We lived in Valdosta, Georgia, for the first half of 1955 while Dad was stationed at Moody Air Force Base there. I have very few memories of this period but I do remember two things: 1) I didn't have go to the second semester of kindergarten (in the fall of 1954 I attended kinder at Travis Elementary School in Houston) because we knew we weren't going to be in Valdosta long; and 2) we got to go swimming EVERY DAY at the Officer's Club pool (presumeably only in the late spring and early summer). There was a wading pool that I played in most of the time, independently and very happily, and I occasionally got to go into the "big pool" with Mom or Dad. Here are three pictures of Joan at the pool, so labelled by Mom as being taken in the spring of 1955.
Here are photos of Mom (and Joan on the top right) relaxing around the pool with fellow airmen and wives (like you can see in the backgrounds above), and one of me in the kiddie pool which, as you can see, was plenty big enough for hours of play by a not-too-adventurous 6-year-old.
Here is another shot of the grown-ups-visiting-table, with Joan and I warming up, I guess, after a swim. Talk about 50's swimwear chic! Those glasses I'm wearing must have just been for the sun—I didn't start wearing corrective lenses until 2nd grade. Mom dated this photo May of 1955.
I have no memory of our house in Valdosta, but I wonder if these photos of a suburban (or almost rural) street might have been where we lived. Our address (found on boxes of slides sent away to be developed) was 810 Poplar, but I doubt if it would look anything like this today:
By deduction, I think the following pictures were taken in Valdosta. Several of them, including the wonderful shot of Joan and Dad, were dated 1955, so it could have been taken either there or at our house on the base in Great Falls. I'm just flipping a coin and guessing it was Valdosta. The others show similiar drapes and furniture arrangement, and so must have been taken at the same place.
We took advantage of being in an unfamiliar part of the country to do some traveling to nearby places. I don't know for sure where this first set of photos was taken, and Mom's notes on the backs of some of them are misleading rather than helpful. They look like they were taken in the same area, since I'm wearing the same clothes in all of them, but on the back of the first one Mom wrote "Spring 1955, Florida," while on the back of the second she wrote "1955 Valdosta, Georgia." I have found some mentions of "burial grounds" (as the title of the sign in the first photo reads) and old cemeteries in Valdosta on the web, but none with pictures of landscape similar to these rather eerie scenes. So some of them might have been taken in the Valdosta area, but I think it's more likely that the Florida caption is correct, given what looks like the ocean in the background of one of the photos in the second row. Fortunately, most of the Florida pictures are more easily identified and you'll see them below.
Here is a really cute photo of Joan and Dad, unfortunately with degraded color, which was probably taken on this same trip, going by her clothing. And this picnic shot of Mom, Dad and, I suppose, Joan, might have been on the same trip, too, going by Mom's dress and the moss on the trees. Maybe I took it?
I don't know if we made more than one sight-seeing trip to Florida, or several. But I remember Silver Springs rather vividly, at least the glass-bottom boats. Here are the boats, in two photos.....
.... and here is one photo definitely taken at Silver Springs, and the other, of the family in an antique car, that I believe was also from the resort area:
Another Florida attraction that I remember, or at least remember being told we visited, was St. Augustine. The way Joan and I are bundled up leads me to believe that this was a different trip than the others. It's possible that the scenery I could not identify above was also St. Augustine, but, given the shorts we're wearing there, it must have been another visit. Of course, I could be wrong about the following slides, since they were not labelled.
(For an interesting contrast, here are Joan and I 51 years later at another ancient site.
You can see more photos from Perú here.)
We also made at least one trip to the beach, and were joined by Betty, Ann, Marilyn and another unidentified friend. The woman we don't know is on the left in these cute photos, Betty is holding Joan, then there's Ann and Marilyn.
Here are some more photos taken at what I assume is a Florida beach:
Here are some pictures taken at a motel in Florida during one of our trips. (The little girl in the middle photo on the bottom doesn't look familiar; maybe she was simply the child of other guests?) I don't remember having hair that short at this time, either, so it must have been pinned up in preparation for donning the necessary bathing caps that I wonder now WHY we bothered with. I do remember the little short suits Joan and I were wearing. Of course, Mom sewed them for us. (Mom labelled the one of Joan on the bottom left as "spring, 1955, Florida.")
These charming pictures were taken presumeably at this time, but they were not labelled.
|Back to home page|