Creativity Cooks

Collage ~ Cooking ~ Creativity … inspired by three generations of women

Carole’s First Lobster

on 09/18/2011

When my mother , Carole, turned 16 years of age, her parents took her to have her first lobster dinner. As we were a frugal family for many decades, a lobster dinner was something special. Not just because lobster was considered expensive, but also because it was such a production to eat one. So, the evening of her birthday, Carole dressed up just a bit – in something that would look nice even covered by a big plastic lobster bib. Her parents, my Nana and Pop Pop, put her in the car and drove to a seafood restaurant in Philadelphia. No matter who I ask, no one remembers the name of the place. Probably it was called something like Captain Jim’s or perhaps, Lobster Larry’s, no one knows.

I remember always dragging out the old photo albums as a child spending a school vacation at my Nana’s house, a third floor apartment on 63rd Street, in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia. One of my favorite albums was my mother’s – all the pictures of her as a baby, growing up on Spring Garden Street, her birthdays in order with each number cake, through the photos of her at seventeen, just before she got pregnant with me. The pictures of her sixteenth birthday party at the seafood restaurant were especially sweet – my mother in the middle photo holding her lobster claws, bracketed on each side by photos of her parents. These shots were taken at the restaurant, by someone paid to take pictures of customers enjoying their lobsters. My Nana is laughing, facing my mother and my Pop Pop is smiling gracefully for the photographer. Everyone looked so happy in the pictures it was easy for me to imagine their lobster-imbibing scene, full of cracking sounds, buttery dips and lips and the laughter that comes from a birthday celebration with everyone decked out in lobster bibs.

Here are the three shots, which I have cropped and assembled together, nearly the original shots, with more of a focus on their happy faces as they mug for the camera.

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