In the summer of 1951, the summer after Dad has been accidentally shot, his family rented a house on Squam Lake in New Hampshire. Today it is best known as the setting of the 1981 film On Golden Pond. But for a fifteen year old with a few empty pages in his scrapbook, it became a place of happy memories that would now be sixty years old.
On the day they left Squam Lake to head back home to Washington DC, Dad took some photographs. He handed the camera to his sister Joan for the first shot here. Dad sitting in front of "The Swamp."
Away from the family house, Dad could stay here alone with Rudolf the cat . What 15 year old wouldn't enjoy a place to himself?
"It had one bedroom, a closet, and a bathroom. It was a great looking place really" he writes in the margins.
There's a shot below of Aunt Joan. 18 years old. A College student at one of the Seven Sisters. Barnard College? I'll have to ask.
Above is a shot of a friend who, at the age of 11, was already smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. He's wearing a ribbon for swimming or canoeing.
"Here is Daddy squinting into the bright sun".
"Here is a nicely blurred picture of Saint and the Oldsmobile in the driveway in front of the house."
"This one here is a group picture consisting of Mom, Dad, Hulda, Al and Rudolf(the white cat in Oma's arms). Notice the poses assumed by the dogs".
As the summer drew to a close Dad returned to Episcopal High School in Virginia for what would unexpectedly turn out to be his final year.
Squam Lake today.
The Number One Song That Summer:
"Too Young" by Nat King Cole