Childhood Memories Friday: Trading School Pictures

1970 school pictures

School pictures: do you remember them? School pictures seemed to be a much bigger deal when I was a kid than they are now. We always ordered quite a few of them, enough that I could take a supply to school with me to trade with my friends.

My mom always cut out the photos — heaven forbid that I would be entrusted to cut them out straight enough! You’ll notice that one of the photos I’ve posted has the borders cut off — gasp! This was NOT to be done! Mom wrote my name and the date neatly on the back of each.

Then I was off to school with a stack of the small photos. As I look at these, they truly are tiny — the photo itself 1″ x 1.5″. At my kids’ school, there is not even an option for a photo that small. I’d trade photos with my friends. I always hoped, hoped, HOPED the teacher would give us one of her photos voluntarily. If not, I had to gather up my courage and see if she’d trade a photo with me as well (for the record, I don’t think a teacher ever turned me down) 🙂 .

I’m struck by how we dressed up for photos back then. These days, most kids don’t seem to. Of course, maybe we all just dressed up a bit more back then anyway. I’m halfway thinking that girls had to wear dresses my first few years of elementary school … anybody out there remember if this is true or not?

Childhood Memories Friday

Let’s look at the kids I’ve pictured here — first is Anita, from kindergarten. I remember once asking my teacher, “Why does Anita always bring such bad toys for show and tell?” Mrs. Wintin answered, “Maybe that’s the only kind she has.”

Then we have Jane, kind of the “alpha female” friend of mine in first grade. I remember listening with fascination as she told all of us at lunch that she was learning Spanish at the Girls’ Club. Here I thought you could only take baton or crochet there! I became a little skeptical though when I asked her how to say various words in Spanish, and all she did was add “o” to the end of each. Either she was full of it, or learning Spanish was a whole lot easier than I had thought …

There’s Keith, my first grade boyfriend. My gutsy 7-year-old self would turn around in my seat and ask him, “How about a little kiss?” and he’d make a fist. Oh well.

Then Trina, who everyone always said looked like Marie Osmond.

And Miriam, my best elementary school friend. We had many good times together! I remember falling asleep at her house during a sleepover as she read to me about the Bermuda Triangle. She was always going to be an oceanographer or a marine biologist.

And finally, me, in first grade. I remember Mom recommending that I wear my honorary fireman badge on my dress.

How about you? Any school pictures memories?

7 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Trading School Pictures

  1. I remember that dress well. It took a while to iron. I am about positive it was a hand me down from the “Katter Kids!” No doubt your two younger siblings later wore it, too. We were that way!

  2. You are ever so right about the school pictures, especially during the first 6 grades or so! We had enough to trade with all of our classmates, so not too many relatives received them from us. Well, maybe we gave Grandma and Grandpa one of the 5 x 7s. It was a great disappointment if someone was stingy and didn’t want to trade with you.
    About wearing dresses in elementary school, at our school girls did not begin to wear blue jeans or slacks until 8th grade back in my day. In high school we still wore skirts and sweaters or blouses for the most part. The little ballerina slippers and hose were often worn as part of that dress-up attire. Saddle shoes and bobby socks were also popular. Then there was the period where everyone (both girls and boys) just had to have a pair of “white bucks” because Pat Boone wore them. Betcha don’t remember those!

  3. This post just cracks me up. I can’t believe you asked the boy for a kiss! Your memory is amazing. And yes….the neat cutting!

  4. I’m surprised too, to read that you asked a boy for a kiss. It seems so uncharacteristic of shy little Susan. I too remember exchanging pictures, but what did one do with them after acquiring them? I’m sure all of mine perished in the house fire.

  5. I traded the small school pictures also. I was always embarrassed at how I looked on mine. They were always awful except for my eighth-grade picture. They go back so many years that they are all black and white, no colored ones.The day before my fourth-grade picture, my mother took me to get a haircut and perm. I asked the hairdresser not to cut my hair real short and not to make the curls too tight. But, you guessed it, it was about 2 inches all over my head, and the curls were very tight, and frizzy as well. I cried when I got home. My mother said it will grow out very fast but it seemed like it took forever. I still have many of the small school pictures in an old album. I love to look at them. I was never brave enough to ask a boy for a kiss though.

  6. As usual, I’ve enjoyed all the comments here. I agree that the asking for a kiss was out of character for me, but apparently in first grade the power of love compelled me to do strange things — including dubbing myself “the kissing angel” one day at recess (had to stand along the wall in shame for that one). Julia, I love that you remember the dress too — and yeah mom, it looks like a pain to iron. Peg, I never wanted short hair either. Short and curly permed must have been even worse! Thanks, everyone 🙂

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