Back life in pictures
Dorothy Birmingham's girlhood

Boyhood pictures from 1954-1961
The earliest pictures I have, starting maybe 1953.

David Frantzen (left) and I pose in the hopper of a threshing machine. Are we 5 or 6 years old? 1953, perhaps?

David and I were frequently paired in church services, about the same height and in the same grade at St. William School. Here we are at First Holy Communion, 1954. We are front row, center (David on the right), in front of Father Becker (Loras Laures is to David's left, William Dunn to my right.

There were also four flower girls. I believe the eight of us in the front row are Carol Friedhof, Charlene Kobliska, William Dunn, AJF, David, Loras Laures, Paula Kolbet, and Mary Heying. Note how carefully the girlsí dresses are matched, ruffles on those at the ends of the row. I donít know the names of anybody in the First Communion class in the second and third rows (also displaying the happy symmetry of even numbers: 6 girls, 6 boys).
What is so striking in 2017 is the elaborate pageantry a small school and parish could muster 63 years ago. Look at the altar and the flowers, the uniform yet varied clothing. The church floor is so highly polished that you can see reflections in it. It seems that no detail was disregarded--or almost none.
Before the picture taking, nobody closed the short capes David and I wore, so it looks as if we are wearing floppy white neckties. The two boys on either side of us look neater. David and I are similarly disarranged below, in the snapshot of just the two of us and in the two informal group pictures. Where were our helicopter parents? One dad can be seen fixing up somebody in the picture at the right.

Two mystery pictures. Perhaps those are children of LaVerne and Mable Roths standing behind me, but I am not sure. Is the girl just behind me my sister Karen? Where was the picture taken of me in the trousers with suspenders? Who puts suspenders on a little boy? Best guess is that both pictures are from 1954-55.
February 1957.

My brother Tom (he is 5) and I (10) are playing with a toy barn, complete with hayloft and silo on the left, rubber animals inside. At right,
I am napping in the rocking chair in the southwest corner of our dining room. The linoleum floor is visible in the picture at the left.
September 1959

I seem to be in front of the loading door, north side of the barn on the farm. But looking west, behind me, there are buildings I don't remember being there.
Is this our farm? We didn't have a swing near the barn.

Mary H, Loras L, LaVonne Z, AJF, Cheryl C, Bill D, Beverly Z, Edward R,
David F, Carol F, Paula K, Charlene K
? ? ? Craig C, Virginia F, ?, ?, ?, Bernard H
Dale Z, ?, Paul T, ?, Dean ?, ?, Phyllis K
Furniture had been rearranged since 1957, and the soft now in corner near the magazine stand.
No date. 1960-61?
Raking leaves, sitting on the back of some visitor's car, on the farm. I was in high school when I started to wear glasses. It might be later than the 1961 photo below:

Standing on the east side of our house on the farm, the porch behind me. Photo is dated December 1961 but that could be the date of develoment of the film. Looks more like late October or early November, since there's not much sign of winter. Somebody is opening the aluminum storm door onto the porch.