Holiday Cards

(Click on Thumbnail to see full-size picture)

Starting in 1941, we had a family picture taken in December and printed in large quantities, which we sent out as holiday greeting cards. That is a fairly common practice today, but we were the only family I know that did it in the 1940s. We always posed with the same sign. (Actually, there were two nearly identical signs.)

Many of the pictures, especially the later ones, were done by our friend Murray Rosenfeld and his Chester Studios. But plenty were taken with Dad's old Rolleiflex (which by 1955 had become my Rolleiflex), either by someone Dad drafted or on a tripod using the self-timer.

This tradition continued until 1957. We have all except 1950 here, and we have hopes of finding a copy of 1950.


1941
The first of the line.

1942

1943

1944
Bob joined the family

1945

1946
And along came Ruth

1947
This is the first one that I can't see a telltale sign that it was taken in our apartment. This might have been posed in the studio; I know some were.

1948
Our first car, a '48 Chevy.

1949

1951
The year of the "Big Trip". We were in Florida for all of December, so we had to take the picture in Miami. If you look closely, the sign is a little different. I guess we hadn't brought the sign along, and Dad had a new one made.

1952
Yes, we actually had a Steinway baby grand in a small NY city apartment. And it got a good workout, too; everybody but Mom practiced on it.*

1953
The novel wall decoration was in our dining area as long as I could remember. Dad salvaged it from a liquor store display, and painted it gold.

1954
We didn't get a TV until I was 13 years old. Murray did a good job of superimposing us on the screen of our new piece of furniture.

1955
By now, we had branched out to several instruments. I still played piano, but Bob played clarinet and Ruth flute. Note that only Bob has his actual instrument, though Ruth and I could certainly play what we were photographed holding.*

1956
The Christmas decorations in The Oval, the mini-park in front of our house. (Our address was 1 Metropolitan Oval.)

1957
The last card!
As you can see, it was the year of a triple graduation.

* a footnote on musical instruments:
Everybody but Mom played multiple instruments. Dad was a Juilliard-trained pianist. His day job was teaching, but he played piano and accordion to augment the family income. I played piano, picked up enough accordion to get by, and added banjo as an adult. Bob and Ruth both started with piano, but branched out from there. Bob learned clarinet, and added saxophone and guitar as an adult. Ruth was a top-notch flutist (in the NY All-City HS orchestra), but managed to learn any instrument that the HS orchestra needed for a particular piece -- in time for the concert.

When Honey and I started a family, our household was much the same. Honey doesn't play an instrument -- though her singing voice got her into the NY All-City HS chorus. Jeff and Dan both started on piano, but learned wind instruments through group lessons when they got to the fifth grade. Jeff played clarinet in the band through HS, as well as electronic keyboard in a rock band. Dan played saxophone in JHS, and picked up rock guitar in HS, which he still considers his calling.

Oh yeah, about that baritone ukelele that Mom is holding in the photo. Ironically, she was the only one in the family that didn't play it.