THEY KNEW HOW TO PARTY

Imagine a party today where someone piped up, "Hey, let's all blow up balloons! Balloons are fun!" In the first place, nobody pipes up any more. If someone piped up, they would be met with withering stares issuing forth from the eye sockets of supercool people with pierced nostrils and/or tattoos creeping up from under their necklines, causing the piper to experience a salt-on-a-slug moment, leaving only a slight smudge and a few Cheetos crumbs where they once stood. Back in the 50's, though, people were all innocent and shit, as if they had just stumbled out of the Garden and discovered that streams of Manhattans and Daiquiris flowed like babbling brooks among mounds of salted peanuts and Chex mix. They made the heady discovery that you could have theme parties in the middle of the week without being struck down by some Angry God or other, and get "tipsy" and flirt with the neighbors and generally behave in a way that would catch the attention of the young John Updike skulking in the corner with a notebook. And said innocent but headed-southward-fast people would whip out their Brownies and document the whole business for posterity and wind up the fillum and package it up and mail it to Rochester and then wait for two weeks for a little packet of slides to show up in the mailbox. Which is exactly what my father did, with a stick-to-it-iveness that today fills my sister's garage. And that's where the above picture comes from.