Fourth Birthday - April 27th, 1960

What fun! An all-boy birthday party for my fourth birthday! I'm in the red shirt in the special birthday seat in the middle. The two boys to the right in ties are brothers Jack and Merrick - Jack is the older one with the grin and missing tooth, Merrick is the sedate one. I'm pretty sure that the boy standing is named George; his little brother Donald is in the identical vee-neck sweater below him, looking very much like a young George Gobel. Tony is at the left. I do not have last names for any of these boys. We haven't yet put on our party hats.

Mom never liked Jack. She said he was usually very physical with me - pushing me out of the way and taking my toys, etc. She called him "wild" (pronounced "wile").

That white lamp directly behind me would be my primary illumination for drawing comic books seven years later on Thursday nights when Mom went to Bingo games. I remember those copper mugs on the wooden holder said "Moscow Mule," which I later came to understand was a mixed drink.

We're seated at the table awaiting our meal and making noise. There seems to be a circus theme present in the tablecloth and the cups and plates. Presents await opening at the top of the picture; they are placed upon a cabinet Dad would later paint a lurid avocado, red and gold. You can see our old black and white TV in the left background. It's a Sears like all of our other electronic items. Sears is where people shopped back then.

Ahhhh... the cake. Does George look a bit frenzied? He does. I see four blue candles and some other flotsam and jetsam atop the cake.

More noise - because that's what little boys do. I wish I could get a better look at what appears to be a toy in the lower left hand corner. What was it? I do not remember.

Here I am blowing up a balloon, growing nearly cross-eyed in the effort, and in this shot we can see that the tablecloth is placed upon our ship's hatch table that would later be a target for the creative energy of my parents. First they painted it antiqued avocado with the metal parts white, then they poured resin all over it to seal in stamps and coins.

I remember that lamp in the background with the yellow dome very well because I once knocked it down and broke it.

It appears that stuff is in a yellow circular container - birthday toys or trash, I assume. Probably trash.

Hot dogs for the meal - of course. What else does one feed little boys in 1960? I look distraught. Did I not get a hot dog?

George, close your mouth while eating. Nobody wants to see you chewing your food.

It looks like I gave those venetian blinds on the door a real hammering. This is why we never had nice stuff.

Another balloon blowing shot, this one out of focus. Mom got too close with the Brownie Hawkeye, which had a fixed focal length lens.

Oh, look, I'm sitting on my red plastic train for a chair. If you want cake, raise your hand!

Merrick, close your mouth while eating. Nobody wants to see you chewing your food.

One last honk on the horns for the camera.

Somebody give Merrick a horn.

Uh-oh. Party gone out of bounds. I'm standing on the sofa and Jack appears to be airborne. Merrick has a look on his face like he's very tentative about the wild stuff. I bet he was a calm, quiet kid.

I'm guessing that it was about this time that Mom thought, "Next year we're taking this outside and I'm inviting little girls." She did and would.

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