In Nanny’s and Poppy’s yard – Spring of 1955


Here I am under the apple tree with my cousin Barbara where we built and rebuilt a castle for our fairies. Each family had one. Ours was Pinkie my cousins was Lucy.  In between the castles we made various dirt pies and cakes. That little black utensil next to me was a sifter.  It had holes punched in the bottom and we sifted the dirt with it.

We used to walk up the plank against the back fence and look out into the alley. Nothing really exciting out there, most of the time although I remember the police chasing a man through there once. I am pretty sure we were not standing on the plank watching.  If we did, it was only for as long as it took an adult to call us inside While the chase went on.

It must be spring because we can see that there is no garden bu the Pussy Willow bush in the background seems to have buds.  We are wearing our light jackets (or “jumpers” as Poppy called them.) and overalls.  My saddle shoes are horribly dirty. My socks had probably slid down inside of them.  Barbara is wearing buckled shoes but her socks look quite saggy.  In the spring of 1955 I would have been 8 and Barbara would have been 7. She is missing a tooth, but not those you loose when you are 6.

In the fall my grandmother made the best applesauce with the apples from that tree. They were not the kind you eat uncooked.  In spite of the sticky stuff my grandfather painted around the tree trunk, there were worms in the apples and they were very small and sour. They made the best applesauce ever though, with lots of cinnamon.

23 thoughts on “In Nanny’s and Poppy’s yard – Spring of 1955

  1. I could just hug you! You mentioned saggy socks and how they slid down into your shoes, both of which relate to my post this week! I swear, those baggy socks are universal…

      1. I also remember having saggy socks when I was a kid. My legs may have also been skinny, but it seemed like something wasn’t quite right with the socks. They were horrid–and I can remember having to constantly pull them back up.

          1. My sister says her socks did not go down in her shoes, so I guess it wasn’t the elastic. Must have been the ankles. Or maybe she was just naturally more chic than I was 😛

  2. One wonders where parents of photos of children in the future will be taken. So many of the new large homes are being built on smaller and smaller blocks with very little yard room. The proportion of homes with back yards with room enough to kick a football is getting smaller and smaller. So I enjoy back yard photos like yours.

    1. My grandchildren have photos taken in the park, at the beach, inside the house, on trips. It is true that there are few backyard photographs because most of them live in apartments, but there are outside photos taken other places. So many of my young pictures are in the yard. And so were my children’s. And my parents. There were no indoor photos taken back when all we used at my grandparents was a Brownie Box Camera.

  3. My best friend next door had a good dirt yard thanks to a tree that prevented grass from growing. We fashioned houses and drove little cars around there sometimes, but most of the time it was a good place for hopscotch.

    1. We played hopscotch on the sidewalk in front of our house. And some game where we bounced a ball and clapped our hand or something against the side of the brick flat.

  4. Wonderful to see you all playing in dirt. It is everywhere, and available for all our imaginations…but yes, my grands had to have sterile sand in a box with a cover on it so no animals could touch it. No wonder they didn’t like it as much as we did our dirt!

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