Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas Then and Now

Here are a few shots from the scrapbooks that we were so fortunate to get along with Foxcroft.

This is Christmas 1930, which would have been the third one celebrated here. I really like the old pictures that show Christmas trees that look like real trees. A story in the local paper last week mentioned that white pine is the only conifer native to Iowa. You may notice the picture on the wall behind the tree. It is "Isabella and the Pot of Basil" by John White Alexander. We now have a copy hanging in the same place, along with another version done by an unknown artist.

The second is from 1932 which would have been Helen's senior year in college. In the two years that we knew Helen before she passed away she didn't have a tree up.

Here is our tree, it is on the other side of the French doors from where the Fox family put theirs. We have always had a tree on a table since Lisa and I have been married. The table is one she got from her family. Apparently a now ex-uncle cut down the legs on a family dining room table to make it coffee table height. 20 years ago I had bought some hand-made oak lawn edging fence. I cut the two long pieces off each section that were meant to be driven into the ground and had made a fence to go around my Christmas trees. The first year we celebrated Christmas together we found the fence was the perfect size for the table and have done it that way ever since. I was noticing this year that 20 years of taking the fence up and storing it have put a nice patina of wear on the paint that really makes it look authentic! The lights that look like stars are plastic pieces that you slip the bulbs through before you screw them in the sockets. They were in a box of stuff I got at an auction, and I will be honest it took my three years to figure out what they were! The are very cool.


StuccoHouse said...

Thanks for sharing the old photos. Very cool. I love to see the old rugs and furniture.

ben said...

How neat! I wish we had some old photos of our house with the PO's. Their daughter became a well to do artist and we've been able to acquire one of her watercolors but photos would be fascinating.

Mike said...

Thanks, both of you,as to the furniture, the table and chairs in the dining room were still there until they were sold last March in the estate tag sale. I wonder what ever happened to the Navajo rug, I think it came from Bess' honeymoon to the Southwest in 1909. As to famous, Wilbur Schramm, the first director of the Iowa Writer's Workshop built a home across the street, we have an autographed book of his, along with autographed works of Paul Engle the founder of the International Writer's Workshop, both affilitated with the University of Iowa. Schramm was a good friend of the painter Grant Wood, and we have a picture from 1938 of Schramm and his wife dressed as "American Gothic."

A phonograph collector said...

I thought that I might mention that on the second picture, by the tree, is a cabinet. That's an RE-45, made by the Victor Talking Machine Company in late 1929/1930. They are neat machines, and relatively cheap. They have both radio and record player in them.