Seventh Birthday - April 27th, 1963
Here I am, the birthday boy, crowned and wearing a vee-neck sweater. My shirt is buttoned at the collar because, back then, kids dressed up for birthday parties. There's a "7" candle on the cake which dates this nicely: April 27th, 1963. That label on the bottom left hand corner was made by me for a scrapbook back in the 1980's, I think.
That's my pal Tony behind me in the red shirt; he lived down the street. He had home problems - more on that later. The girl in the blue dress with smile and the the oh-so-1960's glasses is Jane Holland; the Hollands originally lived next door to us, but later moved into a house up the street. Jane had a great sense of humor and was my pal all the way up into my teenage years. Next to her is one of the Williams daughters. I don't remember her name... the only time I ever saw them was at birthday parties. The Asian kids - I think - belonged to our landlord, who also lived up the street.
A shot of the cake... too bad Mom didn't think to turn the thing around so that we could get a good shot of it. Based on the table cloth and the objects on the cake I'd guess that the theme was "circuses." (I'm not sure the cocktail umbrellas go with that, but, whatever.) The venue for the eating portion of the party is our patio in the backyard. Dad quickly gave it the Hawaiian treatment with some nets and shells; you can see one of the shells in the shot. Somebody's hands appear on the right border.
This is one of the many kid groupings Mom did that she was so fond of. I don't recall who the three little kids were in the foreground. Triplets? The three Williams daughters appear more or less in a row behind them, and Tony and Jane complete the scene. You can see our tiki hut to the left.
More participants... That older girl on the left is Jane's sister Kitty, who was my baby sitter from time to time. The woman in the middle with the brown sweater is associated with either the Williams girls or the ones in front - I don't recall. That's Jane's and Kitty's sister Mikie in the white top and blue skirt. The redhead next to her, just above me, is Debbie Ferriter, a play pal from my very eariest days. Her father Paul was a good friend of my dad's. The woman at the very right was Marie... something. I'm pretty sure she was Tony's Mom. That kid at right is Rocky Arnone, who lived nearby.
A variation on the image above; I am wearing a very odd expression on my face.
The men have arrived. That's Paul Ferriter at left, my Dad in the white and the guy in the jacket is Eddie. Eddie was trouble, but I'm not sure why. He either had drinking problems or abused the kids or something like that. He was Marie's husband and Tony's father. One thing's for sure: Mom didn't like him at all.
Look how big Dad's banana trees have grown! And yes, they did produce bunches of bananas. That yard no longer exists, by the way. Sometime around 1966 I think it was, a moving company bought the lot, tore down the house and expanded.
It looks like Eddie is twacking Tony's hat on his head or some such thing. (I told you the guy was trouble.) You can see our pool ladder in the background; the pool isn't set up - it isn't hot enough yet. A Williams daughter does a twirl with her skirt - Happy Birthday!