Recently, I've been looking at the map of the area where I spent part of my childhood. I often think about all the freedom we had as children back then. Three full months of summer days spent roaming here and there with only periodic trips back home to eat or to get popsicle money when the Good Humor man and his ice cream truck came round. It was pretty much outside all day until dinner time.
This day was an unusual occurrence. Despite living in a small 2 bedroom apartment and no, no air-conditioning at that time, we did have a large park across the main road. Pretty much it was an area where some trees had been cleared for a ball field and down at the end of the park was a branch of the Anacostia River which flowed westward into Washington DC, periodically flooding before it arrived in the city. Fletchers' Field had picnic benches, pavilions and public toilets which was a big deal in the newly emerging suburbs of Prince George's County MD.
I don't know what the event was here but I don't recall many more like this. My friend Mary Ellen is in the center with a dark shirt and I am to her right drinking a soda from a glass bottle. The two girls behind us were friends but not close friends. I love seeing the mothers sitting at the big picnic table in the rear of the shot, all in cotton dresses mostly hand made I imagine. I wonder if my mother was because she worked full time in Washington DC. Did she take a day off work for this? Without men in the photo I think it must be a weekday. But this was life... back in the 50s just before I turned 10 in September.