Family Photographs

OP1940-804Once a year, my mother would dress up my sister and me in our Sunday clothes and take us to 69th Street’s Frank & Cedar department store to have our portrait taken.  The 8×10 photo would be placed in a silver frame sitting on the living room piano, stacked in front of the photos from the previous years.  This was what everyone’s mothers did, at least the ones I knew.  My mother wrote our exact age, height, and weight on the back of each photo, so the frame became a record of our growth.

That custom, the prideful symbol of upward mobility of middle-class families everywhere, has long faded and can now be declared dead.  The photography company that ran the portrait studios in Sears, Wal-Mart, and Babies-R-Us stores has closed.  Are any others left?  Not that I know of.  Frank & Cedar is gone.  Gimbels is gone.  Wanamaker’s is gone. Want a family photo?  Whip out your smartphone and email it to Grandma.  She can print it on her inkjet.


About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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