1950s Entertaining

It’s Sepia Saturday time again so I’m rummaging out some vintage photos. The inspiration photo is 1950s, people celebrating Christmas, kissing, and soldiers in uniform. Hmm, what do I have to match that assortment of themes?

Here’s a 1957 photo of my dad, Clyde Martin, and his brother, Howard. Earlier, Howard had been in the Army during the Korean War era.

Clyde and Howard Martin playing cards.

They are playing cards and usually their wives would be seated at the table also. Two packs of cigarettes sit on the table and a mysterious bowl. I’d assume it was snacks so perhaps that’s a potato chip bag in the bowl. Someone is in the kitchen, probably Mom getting some lemonade for everyone.

Mom never smoked, but Dad did for years. I’m thinking he smoked Kools. When he was hospitalized after a car wreck, he gave it up since he couldn’t smoke in the hospital.

While the grown-ups played cards, the cousins played until we were worn out and fell asleep on the bed. That was budget entertainment in those days for young couples and no babysitter needed. At the end of the evening, Howard and Margie would gather up their four children, still half-asleep, and put them in the car to head home.

In an earlier post, I gave the history of this round oak table. Here is a photo of Howard’s time in the U.S. Army.

Howard Martin at training in Tennessee in 1951.

This is the inspiration photo from Sepia Saturday.

5 thoughts on “1950s Entertaining

  1. Love the card playing photo. My parents were big card players — as were my grandparents on both sides. I never thought of it as being cheap entertainment, but that was likely the case with my folks, too. They played bridge and taught my siblings and I to play gin rummy, regular rummy and a game called pitch (which seems to be a regional, upstate New York card game) — and that knowledge has been passed on. So the cards come out whenever we get together.


  2. Round is the most congenial of shapes for a table, I think, whether for dining or other activities. I grew up with a very similar round oak table that served our small family well for many years. Sadly last summer when my mother moved into a tiny apartment we had to sell it. It was strange to feel a loss, almost a heartbreak, over an inanimate piece of furniture. But I trust another family will go on to enjoy 60+ years of wonderful meals, love, and frienships around it.


  3. My parents regularly had friends over to play bridge. Sometimes there were kids to play with, but I was so much older than my half-siblings that usually it was me watching my little sisters. Cheap entertainment indeed! If I got my sisters to bed, I sometimes tried to situate myself where I could hear the grownups conversation without being seen. Thanks for the memory!


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