The Temple Telegraph sent a photographer out to our house one evening shortly before Christmas to take this picture, which appeared in the paper Christmas Eve of 1959. At least that's the date that I've got written on the back of my copy, but I question that- I think it might have been 1960. Since Bob is in Temple, doing research in the paper archives, I've asked him to look it up. Since inquiring minds want to know. (Update: my research assistant reports that it was 1960, so my instincts were correct. In '59, I still had a ponytail.)
I'm not sure how we wound up with this gig- who mentioned that a resident at Scott and White had five close together in age kids that would look good in a Christmas Eve shot- but here we are, in our co-ordinated nightwear, looking cute as puddin' pie.
Mom had knocked herself out buying matching red and white striped pajamas for the boys (luckily, the flannel nightgowns from our Grandma Bryce had already arrived for Nance and me), getting their hair cut, curling my sister's and my hair, cleaning house and making sure everyone was dressed in time. She hadn't intended to be in the picture herself, which explains her disheveled appearance and grim expression. Nothing like appearing in the pages of your small town newspaper in an old skirt, rumpled blouse, and no makeup to put a smile on your face.
The universal reaction of all my kids, to this picture, is "Wow, Nino looks pissed!"
Very unfair, too, as she was a beautiful woman. She's all of about 27 or 28 in this shot.
Nevertheless, I love the details in this picture, which I can remember as a kid. The inglenook fireplace with the pine settles, the Nile green curtains, the knotty-pine paneling, the brightly colored papier-mache nativity scene from Japan, the armchair in which I read a lot of books, Daddy's cool rolled-up jeans and green and blue tartan bathrobe. We had flannel scraps from those pajamas in the rag bag through the mid-60's. Somewhere out of camera range is a Christmas tree with those burn-your-house-down multi-colored fat bulbs, foil icecicles, and a china-head angel with a feather dress on top. I don't remember what random Little Golden Book Daddy is 'reading' to us, but I know it's not 'The Night Before Christmas'. The third stocking from the left, with the donkey and the little church and a name spelled out in seed beads? That's mine. I still have it.