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Friday, October 10, 2008

Funny, Embarrassing or a Cruel Joke?


This post was composed for the 6th Edition of Smile For The Camera ~ A Carnival of Images

The photo looks innocent enough: someone holding up a decorated cake for the camera, the cake says "Happy Confirmation . . ." Or is there more to it than that?

Only if you were part of my family would you begin laughing when you saw this photo, because you had been told the story behind it.

My mother's confirmation took place in 1955 as you can see by these photos:



Above my mother, Jacqueline Austin, poses with her grandmother, Therese McGinnis Austin and her sister who also served as her sponsor, Patricia Austin.



Above Jacqueline Austin poses outside in her confirmation gown.

So what's so funny about the cake photo? Well being part of a family of practical jokers and people who generally kid around quite a bit, someone thought it would be fun to act as if they were throwing the cake out the window. I guess this had my mother quite upset, as any 13-year old would be on her special day. I can't remember who exactly threatened to toss the cake out the window but I bet it was one of her brothers.

After having grown up with what outsiders freely call a "crazy family" I am no longer embarrassed by these jokes - be it one aunt who shows up at every high school graduation with air horns, signs and a loud mouth or aunts who will take over an entire Red Lobster for the afternoon with lots of yelling and laughing.

And to be honest, I don't think I'd have it any other way.

Photo 1: Confirmation Cake. Jersey City, New Jersey, 1955. Digital image. Privately held by Thomas MacEntee, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Chicago, Illinois. 2008.

Photo 2: Therese McGinnis Austin, Jacqueline Austin and Patricia Austin. Jersey City, New Jersey, 1955. Digital image. Privately held by Thomas MacEntee, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Chicago, Illinois. 2008.

Photo 3: Jacqueline Austin - Confirmation. Jersey City, New Jersey, 1955. Digital image. Privately held by Thomas MacEntee, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Chicago, Illinois. 2008.

1 comments:

Holly Timm said...

Oh my, I would have been mortified but then my family NEVER did anything of this sort, perhaps we would have done better if we had. But then my two sisters and I would dress up in home made costumes and put on nursery rhymes and stories for my parents ... been years since I though of that, thanks for bringing back the memory.