Uncle Louis

On April 20, 2010 by Eden M. Kennedy

My great uncle Louis sent out this Christmas card I’m guessing around 1952. He must have been getting a lot of photo cards from couples and families so I’m proud of how he responded: he took a double exposure photo (could a digital camera even do this? I guess we have Photoshop now) and made himself into a family of two.

Louis worked at Wonder Bread in Minneapolis for 30 years. He married a nice girl named Dottie and instead of kids they raised standard poodles and dobermans. I only met him once or twice. I remember him being tall and rather taciturn, but my dad could break him up.

Uncle Louis was born 16 years after his sister, Rose. Rose, my grandmother, had my dad when she was 19, so my dad and Louis were only about three years apart, and consequently they grew up more like brothers than an uncle and nephew.

The men in my family always look like celebrities to me. Louis reminds me of Sid Caesar. In certain photographs my grandfather looks just like Humphrey Bogart. My uncle Harry was a perfect cross between Jack Lemmon and Johnny Carson. My brother Tim is a cheerful mix of Tom Selleck, John Travolta, and Will Ferrell.

Apart from my mother somewhat resembling Ingrid Bergman, however, the women in my family exhibit nothing more than a tendency to snort when surprised by something funny.



21 Responses to “Uncle Louis”

  • He is mighty handsome. :)

  • He looks like Jack Kerouac!

  • Uncle Louis seems to be ahead of his time on so many (bed)fronts. He looks as if he’s sheepishly mocking both homo and hetero cultures. What with the faux Gothic font and the Jean Luke Goddard looks?

    You must have inherited some or all of his reclining mojo. Aren’t we grateful? You bet.

    • We’ll never know what his intentions were (beyond subverting the holiday card qua holiday card, naturellement.) I think I just have some funny people in my family tree. God bless ‘em.

  • I thought it was twins. Great photo! That had to have come from a wicked sense of humor.

  • Nora, that’s what I thought, too!

    Uncle Louis was funny and creative. Always good to have someone like that in the family. :)

  • Awesome! And hey, I had a great-uncle Louis, too! He was an artist and would have heartily approved of your uncle’s subversive Christmas card.

  • I love that!

  • Those ears!

  • Now we need a picture of your brother, Tim!

  • Oh my god I just fell in love with your uncle Louis. Where are the poodle/doberman-raising creative types these days??

  • Uncle Louis is proving here three things that never go out of style: a sense of humour, a crisp white button up shirt, and self-styled multi-holiday cards. Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  • he is really good looking (and clever!) sort of a darker Sean Penn, I think.

  • That’s so impressive. The peeps must have loved getting that card.

  • I love a laughing snort!

  • How is it that I’ve missed your blog? Now I’ll have to work my way through your blogroll. There goes any hope of productivity for tomorrow. Cheers!

  • Love the photo. And I disagree with the snorting when surprised comment being the only trait you exhibit. I see you as a gentle combination of Babe Didrikson, Amelia Earhart and Audrey Hepburn, so there.

  • That is so clever! Think I might do that if I find myself single again.

  • Bizarre. I have a pic of my Uncle, who only lasted through my childhood (he was killed by a drunk driver), in just about the same pose, on just about the same couch. I am thinking the double exposure was done by splitting in a couple of negatives.