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  • Sam Darling

Fifties Americana

No one is more American than an immigrant.

I think of my family when the US  immigration reform discussion crops up again because we are all of us born in France and new to America. Yes, it is a peculiar feature of my life that despite having the most French of families my own mother and her parents lived outside of Chicago starting in 1953. In fact, they lived the American Dream.

Their house in the suburbs.

1950s IL Nora Street driveway

54 April IL Helene & Rog018

54 April IL Helene, MC882

1950s IL MC Helene in kitchen

I think only a family as art directed by a French woman could capture 1950s America with this level of magazine perfection.

54 April IL Helene, MC885

54 April IL Roger, MC887

Posing with the new television is very American.

1950s IL Nora Street new television

Love for your beautiful car is very American.

54 April IL MC on car019

50s IL MC with car386

55 Nora Street, MC by car

My mother dressed as a cowgirl ready to watch some American Westerns on TV.

50s IL MC dressed as cowgirl

Vacationing at a lake in Wisconsin. By golly, they’re not merely American, they’re MIDWESTERN!


My maternal grandmother wearing a water lily as a necklace.


We are super duper French but my mother and I sound like regular mid-western girls.

…with just that extra dose of continental glamor.

1950s IL Nora Street Roger Helene dressed up with light

And in case it isn’t obvious by my own globe-trotting lifestyle, I’m pro immigrant–legal and otherwise. It’s the adventurous spirit that I applaud.

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