On July 13, 2012, my two daughters surprised me with a big box of wrapped gifts, informing me it was exactly 80 days until my 80th birthday and I would be able to unwrap one gift a day.  The gift items would commemorate a year in my life in some way.  This is what I received this week.


1954 – My oldest daughter embroidered dish towels from 1954 patterns.  The Dutch Boy is from The Workbasket – April, 1954 (the same month and year she was born) and the girl with the umbrella is from a 1954 coloring book.

1955 – A 1-½ inch diameter tin labeled School Buildings 1955 and containing an actual film strip showing the latest improvements in school buildings in that year.

1956 – A TV Guide for February 4-10, 1956.  A note is attached, “You were probably watching some of these shows waiting for your first son to arrive.”  My oldest son was born on March 8, 1956, so I was spending a lot of time watching Gary Moore, Perry Como, Annie Oakley (a favorite of my toddler daughter), and Cincinnati’s local star, Ruth Lyons.


1957 – A Betty Furness Westinghouse Roast Meat Thermometer and Skewer.  Betty Furness was best known in the early days of television for opening Westinghouse refrigerators and talking about all of their wonderful features.


1958 – A 1958 copy of Woman’s Day Cook Book of Favorite Recipes.  I have a large cookbook collection but have never seen this one.  I was interested to find a lot of canning and bake-from-scratch recipes.


1959 – A metal tin that had held a typewriter ribbon.  It has an interesting graphic on the top of the tin and Feb 59 on the back.  After all of the years I spent typing, I love anything dealing with typewriters, especially the vintage items.

1960 – A picture of President and First Lady Kennedy leaving the hospital with John Kennedy, Jr.  The note attached to this picture says, “1960 – The year two important John-Johns were born“.  This refers to my youngest son, John, who was born March 11, 1960.  When he was a toddler, we did refer to him as John-John now and then.

As I was leaving the hospital with my baby John, I looked nothing like Jackie in her perfect suit, hat, gloves and pumps.

All of my posts on this wonderful celebration are listed in Family – My 80th Birthday in my index on the right hand side of the page.