This is my grandfather and Great Aunt Dot, when they were both about nineteen years old. It's from a series of photos taken that day that include my grandmother, some friends and one of her brothers, my Great Uncle Thomas, who was also dressed in hula gear. Neither my grandfather nor Dot were married into the family yet (she would marry my grandmother's brother Rob), but they were in many photos from this era as part of the "gang" that was my grandmother's family. The Lennons always knew how to have fun - stories about their parties are nearly legendary and the best part is that it didn't take much for them to have a party (there were eight siblings). My grandfather in particular was looking for a bunch like this, I think. He was much younger than his own siblings (he was born while some of his brothers were off fighting in WWI), and his mother was ill during this period - she actually died before my grandparents were married in 1939. The Lennons sort of adopted him from the moment he and my grandmother first met at a party when she was only fourteen.
I wish I knew what was going on up on that roof that day. The pictures come from my great grandmother's photo albums and this group was labeled by my grandmother but I only saw them recently and so was never able to talk to her about them. I imagine they were part of the group having "a few laughs" as she would say. Just another day in the life of the Lennons.
Sometimes you get really lucky in the people you come from - the joy manages to leap off the page and infect you across decades and miles. How can you look at this and not smile?