Monday, May 26, 2008

Bashful Bathers

It looks like the camera was just a little too quick for these modest bathers, catching them before they had the chance to duck all the way into the water. Left to right: Phyllis Johnson (my aunt), Doris Johnson (my mother), and their friend, Lila Rhen, ca. 1940.

This photograph was snapped with a Brownie camera while the girls went wading in Clearwater Lake, near Leonard, Minnesota. Family and friends often had picnics out at the lake while my mother and aunt were living with their grandparents on a local farm. The ladies' makeup was obviously a carry-over from the 1930s. I've never seen my mother with her eyebrows drawn in so heavily before! Her look during the mid-1940s was much softer.


  1. Wonderful photo Chery! The little frame you put on it gives it such a nice touch too. :-)

  2. Thanks for sharing the picture! I find it's really neat to find pictures of our parents not quite looking how we know them to look!

  3. A delightful photo. I love the reflections of each in the water.

  4. CHERY, What a wonderful family picture. Thanks for sharing the lovely ladies of your family.

  5. Chery,

    What a cute photograph! Perhaps they weren't shy, but the water was cold!


  6. Thanks for admiring my bathing beauties, everyone. Janice: I checked with my mom about how they all felt when the photo was snapped, and she said they were all shy about being photographed with just bathing suits on. I believe that entirely, because, oh-my-goodness, any immodest woman in early, rural Norwegian-American communities might as well have sewn a red "A" on her chest (as in "The Scarlet Letter.")