Sunday, June 14, 2009

Swimsuit Beauties? Maybe Not, But Family We Are!

Hunt as I might for some awesome bathing beauties in my family, I did not find much. They have all been the modest type! Thousands of great photos but very few with bathing suits and pools, guess I got the genes too as I am not a pool enthusiast either, but that did not stop me from posting a few precious pictures of family.

The three ocean photos were taken in 1958 when my family traveled by train to Los Angeles, California to visit my aunt and uncle: Brig. General M.M. Beach and Stella. They had a beautiful home which he had built in Garden Grove. We had a wonderful trip there on the passenger train and saw many great sights while visiting. Of course Knotts Berry Farm and Disneyland were tops on the list. Disneyland had only been open 2-3 years at that time and it was a thrill for me, a girl who was 6 years old at the time. My big brother, Dick, who was about 17 got the great job of escorting me on many of the smaller rides at Disneyland. Looking back, I bet that really thrilled him, but they are my memories for a lifetime!

Our relatives lived quite close to the ocean and we took a picnic and spent one whole day there. It was my first visit and I have only seen the ocean 2 other times since, in my almost 60 years. My photos of that day bring back very fond memories! I can very clearly hear my Dad calling to my Mom, telling her to "run" as a big wave was coming. That "gotcha" photo is a prized possession. That is my Mom, Irene, The Bathing Beauty. It appears as though she didn't quite make it ahead of the wave. We probably didn't pack any bathing suits for the trip so we all just had summer clothes. I can still see that black sun dress that my Mom wore and my Dad always had his pantlegs rolled up in the summer , especially if he was boating or fishing.

The lone picture is my Dad, Freddie. It is an old slide and the picture was taken before I was even born in the late 1940s. My two brothers, Bill and Dick were about 10 and 7 years old. My parents spent as much time as possible in the Black Hills of South Dakota in the summer. We only live about four hours away and to this day it is a favorite vacation spot for all my extended family. The family had gone there for one of their camping and fishing trips. They had rented a small cabin close to a small lake near Hill City, South Dakota. My Dad was an avid fisherman and as a younger man he used to walk many miles a day while fly fishing along the streams in the Black Hills. On this day, he had gone in nothing but his bathing suit and fishing shoes. To this day, I don't know why but he paid the price dearly! In the picture he has a very bad sunburn. He got very ill and they had to call the doctor while there. The family had to stay over a few extra days so Daddy could even get clothes on comfortably enough to get back home. Over the next 55+ years of his life, he often went without a shirt when fishing and working outdoors but he was always careful not to do so to the point of burning. Lessons learned!

My two "bathing beauties" are gone now, but the precious memories live on. Some say computers are the greatest invention of technology but I respectfully disagree. Cameras have given us the treasures of a lifetime! Life would be pretty dull and geneaology quite boring without our great photo reflections.


  1. Boy you sure are right about cameras, Cheri! I couldn't agree more. Photographs are treasures and researching family history without them would definitely being more boring!

  2. Hi Cheri,
    My Dad got a similar burn on a fishing trip on Quincy Bay when I was a kid. He'd had a few
    of the mandatory beers and our cousins dropped him off on a small island where he promptly
    dozed off lying in the full sun. Only thing he caught that trip was the sunburn!

    Thanks for sharing the pictures and memories!

  3. Thanks for sharing these, Cheri!

  4. Thanks for sharing your photos, Cheri. I am old enough to remember those styles of bathing suits. It brought back memories.

  5. I'm constantly amazed by how a simple picture can call forth so many memories. I use them all the time when I'm interviewing family members.
    Evelyn in Montreal