Parents lives.

June 19, 2012

I was lucky enough to come into a treasure trove of historical family photos,  particularly exciting because all of my personal photos fell victim to far too many moves from state to state back to state.

Sandy and Sam Cassara, 1966

Most amazing were the photos of my parents at various stages of their lives. My parents were at a wedding, I’m certain, in the photo above. That shiny tuxedo jacket above was quite the fashion statement, even for 1966. My mother was a youthful 41, my father was 47 and they looked like any other couple of the era.

But by this time, they were already at war with each other, and they stayed at war until their senior years. My father was…difficult. My mother was aggressively passive aggressive. I have some theories about this, but then again, I’ll never know for sure. I’m making another trip back east soon, to talk with my last surviving (and favorite) aunt about this very subject.

Sam Cassara, 1969

Oh, he was a handsome man, my father. I love this photo of him, which my mother probably snapped.  He looks like a movie star, to me, certainly a man of that era. Looking at the other snapshots in the envelope, it looks like they were on their way to Las Vegas. My mother was always a terrified flier and this might have been one of the last times she flew.

What would you surmise from this photo? Debonair, successful professional man of the 1960s preparing to jet off to an adventure. You probably wouldn’t guess that he was off with his wife and other people he knew on a packaged tour.

Vegas isn’t much of an adventure to us today, when places like Europe, Morocco, India and Africa are within reach. But to my parents, who were children of uneducated immigrants, Vegas was far, indeed, from their home of Rochester, NY.

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