Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mid-Sixties Europe

I had promised to revisit my parents old pictures from Europe and here they are. Paris and Amsterdam, obviously. In 1965, Dad trained on jumbo jets with KLM and Mom visited at the tail end of his stay there. They did the Continent before returning home. Dad tells me that the red Karmann Ghia he owned while there was sold, and the guilders they got from its sale were repatriated home to pay for the house they were building in Manila.

Although my Dad's favorite European vacation is to Spain, which they still do annually, he has many fond memories of the Dutch. He admired their efficiency. He liked the cleanliness and the quiet way they worshipped in the Protestant churches. And I think he liked the way they dressed. Dad was on extended stay for the airline and by the time Mom got there, he was thoroughly Europeanized. Dig the pegged trousers, Florsheims, and Renaud sunglasses. This is how they dressed for a drive in the country in Europe at the time. So much for plus ca change.  The more things change, the more things change, no?

Here they are in Paris. Notice how, like everyone else there to bask in the shade of the Eiffel Tower they are dressed for tourism of a different kind than we today are accustomed to. Mom must've gone to the hairdresser every day on that trip.

I'm not going to rant about how the modern style of travel is atrocious, because it's such an uncontroversial truism that to argue the point is banal. I will also not sound a call for a return to this style of travel, simply because I wouldn't want to be walking around in a jacket and tie on vacation. Instead I invite you to appreciate a different time, a different place, and accept my representation that, at one time, before OnceWereBachelorhood had mostly buried the elan and sprezzatura of my Mom and Dad, they indulged some stylish days.

1 comment:

M.Lane said...

A handsome well dressed couple in fantastic places, who could want more?

What a great post. Thanks for sharing. We always assume that our parents lives start the day we are born and then we are SHOCKED to learn they had all this living before us.