Warren’s Christmas Birthday Party, 1958

Front row: Jan and Dale Evans  Middle: Pearl Cleage, Warren Evans, Ernest Martin  Back: Me (Kristin Cleage) If only Ernie had stepped a bit to the right you would be able to see both of our faces.  Why is Dale making that face? Must be because he’s 8.

My cousin Warren always had a party on his December 30th birthday. All of the Cleage cousins gathered at his house where his mother, my aunt Gladys, made a punch of Vernor’s ginger ale with orange sherbert floating on top. There was ice cream, chips, party favors and of course, cake. His cake, shown below, looks like a product of Detroit Awrey’s Bakery.  My cousin Jan corrected me and said it was probably a Sanders cake. Sanders also made cakes and the best chocolate miniatures ever. But I digress.


Because I count 11 candles on the cake, I’m going to say it was his 10th birthday which would make it 1958.  The 11th candle would be 1 to grow on.  There is no sign of his youngest brother who wasn’t born until July of 1959.

Unlike the Sepia Saturday prompt, there is no bus and no Santa in my photo but the people are sitting facing each other and it was taken during the 1950s.

To see more Christmas Sepia Saturday offerings, CLICK!


24 thoughts on “Warren’s Christmas Birthday Party, 1958

  1. Some of my fondest memories are getting together with my cousins over the holidays. Either they would come to visit us or we would go to them as we lived in different states. We would all (several families) be together for up to a week. It would get pretty crazy at times with many kids, parents and grandparents but there was much fun and love. That is what I see in your pictures. Happy Holidays!

    1. We all lived in Detroit in those days so we saw all the cousins during the season. Now we mostly live in Atlanta and my grandkids wanted to recreate that going to the grandparents for a visit that they had when we lived out of town and so on New Years Even they all spend the night here. I think they look forward to that more than any other holiday. Happy Holidays to you too, Teresa!

    1. One of my grandsons seems to be following that logic. He is 12 and still making the crazy faces in photos. Merry Christmas to you too Peter!

  2. Nice to see he had his own party even if this was during the Holidays.
    My mom hated having her birthday so close to Xmas,
    feeling she was denied a proper celebrations
    and deprived of one gift as apparently,
    some folks considered it was sufficient to give her only one,
    for Xmas and her birthday all at once…
    I love that hand puppet.
    As for Dale, you are right: He was 8!! That’s all of the explanation you need here.
    Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!!
    See ya in 2013!!

  3. Jan was quite a cutey, but Dale , a right little Herbert – bet he’s got a good sense of humour. What are they doing now that they are in their prime?
    Kristin, you look very responsible – are you still like that?

    Seasonal Greetings


    1. I was the oldest cousin on that side of the family and my dress kept coming unbuttoned in the back as you can see in one of the photos. That could be why I look so responsible, which I am. It would take a very long post to tell what all of us did and are doing with our lives. I can’t begin to go into it now!

  4. Hi Kristin, Merry Christmas! I am so glad that your cousin’s birthday didn’t get swallowed up by Christmas (my Grandpa’s always did). Great family pictures. I haven’t heard of the extra candle on the cake. We got one more swat on the butt or a “pinch to grow and inch”, lol.

    Kathy M.

    1. Now that you mention it, I don’t remember ever giving Warren a birthday spanking or a pinch to grow an inch! I do remember those from other birthdays though. Not only didn’t Warren’s birthday get swallowed up, it’s the only birthday I remember celebrating year in and year out!
      Merry Christmas to you too!

  5. Any photo that makes the viewer smile is so much better than photos where everyone has that forced grin. Birthdays and anniversaries between the holidays always get shorted, so that was a neat tradition to look forward to. My best wishes to you and your family for a happy holiday and bright new year.

    1. I don’t think we went in for the forced grins. Being serious in a photo was ok. I’m glad because we look like ourselves.

      Thank you for the good wishes and I wish you and your family the same.

  6. Somehow I missed this one when you posted it. I was intrigued by the “one to grow on” candle…something we don’t do. And you eventually found a strategy for “going into” the story of the cousins. Being the eldest is a tough gig, or so #1 daughter always tells me:-)

    1. I didn’t have to be responsible for the younger children so it wasn’t bad. I never felt like I had to live up to my older sibling 😉

  7. Hi there!

    Love the fotos of the B-day party. Adorable! For a short time [when I was very young] I too lived in Detroit. I remember Awrey or Awry’s baked goods. They had fabulous cakes. Had a b-day party and had a teddy bear cake (of course) and a bunny rabbit cake. Scrumptious and totally cute! That Awry’s (sp?) bakery also made the best of all time blueberry and lemon tarts – 6 to a package. One time I was waiting for my mom inside a super market called Wrigley’s (?) where there was an Awry’s bakery. Observed a very large man (about 400 lbs.) devour 3 packages of those fabulous tarts inside the store. People were not as large then and didn’t eat publically in that way. People talked about him in the store and I noticed there was a real intolerance for his obesity – he was truly a social pariah – weighing that much. These days you see people weighing 400 lbs. all the time. It’s not unusual anymore. Vernor’s ginger ale – I am drinking some right now. W/ orange sherbet – I will have to try that. Remember having some special situation and there was Vernor’s w/ creme – that was good too. I like the orange sherbet idea very much. You have the best fotos and stories – really fabulous and your work triggers long lost memories. Thank you for that.


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