Throwback Thursday – 1962

My father was one of the original Madmen and worked in advertising. On the weekends, he sometimes created art projects like transforming a baby buggy into a shoe.

Susie and Patty July 4th 1962

It was the 4th of July and my sister, Patty, and I were characters from, The Old Woman and the Shoe. I’m the old woman and she’s one of the children who lived in crampt shoe conditions. My mother was a fine seamstress and sewed our outfits. Patty is wearing a rosebud dress and I am in the hoop skirt. We gathered in front of Queen of Peace Church and paraded down the streets of our neighborhood.

It seems, I was directionally challenged from the start. Note the stroller next to us. It appears we’ve crashed.

Do you remember this abusive nursery rhyme?

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.

She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do;

She gave them some broth without any bread;

Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

Fun times!


65 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday – 1962

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      1. That’s right! We didn’t get all tied in a knot over Little Black Sambo and think we were being racist, We loved him! We didn’t get bent out of shape over calling Indians redskins. We were whiteskins. So what? When we played cowboys and Indians in the backyard, we always wanted to be the Indians. And I didn’t think that all step-mothers were bad or lose sleep over the witch being burned in the oven in Hansel and Gretel. It was one bad woman and the witch deserved her fate. I didn’t have nightmares. But the vampire and horror shows of today are so bad that as an adult I can’t watch them without getting nightmares.


        1. I remember the first time I heard about the kids in that poem getting whipped soundly. I was three years old and didn’t know exactly what was wrong with it, but it bothered me a little. My mom just smiled like it was a cute little poem. It wasn’t child abuse back then, I guess, though Dr. Spock had already written, “Baby and Child Care” and we boomers were gradually becoming the dictators of acceptable words, thoughts and behaviors to our parents.


  1. It’s interesting to read the words of nursery rhymes – they are non-sensical babble at times and then some are profound wisdom – you just never know. Great photo from way back when! Happy throwback Thursday!


  2. it’s a wonder we spelt at night with nursery rhymes.
    Jack be Nimble suffered third degree burns
    Humpty Dumpty smashed himself in falling off the wall, Jack and Jill did something similar, and were probably on life support.
    Hush Little Baby has plenty of terrible events but it’s unclear if the baby is present in them.
    And Little Miss Muffet had to contend with the most hideous spider


      1. It’s a wonder we all turned out into well rounded human beings with these scarring tales.

        Summer came and went in London, it’s back to grey and rain!


  3. Your father sounds like quite a card. Now I know where you get it. My father was 6’3″ and weighed 300 pounds. In 1965, he was the sole survivor of a private plan crash (sadly, the other 2 men were killed). His size saved him, but the crash crushed his spine and he was 6’2″ after that.


  4. Well 2 A+’s for your parents for a clever idea and clever costumes. C- for the driving instructor.

    Thanks for sharing. I love cute “old” pictures.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


    1. I am fortunate and they are still with us in their 80’s! My dad draws every afternoon, but my mom has glaucoma. She had to give up sewing, but cooks and bakes every day! Thank you! 🙂


  5. What a precious picture, Susie. Wow. The costumes are amazing as it the shoe. LOL on crashing it onto another buggy. What’s up with all the nursery rhymes – they all have a dark and twisted message.


  6. I only recall the first part of that nursery rhyme, Susie. It’s likely that I was shielded from the rest of it. How barbaric! You seem far more tolerant about wearing a hoop skirt than I would have been. I would have pitched a fit that lasted until age 30.


    1. Hey V!
      I was so into dress up back in the day. I probably wore that hoop skirt for a week!
      Most of Mother Goose’s nursery rhymes are dark. She must have been a very negative and scary lady. I wonder if she had a crooked cane. I can just imagine her chasing after her children and grandchildren with it!!!! Corporal punishment at its finest.


    1. Thanks Nia! Great to “see” you!
      I have many fond memories. We did the same thing with our kids. I organized the parades in our old neighborhood for the 4th and Halloween. 🙂


  7. OMG. This took me right back to a memory of listening to a record of “This old lady” when I was a kid. “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly. I don’t know why she swallowed a fly, perhaps she’ll die”. Fun times indeed! And so cute 🙂


    1. That’s another one! Hahaha! My mother-in-law gave my kids the soft puppets which swallowed each other!
      There must have been a lot of exasperated parents who happened to be poets. 🙂


  8. Who doesn’t remember that poem, Susie? I heard it a million times if I heard it once. Ah, so much different from the tales and stories being written today. We didn’t have to have all the total violence, blood and gore !!! Some of us even improved on the old ones, such as “humpty dumpty got smashed and fell off the wall… and all the kings horses and all the kings men got smashed one and all. 🙂


    1. Ha! I never heard that variation!
      You’re right about violence. Kids need a break from it somewhere! I bet Mother Goose is still on many shelves… 🙂
      Great to “see” you, Paul!


  9. Yanno . . of all the abusive elements of that nursery rhyme . . from living in a shoe with all those kids, to whipping them soundly before putting them to bed . . the part about feeding them broth without any bread? That is wrong on SO many levels. You need bread to sop up the broth! Come on!


  10. Who needed video games and horror/slasher movies? – we all heard all those dark tales/rhymes as kids. Even Disney and cartoons. No one claimed those warped their personalities. Life lessons they were called (try and say that about the games and movies now HA HA juries and judges?)
    People didn’t take stuff so seriously then. Too much exaggerated concern, drama-for-show-and fortune, and fretting over small stuff now.


  11. You guys were adorable and apparently your Dad was quite talented. That nursery rhyme, however, I’m not sure what to say. That is the first time I have ever heard it that way. I remember a line about “She went to the cupboard, The cupboard was bare” and I don’t remember the last line. Maybe I blocked it out.


    1. Are you thinking of Old Mother Hubbard? That’s another gem!
      “Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to fetch her poor dog a bone,
      When she got there the cupboard was bare and so the poor dog had none.”
      What is the point of that one??? Another sad rhyme, to be sure!
      Thanks so much Silk Purse!


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