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Golden Geek: Sibling Memories Revisited

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Sibling Memories: 58 Years Later

In the 2009-02-02 post, Golden Geek: Sibling Memories, I suggested that the next time the three of us got together, we should restage the 1951 group portrait.  Luckily, youngest sister Carol is vacationing in the Pacific Northwest this year.  On May 23, we all met at Judy’s and recreated the photograph as we are now, 58 years later.   Vicki, our superb photographer assistant, made it possible.  Here we are in the same order: Carol, Dennis, and Judy.  Carol is now taller than Judy and this is apparently a matter of sibling banter between the two of them.

Carol and Judy provided additional recollections on the original staging.  It was dad who arranged for us to sit for this picture.  We think it was around Spring 1951, when we were in the 2nd, 4th, and 6th grades, all in Horace Mann school in Tacoma, Washington.  This was the last time that all three of us would be in the same school together.

The photo portrait was hand retouched, and that is evident on the black-and-white print I am holding.   The version that was presented to mom, and hung prominently in our home, was hand-colored.

Carol remembers that dad did not like obligatory occasions and preferred to operate spontaneously.  We think the portrait was a surprise gift not associated with any particular occasion.  I recall being that way as well.  Living in New York State and Pennsylvania, I would arrive for holiday visits unannounced, meeting dad at his work and then riding home with him.  The only problem with that is mom knew I might do such a thing and was left in anticipation whether I was coming or not.  When dad warned me about that, I made my intentions known in advance from then on.  I also learned to shop for occasions, even in advance rather than immediately before, after observing an acquaintance do that and seeing how much enjoyment she got out of it.  I don’t resist an opportunity for a good surprise, but these days the simpler pleasures are available more consistently.

Concerning photo-realism, I believe that I was already wearing glasses in 1951.  However, I was near-sighted and often did not wear glasses indoors.   (That was true until around 1980 when I needed my first bifocals.)  These days, we all wear glasses and some of us cannot see very far in front of our face without them.

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