Last year on this date I wrote a post noting my mother's birthday, and my associations between it and the Apollo 11 landing, which occurred on that date when I was 8 years old. Today I am happy to note that Mom is eighty years old today. Healthy, busy and strong (like the woman in the Vogue cover illustration above–dated, like Mom, on July 20, 1932.)
Here, with her big sister Judy. Is she killer in that beret, or what?
Joyce Carol Bevan was born in Detroit to Olive (Waddington) and Cy Bevan, Canadians who'd emigrated from Ontario. Although the city had prospered in the 20s, Detroit was a rough-and-tumble place after the Crash through the mid-1930s at least. At that point the end of Prohibition had blunted crime, and New Deal programs were beginning to soften otherwise stubborn unemployment. The demand for automobiles, rising all through the Roaring Twenties, had collapsed. Recently I heard my Mother talking about the family leaving town during polio outbreaks, which was a new one on me.
Below, a wrestling poster from 1932 for an event at the Olympia in Detroit, featuring Ed "Strangler" Lewis.
Cut to present: To celebrate Mom's eight decades, we planned to gather as a family at my brother David's place on Lake Martin, in Alabama, for the week bracketing the Fourth. We had a wonderful time. Mom went out on a Sea-Doo!
Last year I wrote: Ideally, I'd show a picture from earlier in her life. I sorely wish I had a copy of a particular photograph taken when she was a girl. It reveals her to be the cutest little girl in the history of little girls. She's standing with her dad Cy, mom Olive and sister Judy on the docks in Fort Lauderdale (or Boca Raton, I can't remember) with a giant fish. The old man is grinning over the catch, Olive is stylishly deflecting, and smiling Joyce Carol Bevan is an electric little thing.
Well, I don't have that photograph handy, but we recently went through some photo albums at my folks' house in Ohio, and brought some back to St. Louis. My son Drew scanned the stack of 'em.
Past and present!
We decided to do a tee shirt for the family gathering in Alabama. It was Lori's idea to use one of these photographic images on the shirt, and she and Drew did some work to get the project going. I chose one from the options and added a halftone screen when I took it a bitmap.
These are lousy photographs, but you get the idea. The figure and JOYCE were big on the back. On the front of the shirt, small over the breast, we added the nickname she was given when my brother David and his pals were in high school, and she was a guidance counselor: The People's Choice. She always rolled her eyes at that. Anyway, the women's shirts were blue on yellow, and the men's were yellow on blue.
Here's the whole group in their shirts. Some of my very attractive family members are not particularly well featured in this photograph. Backs of heads, etc. Sorry. (All seven grandchildren were there save one, Danny, who's in China and thus exempted.)
Finally, a George de Zayas Collier's cover from June of 32. (I didn't like the July offerings I was able to track down.) Here's hoping that you and Dad look up from your reading and have a true celebration. Happy Birthday, Mom!