Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nostalgia - a Card Party in the 1950's

Mom and Dad holding me and my brother for a picture on the doorstep.

Growing up in the late 50’s, I have fond memories of my parents going to card parties once a month on Saturday night. Eight couples regularly met to play pinochle, and each family took their turn to host the party in their living room. Sometimes it was a pretty tight squeeze to find enough room to set up 4 tables for cards, but they always found a way.

 At my house, the routine started with getting the house ready for company. The card tables were set up and covered with pretty tablecloths.   Mom always set out a bowl of candy on each table, and she made a dessert which was served on clear, cut-glass dessert plates that have a spot for a matching coffee cup. She set out matching sugar and creamer sets. Oh, and there were fancy napkins too. At an early age I began to associate the rich aroma of brewing coffee with hosting company, as my parents were never big coffee drinkers at home.  I always loved the smell, but never asked to taste it.  Also, when we were young (preschool age) Mom told my brother and me that the candy was just for adults, and we were OK with that.  (Can you believe it???)

It was fun to be at the kitchen door and help welcome everyone in as they arrived.  The men were usually attired in nice dress shirts, often with a bolo tie, and either casual slacks or new blue jeans.  The women wore short party dresses, some rather fancy and some more casual.  It was a social event!

 I can remember that all the adults enjoyed getting together, relaxing after a long week of hard work, loving the opportunity to share some stories and kid around.  Ray used to accuse my mom, who was quite a good card player, of having a neck like a goose because she could see his hand of cards from just about anywhere.  Phyllis’ husband would call her “Toots,” and I found that hilarious.  Sometimes the bidding would get interesting and cause for loud reactions, and sometimes a whole table would erupt in laughter or whoops of victory.  Inevitably, there would be someone who was having a tough night:  the good cards just wouldn’t fall for them. 

Maybe half-way through the party, it would be bedtime for my brother and me.  I have vivid memories of listening to the conversations and laughter, muffled through the closed bedroom door.  It was the “white noise” of the 50’s which lulled us peacefully to sleep.


  1. I can picture everything that you described. Great fun to see the old photo with your mom and dad frozen in time - just as I remember them.

  2. Love the photo. My parents also hosted similar gatherings and the glass luncheon plates are such a vivid memory. Such wonderful times!