Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Post War Taffeta and Oh Tannenbaum

John Holly Williams Collection, LLF Library

"Four young ladies are decorating a Christmas tree. They are standing on a stage at Whitworth College. No other information is available." -- Library caption
Given the history of the college and other photos from this era, I suspect this is from 1948 or 1949.  
I like this photo because it captures traditions that I remember well -- fancy dresses and longleaf pine Christmas trees, cut down from a trek into the woods, without regard to shape or ideal form. 
I can fondly remember in the early 1960s trudging through the Kinchloe's acreage next door and hiking with my family down to an area past what is now Brookway Boulevard to find a small tree for our living room.   
It was early and unusually cold. Jackfrost was everywhere, bowing the broom sage to the ground, and we could see our breath with every step.  Momma spied a "perfect" tree, and Daddy took his hatchet and chopped down a young pine not unlike this one. 

My little dog Boots, half Feist, half Chihuahua, could not fathom what we were doing.
We dragged our perfect tree back -- Boots chasing after -- and we set it up in our living room, complete with the old torpedo multi-colored lights, silvery tinsel and our heirloom ornaments.

I must mention that this was the first year of The Cat.  No sooner had the tree settled, my young Tuxedo, Sylvester, crooked his tail, zoomed up the trunk, and crashed the perfect tree to the floor.  

His antic broke just about every ornament we had -- including the old ones with paper tops from World War II.

The following year, we got on board with the rest of the country and bought an aluminum tree with a color wheel, a trend that lasted until the mid to late 1960s, when A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree aired and helped return live trees to America's homes. 
As always, if you recognize anyone in the photo, please leave word here or on my Facebook page.

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