’60s outdoor college kegger

Posted by Jenny in Score! | 19 Comments

A while ago I wrote a post about an estate sale I went to with some pretty cool vintage items, including six small yellow plastic “Picture-Tainer” boxes — each filled with old photos.

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I usually look at any old photos I come across at an estate sale, hoping for something amazing. This almost never pans out, but when I opened the first box and saw this picture, my spidey-sense started tingling.

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All of the cases were filled with similar gems and I bought them all (for $1 each). There are well over 70 photos, all of college students at Washington State University sometime in the early-to-mid sixties. There are really too many for one post, so this first batch consists of all the pictures from a kegger held out in some field.

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The more I look at these pictures the more completely in love with them I become. There is something about the vibe that just kills me. Part of it is pure nostalgia — the early ’60s, a time I wasn’t even around for and that’s now long gone. Though a lot of these kids would blend right in with the hipsters of today.

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Maybe there’s also nostalgia for the equivalent time in my own life, when a bunch of us would hike up into the Berkeley hills for a sort of beer-fueled picnic. In my case, that was a bit younger than college — funny how back then these students would’ve seemed almost grown up to me, and now they look like kids.

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I wonder about the previous owner of these photos — does he appear in these shots, or was he always behind the camera? Did he stay in touch with his college buddies? Did he marry one of the girls in the pictures?

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If I’d spent more time looking at the other (more boring) photos at the sale, maybe I’d be able to piece more of the story together. Then again, just looking at these pictures and wondering might be better than knowing the real deal.

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Today, it’s completely normal to have this kind of documentation at almost any event, but it seems amazing to have so many pictures taken here. Seeing them now, probably close to fifty years later, we know that all these kids have grown old. I wonder if they’ve forgotten about this keg party. Maybe some of them still think about drinking, laughing, and stumbling into the grass on a youthful college day.

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The whole batch of these pictures is here — and stay tuned for part two, featuring some of these guys’ indoor hijinks!

19 Responses to ’60s outdoor college kegger

  1. Maryanne says:

    Love love love this! thanks for sharing them! This is my favourite part of garage sales/thrift stores. I’m so obsessed with other peoples pics (OPP) that I started a website to share them for free (link in my name). Did you say you got the pics for $1 each or the cases for $1?

  2. karl says:

    oh man – i love these too! thanks jenny!

  3. Melissa says:

    OMG! Stupid hats! Socks with stripes! Nylon windbreakers! CAMEL-TOE SHORTS! This is what all the “big kids” wore when I was a little squirt. I couldn’t wait to grow up and look just as boss as they did.

  4. janice says:

    Oh boy…these are great. I love how it seems like as the pics go on the kids seem a bit more loose and happy!!! Almost like a time lapse. What a great look back at a what was surely a fun time. I love old photos and also look at them at fleamarkets and sales. Thank you for posting these…can’t wait to see more.

  5. Jenny says:

    Maryanne, they were $1 a box!

  6. Anna says:

    Picture (file) 11- I am sure these two got married.

    File 7- She had a thing for the photog, yes? Wowzers.

    And I was just thinking about those pull tab beer cans this week.

  7. Jodi says:

    Big difference between these folks and the hipsters of today…no moustaches. Have I told you how tired I am of moustaches these days, sigh.

  8. Dad says:

    These are just great! And $1 a box is a steal!

  9. GINA says:

    What a fabulous find! I loved looking through these and laughed my a** off at the guy on the ground. They all look so happy and care-free (I wonder how many married because of this party!;)

    They do look like kids and this would be the same age era of my parents (married in ’63).

  10. Ester says:

    I love the red/orange hat! And I love the photos. At my old high school there was a large trophy case with several older photos from bygone eras, the first women’s basketball team in our school, etc. I loved looking at those old photos and wondering about the details of those students’ lives. Thank you for sharing your find with us! I found ysbb last winter when I was supposed to be writing a final and ended up reading all the archives over the course of a couple days. So glad it is yard-saleing time again! Yay for new posts!!

  11. Mattie says:

    This has got to be one of the all-time greatest finds. I LOVE these photos! Several of them have absolutely no “dated” clothing styles; they could’ve been taken yesterday. Do you know for sure that the photographer was a guy? My gut feeling is that it was a girl, maybe the girlfriend of one of the proto-hipsters, who documented the party rather than getting drunk with the rest of them. But I could be completely wrong. Anyway, I love these pics sooooo much!!

  12. Jenny says:

    Mattie, I don’t know for sure. But the next set (which I will scan and post soon!) only shows guys, in what looks like their dorm or frat – no girls anywhere to be seen. So I am assuming it’s the same photographer throughout … although really, who knows!! And I agree with you about a lot of the clothes seeming fairly timeless…

  13. sharon says:

    Makes me wonder if the owner (photog) died or just moved and accidentally left them behind…. amazing to know the future and the lost innocence these kids would find in just a few short years….. Missile crisis, Ohio State, Altamont, etc…. and yet…. right then (and forever) they were just having fun and smiling at the picture.
    Joan Baez …”Fountain of Sorrow”…. kinda feel.

    shadow

  14. ira lee says:

    i agree! i love coming across old photos like this. and i wonder if i will feel the same sense of nostalgia looking at my old photos when i’m a grandma. ahhh, the beauty of photographs, catching a split second in time.

  15. Geslina says:

    while it is cool to find pictures of teens partying, the 60’s vibe just doesn’t seem to be in these photos. Where are the hippies? These kids look just like the ones I grew up, and drank with, in the late 70’s, early 80’s, except the haircuts are a tad dorkier and the chuck taylors were out of style by then. Probably most of these guys were just trying to escape the draft. I’d donate them to the university, maybe they can post them on their reunion website.

  16. Pingback: Yard Sale Bloodbath » ’60s college hallway hijinks

  17. Denise H says:

    I love these kegger pics! Some of the guys remind me of my uncles who were around this age in the late 60s, before they went off to Vietnam. Really sweet, nostalgic pics.

  18. Darren says:

    Awesome!! Go Cougs!!

  19. x says:

    Amazing pictures! I wonder what camera they used. I love the colours.