What it is:

Photo measuring 3.5 x 3 inches.

What I know about it:

On the back is written, in blue pen, 5/20/56.


In a big bag of unsorted photos that I bought online, I found a dozen snapshots with 5/20/56 written on the backs, all images of some sort of family gathering.  Assuming this was the date the photos were taken, I thought it would be nice to post them on May 20, sort of the 56th anniversary of whatever was going on in the photos.  I created a post showing four of them.  Individually they were rather unremarkable, but I thought that together they made a nice slice-of-life representation.  But viewing the final draft, I was unsatisfied with the effect, and whittled it down to just one.  You can click here to view the original grouping of four.  The bag includes other photos of some of these people, but these are the only photos labeled.  I don’t know what’s going on here.  This girl’s dress suggests an occasion, but she’s the only one dressed that nicely, and I see no presents, no cake, no decorations to indicate what the occasion might be.  May 20 was a Sunday that year, so it may have just been a routine Sunday dinner with extended family.  I don’t know.  But they seem to have had a nice time.  And luckily for us, somebody pulled out a camera.

8 comments on “5/20/56”

  1. Perhaps her prom? One of the other photos shows her sitting in a bathrobe, so maybe she was about to go into or had just come out of the shower. It seems like something her family would have gotten the camera out for, and since the camera was out anyway, just started shooting pictures of everyone else.

    • Hey, that’s a definite possibility, good idea! It’s the right time of year. Imagine the pressure on her young beau showing up to collect her, and encountering this mob of family members there to inspect him. 🙂

  2. Let us say she is 16 here. That would make her 72 today, and her memories from this time are hopefully sweet and pleasant. I can tell you for a certainty that it feels to her like a prior life, and she wonders how it is possible that it zipped by so quickly.

    • Remarkable, isn’t it? Her memories of that time have probably gotten sweeter with age, too. And I know what you mean. Even sitting here at approximately the mid-point between 16 and 72, 16 feels like a different life.

  3. I agee that she had an upcoming formal event.

  4. Was she planning on wearing those shoes, I wonder, or are they slippers? I’d like to think there was a time when girls could dress up without wearing outrageous heels. She has such lovely posture.

    • Hard to say. There are several other photos of her in that dress, but only one other where you can see her feet. She’s wearing those shoes in that one, too.

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