This picture is a study in green--the green of the built-in drawers on the left side of the frame, the green of the linoleum floor, the green of my dad's striped shirt and solid tie, the green of my brother's pants. There are also some pronounced reds--my shirt, Jeff's shirt (striped though it is), and the Consolidated Freightways toy truck in the bottom right corner of the frame.
And I doubt you would know that that is a Consolidated Freightways toy truck without me telling you, and I probably wouldn't know either, except we have some other pictures from the same time--probably the same day, actually--that show it better. My grandfather worked for Consolidated Freightways, which is why Jeff got specifically a Consolidated Freightways toy truck for his birthday, and not just any old toy truck.
Like so many of the important pictures from my childhood, this was taken at my grandparents' house in Tucker. This was 1973, after (or possibly the day of) Jeff's birthday. I think that Mattel Preschool toy train (the "Motor Putt-Putt Railroad," Google tells me it was called), the brown tracks of which (all you can see of the train set in the picture) Dad is bending over to look at, was another of Jeff's birthday presents that year. Jeff was into trucks and trains when he was a little kid. I definitely remember playing with that train. (I also remember the train in Pa's attic, which I've also written about, but I definitely remember this train, with the plastic brown oval track.)
What I'd forgotten, but which this picture reminds me of, is that house's laundry room door's flowery pattern--was that perhaps contact paper covering the door? I can't quite remember it well enough to say for sure. But man, just seeing that door reminds me of the smell of that laundry room--humidity and clean clothes and the warmth of a gas dryer. (If it wasn't actually a gas dryer in there, don't correct me; just let me go on thinking that.) That laundry room was a veritable treasure trove of stuff--mostly tools and old magazines and newspapers, actually--and I loved going through it in the late seventies. At least I think I did; I would sure love to be able to visit it--as it was then, of course--now.
And that television set, on that rolling cart! As far as I know, that was the same TV on which Granny and I would watch "Wheel of Fortune" together--the Chuck Woolery "Wheel of Fortune"; it was that long ago--and on which I'm pretty sure I saw "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" one Christmas in the early or mid seventies.
What you can't see in this picture is my mother standing or sitting behind me, taking the picture, and my grandmother sitting beside her, but I know they were there, and I'm glad my mom took so many pictures like this when we were growing up. They mean a lot to me now.