Three boys, sometime in the 1950's

Mike, Chris and Bill

There’s no date on this picture, but the one in the middle, the only one really looking at the camera, is my dad. My guess is that they are standing outside of their grandparents’ garage, at the house on West Price Street (for you Phila folks, that’s just off Wissahickon) in Germantown.

When I see pictures like this, I wish fervently to have the ability to crawl into the scene as an invisible observer. I don’t have any desire to change things or shift the path that history took. I just want the scene to brighten into color and have the people starting talking, unfrozen and alive in that moment.

I want to know who was behind the camera. Was it Bunny, taking a picture of her boys for her in-laws, or was it her father? I want to know what their voices sounded like and how they expressed affection for one another. I want to know if Bill later pushed my dad off the bike or if he was able to ride around unmolested (as the youngest, my dad got beaten on quite a fair amount).

5 thoughts on “Three boys, sometime in the 1950's

  1. howard

    I love finding old pictures like this, though my parents didn’t take an excessive amount of photos of me as a child (so I guess there won’t be much of a supply for my children or grandchildren – should they ever exist).

    Every time I take photos of my family members, especially of my nieces and nephews, I wonder if the images will survive to someday be found, not unlike the way you found these.

  2. Tony

    OK, I’m feeling faint… Our family lived at 432 West Price Street then (from about 1954 until 1986). There is only one block of West Price as far as I know, so it must be the same block!

  3. Marisa

    Okay, that’s pretty crazy. The story is that my grandmother got divorced from her husband around 1950 and moved in with her parents on Coulter Street with my dad and his two brothers. In around 1955, they bought both sides of a twin on West Price Street. My grandmother remarried somewhere around 1957 and her new husband was a UU minister who promptly got sent to Hawaii. They sold her side of the twin, but my great-grandparents lived on West Price Street until the late 1960’s. They were the Bartletts.

    This is so funny. Philadelphia is SUCH a small place. I was at a dinner last night and met someone who grew up on East Price Street.

  4. Tony

    If I remember correctly, there was only one twin with a garage, so I think I know the house, although I didn’t know your great-grandparents. In 1955 I was two, so that’s probably why I didn’t know your father, although if he had stayed around longer I might have met him. Small, small world.

  5. Marisa

    It is definitely a small world. Their house had a garage, with a big circle in the middle of the garage so that you could pull in and then turn the car around on this platform, so that you could then pull out the right way instead of backing out. Anyway, this is pretty crazy. Had my dad stayed around, you probably would have known him. Very funny.


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