"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Monday, September 27, 2010


It was my Dad's 70th birthday and what better way to celebrate than with a 50s party and a little James Dean?!

When guests first entered the house, they were greeted by the "Sock Hop!" table.

I found lots of old-fashioned candy that the kids went nuts for. Using an old car planter as a candy dish and vintage-style popcorn and candy bags added to the over-all theme.

Remember these old candy buttons?

Despite all the sticky-sweet caramels and taffy, Pixie sticks and candy dots seemed to be the favorite among the kids.

At first I thought it was just the novelty of trying something new, but maybe they really liked eating pure sugar?! I can't believe I used to walk down to the Five and Dime and buy these myself!

Adding to the look is a 50s Diner. If you peek inside, you can see my parents! I actually found that old metal car while digging in the Poconos years ago...but, that's another story.

The walls were plastered with vintage soda shop signs, old cars, and 45s.

Who wants a piece with Grampa's face?! (My Dad at 13 years old. Elvis smirk, greased back hair, can you tell he was a 50s kid?)

Be cool, Daddio!

You can't have a 50s party without a Sock Hop! But our house is so small.....Hmmmm.....ok! Time to improvise! Why not move the Dining Room table into the living room? Turquoise tablecloth, plates, utensils, and cups, hot pink napkins, and lots of food made for a good time! Of course, just as I crammed a meatball into my mouth, I heard, "Smile!"

Over the mantle held a picture of my mom and dad. I copied pictures of when they were only 11 and 13 years old and pasted them onto some 50s bodies I found on the internet. Then I decorated with a juke box, old malt shop sign, checkered border, balloons, and the words, "Doo-Wop".

Next to the Living Room, James Dean directed everyone to the Sock Hop! No, our floors are not checkered. It's really a paper floor rolled out to look like an old malt shop floor!

Luckily, I had a lot of help from my sister and her two sons putting this together.

Had to get a picture of the King of Cool with the kids!

Using poster board, felt, and aluminum foil, I made a huge icecream soda, including a huge straw!


These kids were all ready to party - old school style!

Turquoise, pink, and black everywhere! My mom lent me all her 50s music to really get everyone in the mood.

I HAD to buy saddle shoes! Too bad they were too tight or else I would have worn them even after the party.

With some coaxing, we got my parents to dance to "Eddie, My Love". No, my Dad's name is "Matt", but ma liked the song.

Who could resist dancing to "Run-Around Sue"?

I almost lost my father last Christmas to a heart attack. It meant the world to me to dance with him to, "Daddy's Home."

Everybody wants to get into the act!

Believe it or not, this guy can do a mean Michael Jackson! We were able to get the dance floor packed with the little ones and showed them how to do dances like "The Stroll". Of course, the kids 10 and under had a great time, while the older ones were too embarrassed to be seen with us old people dancing!

While the women and children continued to Doo-Wop upstairs, a few of the guys hid in the basement.

After five hours of Doo-Wopping, it was time to clean up. But before the party could officially end, our dog Blue, jumped up onto Dad's lap to wish his own, "Happy Birthday!"


  1. Very cool, you sure went all out! I bet he felt loved! oxoox, Diane

  2. Hey Jill, just checking in. Been on the couch for a few days. What an awesome party!! I love themed parties. You are so clever!! You're looking good. What kind of viatiems do you take? You said you were having problems with one!! I don't think so!! LOL Hope your etsy going good. I've been working on a few things on the couch. Take care. XO Fran.

  3. Hey Frannie! Vitamin D! And yes, I highly recommend anyone getting it checked because apparently, most of us are deficient without even realizing it. It's definitely helped me get my energy back.

    Hope you're feeling better soon!

  4. Hi Jill, I'm so glad you visited me this morning. Thank you for you sweet comment. Now I got to visit you, and I'm so glad I did. What an amazing party your had. So much effort and thought. I was born in 52, I remember these things. The pictures of your dad on the cake are terrific. I wore those shoes. I'm so happy that you got to have that dance with you dad.

    Big Hugs