I don’t know what the official name for these are, but I guess photo viewers will have to do. Back in the day, when we went to bungalow colonies in the Catskills, itinerant photographers would show up occasionally to take pictures of the residents and their kids. You could order printed pictures in any size, laminated onto mirrors or encased in these little viewers. You’d hold it up to the light, look through the eyepiece and behold! There you were in living color – totally ultra-modern!
For the summer of 1957, my family stayed at the Maple Leaf Bungalow Colony in Ellenville, NY. I was 4 and my sister Gail had just turned 2. I remember it being a nice, leisurely summer and we had a private bungalow with a screened-in porch.
The photographer must have come twice, as the first picture shows Gail and me in daytime togs. I don’t remember the picture being taken, but I do remember that colorful beach ball, which said “I’ll Drive You Crazy” on it. I think it had some encased weights, so if you tried to roll or throw it, the ball would flop or bounce in unexpected directions. Hot stuff!
I do remember the taking of the second photo – it was done in the evening, at the “Casino,” with all the kids dressed in their best outfits. It was raining and I remember there were drops of water on the floor from a leaky ceiling. I had skinned my knee earlier that day and Mom had written my name “DAVID” in big letters of red mercurochrome just above the knee – still visible in the picture.