circles as needing to go to the bathroom. That set had this gigantic channel knob on the front. It went from 1 to 13. We only needed three of them. Not that much to watch in those days.
That old set was a pain sometimes. The picture would get fuzzy at the worst time, you know, just when the show was getting interesting. You'd have to stand up, walk over to the set and adjust the rabbit ear antenna on the top in an attempt to get better reception. It was either that or the channel knob would slip a bit so you'd have to fiddle with it until the picture came in clear again.
Yes, there's dad (Charles, age 26) tormenting me by holding two of the old style camera flash bulbs to my face. Kevin is looking to see if he'll be next. Kim is sweltering in the the July South Dakota heat. Of course we didn't have air conditioning. This was 1964! We may have had a fan but even that was doubtful. We toughed it out in those days. You just let the kids run around half naked.
Here we are with Grandma and Grandpa Liessman (Dad's mom and step father). Notice I'm not smiling in any of these pictures. Maybe I'm upset my third birthday (which would have been held a week earlier) wasn't celebrated with such a gathering. Perhaps I was disgruntled because I wasn't the center of attention. Actually, Kim was always the Center of Attention. I was her Charlie Brown side kick and of course Kevin, being the baby and all, was the spoiled one; at least until the twins were born.
Notice that mom has Kim and I dressed the same in the unisex fashion of the nearly poor except my shorts are shorter. I guess you could say for awhile Kim and I could wear the same clothes!
As always, more to come tomorrow.