Shirley and Lillian, 1945
The lack of money during the depression and then the lack of cameras, film and flashbulbs during World War II meant that the childhood lives of my sister and me were recorded in a few snapshots or tiny dime-store photo booth pictures. In December of 1945, I was in the 8th grade and my sister, Shirley, was in the 5th grade. My father’s sister, Annie, had a coupon for a free sitting at a portrait studio and secretly took us downtown to have a Christmas picture made for my mother. I wore my favorite dress (a castoff from my Aunt Myrtle) – a brown gabardine with velvet Chesterfield collar. Shirley never wanted to wear anything but blue jeans at that time, but she did put on a nice blouse and red sweater.
I remember the photographer had Shirley straddle a bench beside me in the studio to get in the right position and he took a shot from the waist up to avoid showing her jeans. Annie had the 8×10 hand-tinted portrait framed and gave it to Mother on Christmas Eve. Mother considered it a special Christmas treasure and had it on display for as long as she lived.
My little sister, Shirley, passed away on December 7, 2010.