Easter Egg Hunts in 1962

I was emptying and filing mostly family pictures that were still in slide trades from an Ansco slide projector that was long ago retired. These photos of Easter 1962 were in the mix. I find them interesting for things that are in the background of some of them.

Brother Mark inspects an Easter egg he’s found in the front lawn. You can click on the photos to make them larger, but I’ll warn you that some of them aren’t all that sharp.

He’s listening for the sound of the ocean

Sometimes he gets things a little confused. He remembers hearing someone saying that you can hear the sound of the ocean if you hold a shell up to your ear. He didn’t get the part that it had to be a SEA shell, not an EGG shell.

Scampering past the Ailor house

Mark is running up the hill on the west side of the house. The Ailors lived there then. The hedge between the two houses has grown up over the years and some maple trees that we planted as saplings are huge and just about the end of their life.

A view down Kingsway Drive

That’s Brother David on the right The white house down the hill, occupied by the McCunes in 1962, has been torn down. The basketball goal would have belonged to Bobby and Gary Garner. I see the Ailor car still has snow tires on it. They must be afraid that winter is going to make one more pass.

Here’s what the neighborhood looked like from the air.

Hunting eggs was a challenge

The Easter Bunny liked making things a challenge. This egg was located under the windshield wiper. That’s Dad’s Chevy truck in the foreground and our 59 Buick LaSabre station wagon in the background. Ernie Chiles hadn’t taught me to drive yet, so the right front fender is uncreased.

Easter egg hunt at Capaha Park

I’m not sure what group this was. Mark’s in the red shoes and sweater, so it has to be some of his friends or his class. This pavilion is east of the ballfield and north of the pool.

The Boat House in background

When the kids weren’t stomping errant Easter eggs, they were climbing on the playground equipment. Cape’s landmark Erlbacher Boat House is in the background.

Mark stands out

Notice how Mark is placed right in the middle of the group and how his bright red sweater takes your eye right to him? Mother recognized that he had just a few cute years in him, so she tried to make him as visible as possible during that small window of time.

Capaha Field is a lot fancier today.

Capaha Pool is history

I was all set to delete this shot. At first glance, I thought that it wasn’t overly sharp and there was no clear center of interest. Then I got to looking at it like a photographer in the Ohio University Fine Arts program and convinced myself that it was art because of all of the interesting elements. Notice how the running boy and girl and the one bending over have been frozen in time, never to reach their goals. The two women on the left are oblivious to the action that’s going on behind them. The woman on the right keeps you from sliding out of the frame and the little girl at the bottom adds mystery.

Or, it could just be a fuzzy picture. Anyway, you won’t see this view today: the Capaha Pool was torn down last year.

Other Easter stories


Some Days You Make Pictures; Some Days You Make Memories

Wife Lila was trying to make some space in the guest room closet when she asked, “Did you know there’s a big plastic box of slides and film in here?”

The answer was, “No, but I hope it’s got some stuff in it that I’ve been looking for.”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to contain photos of the old St. Francis Hospital before it was torn down or two slide trays from my trip to Philmont Scout Ranch.

Smiles and moisture

It DID have a treasure trove of color slides and black and white photos from 1961, when I got my first 35mm camera, an Argus Autronic 35. I used it to shoot photos of my Trinity Lutheran School classmates, scenics and some family photos that bring a smile to my face and, in a few cases, some moisture to my eyes. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

I started to make this a piece about the peacocks at Memorial Park Cemetery – even had the photos uploaded and the headline written, but I kinda painted myself into a literary corner and decided to put that photo of Mother and Dad in to get me out of it.

I don’t remember taking it, probably because the moment didn’t mean as much to me then as it does now. I often say that some days you make pictures; other days you make memories. This was one of those cases when I’m glad I made a photograph that lets me fill in a memory that I DIDN’T make at the time.

One day you’ll understand

I think Dad knew what had happened. I can read in his expression, “Kid, one of these days, you’ll understand.”

Composition needed work

We had a pretty back yard, but I don’t think it was nice enough to explain why I cropped the picture the way I did to show more yard than family. That’s Brother David on the left and Mark in the middle.

Chekov’s Gun and the peacocks

“Checkov’s Gun” is a literary rule that says “If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired.” Since I brought up peacocks, I guess I better produce them. This was one of several peacock pictures from 1961. You may see others later.

I wrote about the history of Memorial Park and the Tower of Memories in the fall of 2010.


I Have Someone’s Family History

Brother Mark always likes to hit the antique shops when he comes to Cape, so we started at Annie Laurie’s. I was doing a pretty good job avoiding temptation when my eye fell upon this 1959ish black and white photo shop owner Laurie Everett had under a Christmas display. It jumped out because it was uncharacteristically sharp and well exposed for a snapshot of that era. It was for sale. Mark paid for it, so it couldn’t have been much. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

Look at the IDs on the back

When I flipped it over, I saw that someone had taken the time to document who was in the photo:

My Sis and our Grandchildren in Tom and Jo’s basement. Christmas Eve 1959

  • Tommy – 3 yrs 9 mos
  • David 2 ” m 90s
  • Jeanne 1″ 7 mos
  • Marie ? Ha Ha!

Note for the younger generation: “Ha Ha!” was the 1959 way to say LOL.

Throwing away photos is alien to me

For budget purposes one year, I calculated that the average photographer on my staff used about 30,000 frames of film a year. Back in the day when I was buying my own film in 100-foot rolls and cutting it into 36-exposure rolls (and under the influence of One-Shot Frony), I didn’t hit those levels, but it’s safe to say that I’ve shot a lot more film than most folks. (Kodak called someone who bought 12 rolls of film a year a “heavy user.”)

I would bet that I probably have all but maybe 100 rolls of those bazillion rolls of film. I may not be able to find an individual photo right away and it may not be properly identified, but it’s there someplace. My “coffee can film” contains pictures that are more interesting to me today than the stuff I shot for the paper and filed away in negative sleeves.

How can you throw away your mother?

How could you let a photo of your mother when she was about three years old in the midst of a flock of chicks slip away? Particularly since she’s with her brother Kenneth, my namesake, who was killed in a car vs. train crash. I sure couldn’t.

Other people, obviously, can. I was at a yard sale where I picked up about a dozen Kodak slide trays. When I went to check out, I noticed that the trays were full of slides: weddings, graduations, vacation trips, first car, basically all the facets of the family’s life. I pointed it out to the seller and she said, “That’s OK. Just throw them away.” I eventually DID throw away a lot of them, but I held onto some of the better shots because it would have been a crime not to.

Mother always fills our birthday and holiday cards with family photos she’s collected over the years. It’s always the best part of the card.

Do you recognize any of these folks?

If so, I have a piece of your family history. I won’t even charge you to get it back. Mark’s already paid for it.

Beep, Beep, Beep Mystery

Night before last I was working in the basement and thought I heard a beeping sound like my car’s panic alarm was honking the horn. Every once in awhile, if I bend over just right, other keys in my pocket will hit the key fob button to set it off. I walked upstairs to give a listen. Nope. Nothing in the immediate area, but I COULD hear a faint beeping. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

I categorize threats into two categories:

  • Concerns Me
  • Doesn’t Concern Me

This fit into the second category and it wasn’t loud enough to keep me awake, so I ignored it.

Do you hear that beeping?

Brother Mark showed up at the house on mid-morning to celebrate Thanksgiving and asked, “Do you hear that beeping?”

I have to confess that I’m missing chunks of frequencies – mostly those that Wife Lila uses to ask me to do things – but I told him that I could hear it faintly. He went out to blow leaves. When he came back, he said he had tried to track down the sound and it appeared to be bouncing off Randy’s house, but not coming FROM the house.

1600 block of Kingsway

I need to explain how the 1600 block of Kingsway works. We were about the fifth house on the street, and one of the first built in the 1950s. The other homes were decades older.

If you look at the three ranch-style houses on the north side of Kingsway, we’re the one on the right. The Ailors moved into the one next to us, and the Garners were in the third house down the hill The little house below them was owned by an elderly couple, the McCunes. At the bottom left was the Hale farm; they owned the pasture behind our house.

Directly across from us lived the Tinkers. Down the hill from them was a two-story house owned by John and Mary Gray. For some reason, they fixed up a chicken house behind the big house and moved into there, leaving the big house as rental property occupied by folks we never bothered to learn names for. Eventually, the house was bought by Randy, a Cape firefighter. He was there long enough for it to be dubbed “Randy’s house.” He sold it and now it’s destined for demolition.

It’s always going to be Tinkers’

So, even though the Tinkers have been dead for years and Bill and Rhonda Boltens (great neighbors, by the way) have been living there for longer than I can remember, it’s probably always going to be “over at Tinkers” to us.

Anyway, now that you have the layout in your mind -or, are totally confused – let’s get back to the beeping story.

Doesn’t seem to be inside

The noise got louder the closer we got to Randy’s house, but it didn’t appear to be coming FROM the house. You couldn’t hear it from behind the house. It felt like it was bouncing OFF the house.

Let’s check the Garner house

I walked across the street to the old Garner house. I could see a dog inside, so I knocked on the door. A coworker in Florida posted an account last week about how she never opens the door for a stranger. Others chimed in with stories about how they always keep a gun at the door. They obviously spend all their time listening to The All Fear All the Time Network. With that in mind, I wondered if I’d get an answer.

After a couple of raps, and much dog barking, a young woman came to the door. I identified myself and said I was staying with Mother up the street. “I read your column,” she volunteered. That always feels good to hear.

I told her Mark and I were tracking down a mystery. “You mean the beeping? It’s not coming from here. I noticed it when I got home around lunchtime yesterday.” We told her we’d let her know what we found.

Past the old McCune place

We walked down the hill from what had been the McCune property and noticed that a lot of the homeowners in what used to be a pasture I roamed and camped in when I was 10 or 12 had done a lot of nice landscaping. Fortunately, the area behind our house and the next door neighbor has been left to go wild, proving habitat for all kinds of creatures, plus preserving the rural feel we’ve had since before we were in the city limits.

The sound didn’t get stronger, and it still seemed to be directional. If we moved off to the left or right, it got fainter. I thought at one time that the sound was stronger coming from the direction away from the house, but Mark convinced me that I was hearing things.

I felt like I was back taking my draft physical. They put a bunch of guys wearing only our underwear in a small, dark room, put headphones on our heads and handed us a box with a button on it. “When you hear a tone, press the button,” we were ordered by someone who looked at us like we were a lower form of life. I had my finger on the button waiting to hear something. Nothing. We all started looking at each other and shrugging our shoulders. Then, we all started pushing the button at random. Interestingly enough, we all passed.

Is it the fuzzy-tailed rat?

When we got back up the hill, Mark noticed that a tree in front of the house had a squirrel’s nest in it. “Maybe the fuzzy-tailed rat (Mark doesn’t like squirrels ever since they got in his attic) carried something up into his nest.” We wandered around the tree and ruled the fuzzy-tailed rat blameless. Well, at least I did. Mark still thinks one was the second shooter on the Grassy Knoll.

By this time, it was Hungry O’Clock and we had to chow down on some great slow-cooked roast beef and all the fixin’s. We had more desserts than any three people can eat in two weeks (but we’re gonna try). Then, my schedule showed it was time for a 37-minute nap (I had missed my 22-minute 11 o’clock nap, so I was due for an extension).

Smoke alarm theory

Shortly before dark, we piled in the car and cruised up all the streets in a one-mile radius trying to find some house that was in line-of-sight with Randy’s that was making a noise that could be hitting his old house and reflecting off it. Zip. Zero. Nada.

One last theory: Mark did a Google search on beeps and found a reference that “This alarm incorporates the internationally recognized horn signal for evacuation. During alarm mode, the horn produces three short beeps, followed by a two-second pause and then repeats. This pattern is somewhat different than the previous alarm sound, which continually beeped.”

We didn’t think it was a smoke alarm because it sounded like it was a lower frequency than most smoke alarms and it wasn’t sounding “beep pause beep pause beep” in a continuous series . We know power has been off in the house for quite awhile, so it’s possible that an alarm has drained its battery, particularly with temperatures dropping to freezing. If the new standard is for alarms to broadcast three beeps now, maybe that’s it.

If it’s still going off tomorrow, we’ll see if we can get into the house or listen at a window to see if it’s coming from the inside. Otherwise, I’m going to invoke Category Two and ignore it.