Monday, July 2, 2007

Remembering July 4th Picnics

Every summer our family gathered for a big July 4th picnic at “Pine Knoll”, the old family homestead on a knoll on the west side of the Newburyport Turnpike (Route 1) in northern Danvers. This photo is from the 1950's. The old barn is in the background. My mother, sister and I are visible in the back center. My head is down, busy eating... My uncle Edward has turned toward the camera (my father, his brother, is taking the picture). Left of Edward is my grandfather, William S. Nichols.

In earlier decades the picnics were bigger affairs. More of the extended family lived nearby. I've been told that Great Uncle John used to organize elaborate skits, for which the children rehearsed in advance. Many skits were historical, acting out great moments in history. All involved costumes. Several cousins have recently told me about the fun of acting in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." These plays ended before WWII, so I never experienced them.

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