Easter at The Rutenbars, Old Bridge, New Jersey, 1958

Kristen posted a photo of her mother’s family on our Retro Renovation Facebook fan page, and I got all excited and asked her to find out more. Her mom was all ears, shared the story — and more photos — and even asked that I include the family’s name and home town in hopes of connecting with old friends and neighbors. So here is Kristen’s report on what her mom Judy had to say about The Rutenbars, Old Bridge, NJ, Easter, 1958:
This photograph shows, from left to right, my mom Judy, her brother Jimmy, my grandmother Marjorie and my aunt Linda. For this Easter, my grandmother pulled out all the stops. Shrimp cocktail for the parents, fruit cups for the kids, even pickles, which my grandmother hated and only bought on special occasions. The bunny cake featured as the center piece is a family tradition and will be featured on our dining room table this Easter too. The outfits my mom and her siblings are wearing were made by my grandmother; even the cowboy shirt. My mom still has the cat eye glasses that my grandmother is wearing in the photo. Read on…After my grandmother passed away in 2002, I found a shoe box of old negatives dating all the way back to the 1920’s when my grandmother was young. I took the box intending to some day get the pictures reprinted and archive them but never did. Luckily, my mom picked up my slack and had all of the old negatives scanned and put on a CD. Now we have all our old family photos in digital format.

I have so many more pictures that I’m sure you would love. I’ve been meaning to send you pictures of my house which is filled with relics from my great grandparents farm house in Michigan. I even have their first electric washing machine, the miniature that the door to door salesmen used to tempt them, and the original pamphlet advertising it’s highlights, of which my favorite is “Never oil your washing machine again!”

I have inherited this genetic trait of saving everything, hopefully someday my grand children will appreciate it! I also inherited my grandmothers ability to sew. I will send you a picture of the aprons that I make, I think you’ll like them.
Also my mom asked that you include their name and Old Bridge NJ, she’s interested to see if anyone who reads your blog grew up there in the 50’s. Looking forward to tomorrow’s post!
Thank you, Kristen. And I LOVE your apron! Do you sell them? If so — let me know where, and I’ll post it for sure. Meanwhile, there is NOTHING better than family photographs like the ones you have shared, except for: The stories that go with them. 🙂 Thank your Mom, as well!
Happy Easter… happy spring… all.


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  1. MaryDeluxe says

    I love old family photos and the stories that go with them! Thanks for sharing Kristen!

    Happy Easter All


  2. Jeanne says

    Happy Easter! Awesome photos. I love the wallpaper. I also love that rabbit cake. 🙂 And I’m glad to hear the art of sewing is still being handed-down the generations. That cowboy shirt looks nice, are those horses embroidered on the shirt? Thanks for posting!

    • judy rutenbar rigney says

      I think my mom used the machine to do the horses on the shirt. My brother was into couwboys and had eveything cowboy. Thank you for your post.

  3. helaine says

    Great photo!PLease post some more.They are sooo typical of family pics from that era.Love the rosy cheeks on the girls faces and the outfits are superb.Happy Holiday!

  4. CindyD says

    My mom made that same bunny cake, too. So did I when our kids were little. We haven’t seen it in a while – I think there’s still time to make it!

  5. RetroSandie says

    Wonderful photos! I love to see family pix from that era! Reminds me of my youth-LOL! Please post more. HAPPY EASTER TO EVERYONE! 🙂

  6. says

    These photos and the story are SO fantastic. What fun taking in every little detail of those photos. And that cake – be still my heart.

  7. Andrea says

    Loved seeing these old photos, especially the “peanut butter sherberts”—the “quilted” looking stemmed glassware in two sizes that were giveaways (premiums?) with peanut butter in the late ’50s and, I believe, early ’60s. My mom had a ton of them and always served chocolate pudding in the shorter ones.
    It’s possible they came with a dairy product in them (like sour cream), which I seem to recall, but around here at the auction houses they are always referred to as peanut butter sherberts. I still have about 10 of them.
    Thanks for posting these great nostalgic family treasures!

    • judy rutenbar rigney says

      I think you are right about the sour cream. Mom used to put chocolate or butterscotch pudding in them.

      • Andrea says

        Thanks for the sour cream confirmation! I loved that chocolate pudding because it had a thick “skin” on top—and yes, we also had butterscotch sometimes. 🙂

  8. Rebecca Prichard says

    Love this! The photos are great. I would love to see the farm house in MI too.

    Oh, and the apron-WANT ONE!!

  9. says

    What beautiful kids. You can see the happiness in those faces. They are loved and cared for no doubt about it. and I want one of those aprons. 🙂

  10. sumac sue says

    I’d love this post no matter what, but, I particularly love it because I have a brother named Jimmy, and my name was Judy back in 1958. (Around 1963, all the girls at my school with names like Judy, Debby, and Cindy changed our names to Judi, Debi, and Cyndi.) Love those sweet pastel plaid dresses.

  11. Alexandra Westgate Goncharko says

    Hi Judy:
    I loved the picture. I remember you and your sister from Old Bridge..( ALL GOOD MEMORIES) , especially through girl scouts. I went to Voorhees school from kindergarten to 8th grade . We were in the same class. You were a wonderful, friendly child that everyone appreciated.

    Hope your lif is happy and that you are doing well.

    Alexandra Westgate

  12. james aszman says

    nice family pictures and story..i too; am a saver of family items,such as my parents 1950 crosley tv,and 1953 Westinghouse fan.judy and I were classmates in several grades at Voorhees school!

  13. Laura O'Connell says

    Love your page. I Lived in Old Bridge NJ –I will ask my dad if he remembers the address–62′-65′?

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