Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Annual Christmas Eve Party at Kaestle's

A single click will make the picture larger.

Every year for as long as I can remember, we went to a party on Christmas Eve at the Kastle's house. I think Mr. Kaestle worked at General Electric with Dad. And often, someone lined us up there for a family group shot. I think Mr. and Mrs. Kaestle were named Paul and Gene. They had two sons, Paul and Carl. Paul was slightly older than I was, while Carl was younger. Paul remains in my memory because he was known for having said, after he got his first pair of glasses, "There are trees on the other side of the lake!!"

Unlike most of our social events, there was some booze, since the Kaestle's were not Mormon, like we were. But the drinking was quite moderate, and it was always a nice family party, with food and games and different activities for adults and children. We always had a Santa (they owned a costume) who appears in this picture with Richard on his lap. John (featured in last night's post) is in front, Dad is holding baby Robert, Susan wears braids and plaid, and I am in front of Santa, holding onto David. I seem to be sporting another of Mother's terrible home permanents, dark nail polish I never remember wearing, and dark red lipstick. My dress is also taffeta, in dark rich jewel tones and I made it for myself. I'm surprised to see that the boys are in short pants in December in upstate New York. This probably had something to do with dressier clothing.

I think the Kaestle's also lived in Scotia. At any rate, my parents would sneak out of the party and run home to put out our Christmas, so that when we got home, Santa had already been there! and there were some unwrapped toys, and freshly painted sleds for us to see. I did't find out until much later how this happened.

Robert was born on November 2, 1945. So this might be Christmas Eve of 1947. Where were you (if you were here yet) at Christmastide in 1947? This is where I was, with freshly painted nails, holding onto a brother.

1 comment:

  1. According to the 1940 Census, Mr and Mrs Kaestle were Francis P [probably went by Paul] and Regina [Gene]. Not bad memory! They lived in Schenectady at 435 Arthur Street which was about 3 1/2 miles south of our First Street address. Their rent was $40/month compared to our rent on First Street of $35. His salary was $3775 while Dad's was $3000.