Postcard from the past

I’m in Ottawa this week helping my mom get settled in her new apartment and helping her sort through the stuff in her condo. One of the objectives that I have for myself this week is to go through a lot of the old photos and have her help me annotate them.

Central Park and Fifth Avenue Hotels, New York City
Central Park and Fifth Avenue Hotels, New York City

A couple of weeks ago when we were preparing for her move, I filled three shoeboxes with photos and cards that had been in her desk so that it could be moved. I opened up one of them this evening and right at the top was this postcard dated July 24, 1960, just two weeks after I was born. It was to my mother from her life-long friend Ruth. I had dinner with both of them earlier today. The card reads:

Dear Emily,
I hear Janet is just a pet. Mother was so enthused about meeting her, she must be a darling. I can hardly wait to see her. So nice that your Mother is with you for a bit. Any word of a housekeeper for the fall?
Went to see “The Best Man” yesterday – good play.
Love to all

Here is a photo from Christmas of 1963. By then, my sister Frances was born, and the three of us are at the left. Ruth, her husband Peter, and their eldest Jane are at the front. Ruth’s parents, known as Mr and Mrs WP are standing at the left. Family friends Don and Lucille are standing at the right. The picture is taken in our living room, my father (likely) behind the camera.

Christmas 1963.
Christmas 1963.

We had Christmas with this group through most of my childhood. My mother must have been very pregnant in this picture as my brother was born in late January, 1964. Ruth and Peter had another daughter, and Don and Lucille had a daughter and a son. Christmas dinners were at different homes each year, and we enjoyed spending these evenings eating a traditional meal and then playing games.

(The play Ruth mentioned in her postcard, “The Best Man” was a Tony-winning production written by Gore Vidal.)

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3 thoughts on “Postcard from the past

  1. Hi Janet! I exchanged e-mails with your Mom a couple of months ago when she was still pondering whether to go back to the condo or make the move to a seniors residence. All the best to both of you as you assist her with this process. She’s a wonderful person and such a good lifelong friend to my own mother until her passing in late 2010. I am sure you will have many “pauses” to ponder treasures from your mutual past – both pictorial and otherwise – during this process. Enjoy it and don’t leave any questions unasked. Good luck with the annotation process – probably a Herculean task but a worthy one to undertake. Blessings upon you both!
    Ken Mahy

    1. Thanks Ken. One of the first things she mentioned to me when I arrived today was that you had sent her photos that she wanted to show me. She really appreciated your contact!

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