Some of us throw all of our family photos into a drawer and forget to label them (or whatever the digital equivalent would be.) Others scribble down basic information, often illegibly. It is the truly rare individual who offers as much information as is typed (!) on the back of this picture. Here is the notation in full:
“Mrs. Roy Schmidt, nee Ella Florence Wilson, formerly Mrs. Alfred Ahrens, taken by Chester on Tuesday afternoon Sept. 27th, 1955 at the summer home of Ella and Roy at Ringwood Borough, New Jersey. Ella born 4.23.1906.”
What amazes me about this photo is how contemporary Ella looks. Her flat shoes, dark cropped pants, white sweater and striped boat neck tee shirt (or inset) could easily be worn on the street today. Of course these were casual vacation clothes for Ella, most likely different that what she wore in her everyday life.
Who were her fashion inspirations? It couldn’t have been Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face because the film wouldn’t come out for two more years. However she made her choices, Ella at fifty looks young at heart.