After beginning my weekly series on Family Heirlooms, I thought… why not tell the stories on the family photographs. I’ve always loved the older family black and white vintage photographs, and whenever I’m leafing through my albums, I stop to ask “what’s your story?” Every photo has one – and it’s my mission to tell them – one by one!
This photograph of me as a “cowgirl” was around 1957 at Christmas… me wearing what Santa left me under the tree. In as much as I loved to ride this bike… it took awhile before those training wheels came off! It wasn’t until we moved to Perry… and other kids laughed at me before they came off.
So what does this photograph tell about my mother and me on my bike? I know that this photo was taken at Christmas, around 1957. At first I thought maybe the bike was also a Christmas gift, but after colorizing it, the bike doesn’t look nearly so clean as a new bike might look. Also, it looks to be a boys bike, so maybe the bike had been a hand me down… with the cowgirl attire being my Christmas gift. I’m sure if mama had bought me a new bike, it would have been a girls bike. My mother certainly looks cold here, wearing a sweater with arms folded and a scarf on her head; I’ve hardly ever seen mama in a sweater! After coloring the photo, I laughed… in that she’s wearing clothes matching my cowgirl outfit.
My husband took upon the task of trying to identify my bike, and feels it possibly might be a Huffy. I looked more closely at my cowgirl attire, and I can vaguelly make out the words Roy Rogers on my blue and grey boots… with the same colors matching the shirt, pants, gloves, holster and hat. I certainly seem to have had the complete outfit… only thing missing was the spurs; sure wish mama had saved that outfit! I don’t think I ever wore this same outfit when we moved to Perry… as this seems to be the only photos of me wearing it.
This type of Christmas gift certainly wouldn’t be under the tree in 2022… kids today don’t know how to play like this. I wonder just how popular Roy Rogers outfits were for girls, as there was a Dale Evans shirt and skirt… but they didn’t buy me a skirt… I received the shirt and pants… maybe I was more of a tomboy! Mama always talked about how I never seemed to be very excited at Christmas… but I certainly seem happy dressed here… and all ready to ride!
Another view of me on my bike with cousins, Debra (with doll), her brother George on his bike and another cousin, Cassy. (colorized below)
Cousin George and Debra’s grandmother lived just next door to us… she was also my great aunt… sister of my grandmother McKinley. I’m thinking George may have received his bike from Santa and brought for him to ride while visiting; our street was quite, and perfect for bike riding!
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