Party Time, 1962

On the back of this photo, someone has written in green ink “July ’62. Celi’s party. Camp.” At first I thought it might be some kind of amateur theatrical event, with a painted background and the fans as props. But on closer look, those must be real trees (hence “camp”) and the meaning of the fans remains obscure.

These older women are dressed in a range of clothing styles–the ubiquitous house dress/street dress at the center, a shirtwaist dress, skirt and blouse variations, a cardigan style jacket, and even one pair of pants.  However, there isn’t a very big color range.  It is mainly light blues, whites, and beiges, with one dark red dress and striped purple pants thrown in for contrast.  Despite what appears to be a fairly broad age spectrum (from the forties on the far right to the seventies on the left?), they all have very similar hair dos—tight curls close to the head.  I’ll bet that many of these were the product of permanent waves.  At least one of them dyed her hair—look at that wild red head on the right (a woman after my own heart).

I wonder if this was a summer retreat associated with some women’s club or organization. The fans might have been party favors—or maybe they were gearing up for a production of the Mikado.

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