The Surprise Photo

As a kid you don’t see your mother’s looks. I do now. She was spectacular in this photo. A babe.


I went to a meeting tonight, trying to network with people who use Premiere and After Effects. Went for coffee afterwards. While waiting in line I looked at my phone and saw this photo. I have never seen it before. My sister posted it on Facebook.

That’s me, my sister Trudi and cousin Mitchell (who later became Cousin Victor when his entire family changed their names–first and last). Behind us is my mom.

As a kid you don’t see your mother’s looks. I do now. She was spectacular in this photo. A babe.

We are standing outside my grandparent’s home. They lived next door to my Aunt Anna, my grandmother’s sister. We visited them most weekends, a long drive made entirely on city streets.

Trudi’s 3 or 4. I’m around 6. Maybe 1956?

So many things come back to me. Laurelton is a neighborhood in Queens. The street was lined with tiny Cape Cods.

It was an all white working class neighborhood. It’s now an all black working class neighborhood.

We lived in an apartment. Their 2-br 1-ba with an attic seemed large to me. And they had a backyard!

This photo brings back so many memories. There are things in this picture that haven’t crossed my mind in sixty years.

We used to play ball in the street. Not everyone had a car. No family had two. Traffic was light. You could never do that today.

I remember the tree behind us and conversations with my grandfather while standing under it. He and I discussed politics during the Kennedy-Nixon campaign in 1959. He liked the fact I was worldly for my age.

It was under that tree he told me about the Nazis. He was Polish and the lone survivor from his family. They were killed during the Holocaust for being Jewish.

He told me about the concentration camps, about the showers. He wanted his memory to be deep within me. It is.

He was my biggest fan. He never saw me on TV. He would have loved that.

This photo is a big deal to me. I have cried a little while looking at it. So many years. So much time’s passed.

My experience tonight won’t happen to Stef or her generation. Photos stay with you now. Children are documented. I don’t know the occasion, but having this photo taken was a big deal. Photos were few and far between.

I will find out where Trudi found this and report back.

4 thoughts on “The Surprise Photo”

  1. Reminds me of visits to my grandparents in Bellerose, Geoff, standing on 246th Street under the Poplar trees.

    Your mother was a very pretty lady.

  2. What Tori said. Thanks for sharing such highly emotional, personal thoughts. Time passes….I am at an age where I can totally relate.

  3. Geoff,

    That photo evoked very similar memories of my own childhood growing up at the same time as you, only I was on Long Island. In those days, Long Island was considered “going to the country”. How times have changed. Those precious “black and whites” bring back such rich and “colorful” memories……it’s part of the post war “American Experience” that resonates so vividly in all of us “boomers”.

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