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