Monday, May 23, 2011

Parades, Past and Present

On Saturday morning we rounded up the troops (family/friends/neighbors… we’re lucky to have a lot of overlap involved in these categories :) and walked downtown for the annual Rose Parade. Unlike last year, I didn’t take any pictures. It was just one of those days I felt like experiencing rather than documenting, as all bloggers know, it can sometimes be tricky to do both.

Clover is such a huge fan of anything that involves putting on a show, be it a play, a puppet show, live music, I’m always impressed with her ability to focus her attention on any type of performance and just really take it all in without getting bored or distracted like you might expect from a child her age.

So of course, a parade is right up her ally and I had a wonderful time enjoying the show through her eyes. Not to mention, a parade always brings back my own nostalgic memories of the town parades I went to as a little kid back in the 70’s…

That’s four-year-old me on the left. I befriended the little girl with the braids while sitting on the curb watching the magic unfold. My dad with his trusty 35 mm provided the documentation...

I love these snap shots, the small town Americana, the rainbow of colors, the quirky shots of random people in the crowd (I have no idea who these two girls are, but isn't that photo awesome?) I love the way my dad’s sense of humor shines through. The tongue-in-cheek patriotism of the images.

In fact, I think my nostalgia for this time period has less to do with my own actual memories and more to do with all the wonderful images that my father created back in those days when he was passionately exploring photography.

Images that I cherish, especially as I grow more and more in love with photography myself and find joy in creating images that could one day bring light and form to my own little girl’s nostalgic childhood memories :)

Hope you all had a fun weekend!

(Edit: Bonus points to Nicole for spotting the Kennedy in the crowd! I can't believe I didn't realize the tall guy in the suit is indeed a young TED KENNEDY! Talk about kicking the nostalgic Americana up a notch...)


Catherine said...

Lovely post, and thanks for sharing. Whenever I view childhood photos like these or my own, I think of Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends,

"Time it was, and what a time it was, it was.
A time of innocence, a time of confidences.
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph.
Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you."

As much as I enjoy our photographic digital age, I love pouring through photo albums of actual photographs of years gone by.

Victoria / Justice Pirate said...

wow those are really amazing photos that your dad took and you were so cute. I love the things that people are wearing in these shots.

flaming hag folkwear said...

awesome photos of little you and all those cool anonymous folks (and even a kennedy!). posts like these make me want to scan in some old shots to share...

and cheers to enjoying a parade without having to document it ;)


Teeny said...

Missa! This is the stuff of New Zealander's imagination as to what America is like. As a little kiwi I of course didn't live 70s Americana as you did, but hells yeah we got a lot of it on TV. Hope to visit you one day! We're planning (tentatively) an overseas trip next year, we're meant to be travelling around the Mediterranean, soak in some sea and sun. I'm hoping I can convince my hubs that I NEED to meet up with some bloggers in the U.S. Waaah, send some hopeful energy to me!

moonshinejunkyard said...

Aw Missa, these are incredibly beautiful! i love the "nude" bumper sticker, i want that! you and your 70s gal pal are absolutely adorable and everything in the parade seems more light-hearted and colorful and exuberant and playful than anything today.

our town has lots of parades but they are kind of overtaken with hot rods, dirt bikes, crushed cars, that kinda junk. then a bunch of kids in matching tee shirts just walking together representing this or that group. i want the good stuff, the bands, the costumes, the clowns, the RONALD MC DONALD!! (was he the creepiest character ever from your childhood?! i remember sitting in a parking lot watching him perform? it's a vague and shadowy memory)

your dad had a beautiful eye. i love the way you see photography, and you totally have it too.

and by the way teeny, did you know that santa rosa has a very meditterean climate?!! that would certainly be a meet-up to cherish!

hi clover :)

Missa said...


Wow, you are good. THAT IS TOTALLY TED KENNEDY. How did I not realize that?! I thought the tall important looking guy in the suit looked familiar, but I didn't put it together.

This was in Massachusetts in 1976 which as it turns out was an election year for him, so it makes perfect sense that he'd be hitting the parade circuit. Haha, these pics just got a whole lot more Americana, didn't they!?

That's awesome, thanks for pointing it out!

Alexa said...

Your dad was an amazing, amazing photographer.

Milla said...

I have such love for this post, celebrity sightings and all. Nostalgic Americana galore. Why is it that old phots always look so innocent? Like all was well, or at least better than things are now. I love the girl with the painted cheeks, the marching band, those 70s balloons that I wish you could still get instead of those foil foibles that look like future-toxic waste? Sigh.

Your dad was a wonderful photog and I can totally tell that you've got his eye in framing shots. These images really make you yearn for a real camera, eh? The light is just so pretty and the colors vibrant.

When I first looked at the post yesterday, I could have sworn the two girls in the bottom were you and Val, but of course they're not. It's just such a cute picture of a blond girl and a dark haired girl. that I presumed.

sally said...

love the nostalgic tinge of these photos!

sally said...

p.s. i had that same little pink plastic hair clip you are wearing...i was so obsessed with my hair clips when i was little! more as toys than useful for pinning hair! i still have some of 'em. :)

Sadhbh @ Where Wishes Come From said...

I love these photos! Like Teeny said - this is exactly the America I imagine - and even though I have visited, this is still what it's like in my head!
My Dad is a photographer too and has stacks of photos from 70's Ireland... the light, the colours and the clothes are, of course, different, but still isn't there just something about the 70's that, no matter what the subject of a picture, you can just tell what era it's from??
Great post, might just have inspired me to do a nostalgic one of my own:)

Fear is a Dirty Word said...

So awesome that you can connect with your dad through photos like that. My mom was a photographer as well, and it's always so magical when she pulls out old negatives. Love the pictures!

Violet Folklore said...

Yes, definitely a Kennedy! These photos are soooo great Missa! I would love to see more of your dad's old pictures. I think he would be honored to know that you are carrying on the tradition, and that you are sharing his images with the world.

Tera said...

Loved this post and especially that last photo! When I think back on my childhood it always takes on those colors for some reason.

Nicky said...

This is way sweet- I love your little 4 year old self looking just like you should during that time :D

And congrats to putting your camera down for the Rose parade. I know it's a challenge for us since we think of every even as a "post" now! Almost takes the fun out of being there sometimes! I always crack up at the instant review of pictures too since we all have digital cameras. Sometimes it would be nice to just let the moment happen and try to remember it for what it was... but then I look at your Dad's shots and think how cool it is to capture little moments!
Happy Monday Missa!