Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dad’s Photos #2

For those of you who’ve been reading Robert Frost’s Banjo regularly, you’ll recall that I started a new series earlier this month: posting photographs my father took in the late 1930s. You can read a somewhat more thorough introduction here. Otherwise, I’ll just note that all of today’s photos were taken in Boston in 1939—I suspect they were all taken on one day. The captions are the ones he supplied in the album I inherited.

& for the record, today is the 95th anniversary of my father’s birth. He passed away in November 2005
. The photo of him to the right was taken in the late 1930s or very early 1940s.

The Garden Looking Towards Boylston

Flying High – Peaceful Yet 1939

The Common

A Swell Day Out [I believe this is the Public Gardens]

Really Is An Island

Union Park – Home of Many Southie Bums

Across the Frog Pond

Do hope you enjoy these. I’ll be posting more sometime next month.


  1. Lovely photos. Something so crisp about black and white photography of the day. And a handsome fellow was Father.

  2. Thanks a lot Jacqueline. I do think he had a good eye for photos, & I'm glad that people he'd never have dreamed of seeing these will have a chance to look at them. All in all, he was a creative man first & foremost, tho he was also a blue collar worker his whole life-- besides photography, he also was a talented cabinet maker & woodworker, & he was very adept at tying flies as well as doing macrame & knitting.

    Thanks again for stopping by & taking a look at these.

  3. What a wonderful legacy your father has left you in these photos. (A small insight into the landscape of my own father, who also lived in Boston in the same era, and whom I barely knew.)

  4. Thanks so much T-- yes, I do appreciate them a good deal, & I believe my sister & her kids (now adults themselves) do as well now that they're going online. My Dad was a native Vermonter, but he spent time in the Boston area during the late 30s, which is where he met my Mom.

    Thanks again.

  5. I love the one of the airplane...

    "Flying High - Peaceful Yet".

    What a great caption for a plane in the sky in 1939.


    These are wonderful. Like little black-and-white time machines.

  6. Thanks Ginger:

    Yes, I like that one too. My Dad served in the Pacific in WWII; he was in the SeaBees, so he was a non-combatant, but was in some pretty bad situations nonetheless. I believe this had an effect on him he was never able to communicate-- so I also see that picture in light of all that.

  7. Wonderful pictures! It's rather comforting to discover that neither Boston Common or the Public Garden has changed all that much, although I suppose they are more crowded now. My mother and father used to see Arthur Fiedler conduct the Boston Pops on the common. They sat at a table and ordered champagne.

  8. Thanks K: My sister & now my mom (who had been in Florida for her & my dad's retirement) still live in the Boston area. It was the place you moved to from a small Vermont town if you wanted to see the world-- I guess I took a wrong turn somewhere!

    Thanks again for appreciating these pictures.

  9. I'm related to roughly half of the Irish population of Boston: My father grew up in Quincy with nine brothers and sisters, all whom became fruitful and multiplied, except for a spinster aunt who lived with my grandfather.

    For years, my car had an I [heart] Vermont bumper sticker. The Champlain Islands are (or were in the early 90's) about the last undiscovered great plpace in New England.

  10. Interesting: my mother's from Quincy, tho that side of the family is Scotch-English-- my Dad's side was Irish. I completely agree about the Champlain islands, tho I haven't been up there since the mid 80s. Spent a fair amount of time around Grande Isle, South Hero, North Hero. Also our family camped at Sandbar State Park when I was a kid-- right before the causeway that takes you toward South Hero.


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