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.

RWalck@Verizon.net

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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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