When my mom died, there was a plastic box stuffed with home movie reels, from all time periods back to the 50s. One of my sisters was friends with a video producer, so I handed over the box to her to get processed. That was several years ago and my parents died 12 years ago so it's been out of sight, out of mind. She just sent me the first of the clips that have been processed and they are strange and haunting.
The clip shows my dad coming home from somewhere, and Mom, Dad and several friends are standing in front of a 50's era airport, probably in Kansas City. My dad is the handsome man with the cigar who looks a little like Humphrey Bogart and my mom is the tall glamorous woman in the headscarf who looks a little like Anne Bancroft. They decamp to someone's house to smoke and drink. They are talking and dancing, but there is no audio, so it's like a dream in which I am in a bubble, seeing but not able to touch or hear my parents. Was I born then? I think so, but children are not seen here, as is appropriate to the time.
I never was a Mad Men fan, but my sister tells me that this is an echo of the social mores of that show. I am thinking of adding an audio track, but right now, I just love the silence and the starkness of the black and white images of my young and beautiful long-gone parents.
Update from my sister, though she doesn't know for sure either: "I'm pretty sure that this was in California and [Dad] was discharged from Korea. I think it was not the habit of doctors to wear their uniforms home the way other officers did. But, of course, I'm not sure at all. It looks like it's autumn, and these people are dancing West Coast Swing, and it doesn't look so cold. So, California, right?" My father was a doctor in the Navy during the Korean War, and stationed in Long Beach. They moved to Kansas City after he was discharged.