ALCF Leonard Wood Sizemore Home Movies Clip 9715
- Publication date
- home movies, amateur cinema, super 8 film, 8mm film, 1960s Europe, 1960s lifestyle, 1960s fashions, Leonard Wood Sizemore, Pro8mm, Al Larvick Fund, Kentucky, Belton Kentucky, Green River dam, kids playing, lake, Pennyrile State Park, weddings, beach, Americana, 1960s Americana, mid-20th century, rifles, shooting, lady smoking, swimmers, divers, lake activities, Stewarts Bar-B-Que sauce ad, gender roles, grilling, Brookfield Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, seals, 1958 black Plymouth Belvedere, mid-century suburban living, man smoking, Miller Beach Lake Michigan, Midwest cities, Midwest suburbs, airplanes, airport, Chicago O'Hare, Our Lady of Grace School, communion, wedding party, ring bearer, flower girls, bride, groom, Kodak Polaroid camera, Teibel's Restaurant, Schereville Indiana, 1965
Clip 9715 is part of the Leonard Wood Sizemore Cold War Family Campfire Collection. Leonard Sizemore is the primary filmmaker though the films were selected specifically to include other family members perspectives who are behind the camera. It was a Sizemore family legacy of filmmaking and photography, each viewing the family’s lives together, and through their independent eye, with varied framing, panning, and topics chosen to record. His daughter, Lillian Sizemore is the current custodian of the family films.
This collection was conserved and digitally transferred through the 2017 National grant awarded to Lillian Sizemore by the Al Larvick Conservation Fund in partnership with its sponsor Pro8mm.
For more information about this collection, visit: https://www.allarvickfund.org/leonard-wood-sizemore
The mission of the Al Larvick Conservation Fund is to preserve historical and cultural heritage through conservation, education, and the public accessibility of American analog home & amateur audiovisual materials. For more information, visit allarvickfund.org.
*Please respect the creative commons licensing assigned to this collection.
The main family members captured in this collection are:
Father/Filmmaker: Leonard W. Sizemore, Feb. 4, 1920 - Nov. 17, 2000
Wife/Mother: Gisella C. Sizemore, March 14 1928 -
Son: Norman E. Sizemore, b.1952
Daughter: Lillian Sizemore b. 1957
Daughter: Melissa Sizemore (Hurley) b. 1959
Others in this specific footage include:
Lucy and Virgil Smith: Dad’s Aunt and Uncle,
McGriff Family, Stewart Family: neighbors,
Stamos family and Morgan Family - weddings
Liliana Caputo (Mom’s sister from Italy)
Anna Lou Sizemore (Dad's Aunt)
Barbara Walters (Dad's extended family friend)
Collection title: Leonard Wood Sizemore Cold War Family Campfire
Original format: 8mm & Super 8 film, color, silent
Digital format: Footage captured at 2k resolution of 2048 x 1556
Collection size: Approx. 2300ft
Circa: 1955 - 1981
Label on original can:
LS Archive REEL 9 - 7” beige can - partial reel 250 ft.
Label: Dad’s handwriting:
Green River dam 1965
Mom & Dad
Uncle Virgil-Aunt Lucy
Penirle Park. [sic]
Kids at Home
Mary Stamos Wedding
Beach - Aunt Lilly Airport
Paula Morgans’ Wedding
Norm Shooting gun 410
The Films of Leonard W. Sizemore, Descriptions by Lillian Sizemore
Leonard Wood Sizemore (1920-2000) was an American soldier, a mechanic, a watchmaker, and an early adaptor of new technologies. Leonard married his Italian bride, Gisella, in Milan, Italy in 1947 and together they came to America to begin anew. Leonard always managed to have the latest "gizmos". He had good cameras, and he knew how to use them. Leonard taught the whole family how to pan and shoot and they all had a hand in filming over the years. Leonard made great strides in his life after having grown up in poverty in rural Kentucky, his 8mm home movies from the 1950s-80s depict a white 'Middle America' with a love of family and friends, antique cars, parades and picnics. Leonard kept the campfires glowing around his meaty grills and lively home movie nights. This poignant footage depicts a pursuit of the 'American Dream' taking place in-the-midst of political assassinations, cold war friction and civil rights marches.
A heavily spliced reel that covers many topics, but not in chronological order: includes visits with extended relatives both KY and Italy, Pennyrile State Park. (https://www.kentuckytourism.com/pennyrile-forest-state-resort-park/), two friends' of the family weddings, beach time, a boy's ultimate rite of passage: Norman learning to shoot a gun at cans. It would have been five years that have passed since mom and zia were together. The kids have grown a lot from when mom went to Italy in 1960 (see clips #9712 and 9714) Leonard would have filmed most of this reel. A 3-minute section of this film was shot by 12 or 13-yr old Norm, selecting snippets of home life on Main St. and adding his own "film credit" by filming his hand drawn sign: "Good-by this film was taken by Norm Sizemore"
Washing hands at Aunt Lucy's rain barrel station in Belton Kentucky. footage is very dark. Little girls in red clothes, Aunt Lucy in blue dress. Aunt Lucy collected rain water and made her own lye soap.
Cut: Pan to a lake view of the waterfall dark exposure, kids playing on rocks at Green River Dam. Mom in white round sunglasses.
1:17 Mom and Aunt Lucy sitting on the rocks, Uncle Virgil in white shirt , mom is smoking, and sitting at a distance to the right of Lucy.
Pan a view of the rocky shore, Melissa, age 5, is wearing a red stripped home sewn jumper, that is part of the Mother-Daughter outfits that mom made for us. She is dipping the ends of a large bundle of wild flowers into the water.
Pan out to a diving launch in the middle of the lake, is loaded with a bunch of swimmers and people jumping off the edge, and lined up to go off the high diving board.
2:00 Cut to Dad wearing a cowboy hat and a white apron, and manning the grill, placed just inside the garage opening for the wind factor no doubt.
His apron is printed with an advertisement for Stewarts Bar-B-Que sauce -
He holds up a piece of meat for the camera. turns back inside and Lillian in a blue jumper holds hands and come out next to Dad. She stands/poses for the camera.
Historical note: By midcentury, outdoor charcoal grilling appealed to the suburban man as the open fire grill-master. Adverts pictured Father at the grill, while Mother and children would be admiring from the sidelines. Grilling was a popular men's leisure family pass-time. In the early 60s "promotions through the National Live Stock and Meat Board - the forerunner of today's National Cattleman's Beef Association and National Pork Board - and [by] assorted meat purveyors, grocery chains, and so on. Recipes for Barbeque and Meat were made available to homemakers free of charge by local butchers and grocers, some of which had their names printed on the booklet covers."
(Source: "And Now: 18 Amazing Vintage Books About Meat by Paul Lukas -
2:16 Close ups of the meat on the grill, Dad holds up the meat -
2:21 Cut to Mom running across the driveway over to the neighbor McGriffs house. She is wearing a white sleeveless shift, a "moo-moo", she runs back and into the back door.
2:22 cut back to the grill - note the low vista point of the camera, then panning up to Dad silhouetted against the sky.
he turns the meat a lot more than normal, to give motion to the movie being filmed…
2:42 he pulls the hot grill into the garage using his apron - who was filming?
2:43 Dad looks down and shakes his tongs at the cameraman.
2:44Cut to mom running back from McGriff's, runs upstairs and into the house.
2:47 Lilly, age 7 or 8, shows off how limber she is by lifting her foot to her mouth and pretending to eat her foot.
2:49 CUT to Brookfield Zoo, Lincoln Park zoo? Shedd Aquarium? seals swimming. very dark footage.
3:20 CUT to Parking lot in the evening light, end of day at zoo - Dad poses with one arm on the roof of car, while the family is getting into the 1958 black Plymouth Belvedere, (2 door, with white hardtop, back wheel covers, and white wall tires with red-detail - with V-front grill, probably a V-8 engine) - He is wearing a newsboy cap, and a white patterned short sleeve shirt, Mom in sunglasses, black skirt and white blouse, the two sisters in the back seat - Norman was filming.
Auto source: https://www.allpar.com/history/plymouth/1946-1959/cars-1958.html
3:40 Cut to car driving out of drive way - Mom or dad on her way somewhere?
3:58 cut to Lill riding her bicycle in the gravel driveway - a two-wheeler -
4:06 Melissa running in the back yard over to swing set
4:15 Kittens in a box, baby kittens running in the grass, playing with kittens in the front yard
4:28 Sue McGriff, walks toward Stewart's house, Melissa runs after her, then is sitting on neighbor Stewarts' stoop with a Chihuahua
4:35 cuts to a child's crayon drawing of a clown face
4:36 cut to a split-second shot of Norman wearing a gold polo shirt, black jeans and a hot pink hat, arms akimbo. He is in the side yard, posing in front of the jalousie windows of the garage. Camera on tripod?
4:39 cut to front yard - dark exposure
girls sitting on McGriff front porch with Sue or Judy in the middle.
Melissa runs up the side walk at the McGriff's front yard
Seems to be slow mo Melissa in front yard playing with a ball
5:00 cut to a HAND DRAWN sign in child's writing:
"Good-by this film was taken by Norm Sizemore"
5:06 Cut to Wedding:
Stamos wedding - The Stamos family ran a big greenhouse business in Schererville.
5:19 father of the bride Mr. Stamos in white tux coat black bow tie, prepares to light a cigarette.
5:33 bride and groom come out of church smiling
5:48 cut to prep of wedding car decorated with streamers
flower girls and little kids
6:05 bridesmaids are in green cap sleeve dresses with green short veils
women in summer finery, dress and hats flowered.
6:08 a pan over to Anna Lou Sizemore, Dad's aunt by marriage (to his uncle George Sizemore) who lived down the street and took care of the kids when Mom was in Italy. (clip 9712 and 9714)
More panning over the wedding guests gathered outside.
6:30 Cut Miller Beach, on Lake Michigan - Melissa plays at the shoreline. Lilly in blue one-piece suit, Melissa in red, Mom in white and turquoise polka dot one piece with a low back Norman in brown trunks with white stripe on the side.
Playing looking in the surf, digging and looking at the camera, Mom holding a cigarette, plays in the sand with the 2 girls. Lots of other children are seen playing in the water in the background. A busy day at the beach.
Maybe Norman has the camera now, and shoot down on Dad, in green Jantzen swim trunks wearing an open shirt, lays on a towel, wearing sunglass.
A couple of flash splice cuts: of Melissa and Lilly at beach and
7:53 Dad walking up drive way with Melissa and Lilly on the right of frame (wearing jumpers of course). He is holding a 35mm camera.
7:53 CUT: Airplane taking off at O'Hare. shot from behind chain-link fence. close up of Alitalia jet arriving, people coming down the stairs onto the tarmac.
8:36: CUT to women walking toward camera: Mom in pearls, holding Lillian's hand, and Barb Walters wearing short white gloves holding handbag,
arriving at Our Lady of Grace School.
cut to Norma Morgan in fitted turquoise dress and matching shoes, matching clutch handbag, and tall pink floral lace hat. She is also wearing short white gloves. n a large orange floral corsage - she is mother of the bride, Paula. She walks with an official pace toward the camera…doesn't smile or stop to talk with Dad.
Cut to Norma's back giving instruction to two young men in black suits thin black long ties, a row of late 50s autos in background - in the parking lot.
Cut to front of school-church, two girls dressed in bright red dresses and matching hats, white anklets, scurry up the stairs, and shot of Mom and Barb standing out front, seen to the right of frame.
9:07 Official camera man with large camera fitted with flash bulb, arranges the girl and boy in front of the pink doors of the school. The children are wearing communion style dress, the girl in white puffy dress with a veil headdress, the boy in slacks and tie. Assuming they are part of the wedding party as 'flower girl and ring bearer'.
Cut to Barb, Lillian and Gisella. Lillian is wearing a hand-sewn navy jumper with a white blouse underneath. white anklets, mary-jane shoes. The other kids are at home. Mom is in a simple navy wool shift coat, and triple string of pearls.
The cameraman backs up into the scene and prepares to take the hot of the children he has just arranged.
Dad cuts to the same shot of the children standing erect and next to each other, holding tall candles, for the official wedding shot.
The camera swings to the ground, then up to the back of the bride, and groom, greeting guests, it is bright and sunny, people are squinting. Women are clutching their bags, children and in the scene, women wear cloche hats. Dad pans across the receiving line, for an excellent showing of fashion of the era, handbags, furs, hats, high-heels, men in suite.
General talking in the receiving line, the bride close up - shaking hands with everyone in the receiving line. Young men, (presumably friends of the bride and groom by their age) smoke and hover near the doors
Pan to Mr. Morgan, grey haired with white carnation boutonnière, laughing with a girl in blue dress and small blue fascinator hat
Cut to: 9:48
dark exposure - Lillian stands close to Mom and Barb, shooting against the sun. Dad must have tried to adjust the exposure for the bright day…
shooting into the light - the bride and groom back at the doorway - kissing a woman in royal blue hat and suit. The bride's pillbox hat is fitted with a short veil.
The bride and groom kiss again, Dad is right up there, going in for a close up. The bride and groom finish their long, rolling kiss with a smack. the camera cuts.
Cut to more wedding guests, Mom and Barb at center of frame
10:06 Pan over to the bride and groom in another full on kiss.
Ladies in a row, milling about in close proximity, all wearing hats and netting of some sort, pearls, and it looks to be a spring day, cool enough for coats, but there are leaves on the trees. Could be month of May or June.
cut to the bride and groom at doorway
Lillian at left of frame is close to bride and groom, she smiles as she takes in the pomp and circumstance. (at this age, Lillian loved brides and bridal dresses. She had a Betsy McCall doll with wedding dress costume, and later, a Barbie with wedding dress costume.)
Dad is filming the wedding party as they pose for an official wedding photographer, so the film is mirroring the professional family groupings.
Women stand close together in a row, to take pictures, one woman is holding a Kodak Polaroid camera
More panning amongst the crowd, many good details of clothing and flowers and cars of the era.
Norma, the mother, gets into a convertible car, crawls into the back seat with one of the girls dressed in red.
11:07 Pan back to the bride and groom holding hands, walk toward decorated car, they get into the back seat, Dad films the car backing out of the parking lot and pulling away… there is a hand-drawn 'Just Married' sign attached on the back of the car.
Cut to 11:50 - Shot from the porch looking down into the front seat of the car,
we see Zia Lilly sitting in the passenger seat, wearing a beige overcoat.
squinting into the sunlight, puts her hand over her eyes.
Zia in passenger seat presumably heading back to the airport to take Zia to catch her flight.
Cut to Zia and Melissa standing at the back entrance of Teibel's Restaurant (http://teibels.com/about.php) - This big family restaurant located at the corner of Routes 30 and Highway 41 in Schereville, was the go-to place for celebrating any important family event. We loved their fried perch dinners. Zia was visiting. Throughout their lives, Mom and her sister took turns going back and forth to Italy or America, one, then the other, traveling to see each other on average, every five years. The visits were usually lasting about 30-45 days. Perhaps the meal at Teibel's was a special lunch before her return to Italy?
12:11 cut to Lillian and Melissa, walking up to the camera, sun flare over exposure
Melissa is wearing a jumper that Mom made with three gingham fish appliqués sewn to embellish the front of the jumper, it buttoned down the back. Lillian is wearing a white headband, and a dark plaid button front dress with white trim accents and 3/4 sleeves.
The girls walk around holding hands, to the edge of driveway. We are clearly aware of being filmed we pose and wave to the camera. We walk closely toward the camera, so familiar.
cut: Melissa practices a double cartwheel in the front yard, and falls down, looks over at Dad and laughs.
12:48 Mom in the driver's seat Melissa standing up behind her, they are pulling out of the driveway - They are dressed up - Mom is wearing a pale blue ensemble and her hair is coiffed. She says something to Melissa. Probably, "Sit down" This is before mandatory seat belt legislations, so the kids are not "strapped in". Lillian waves from the back seat - as the car back out the drive and drives away going East on Main Street.
13:13 Cut to: Norman waves goes up the back stairs of house - it would have been just the boys now:
13:22 Cut to Norman at the dump shooting cans with the 410 rifle. Perhaps while mom and the girls went to the airport, Dad took Norm out to shoot?
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- Leonard Wood Sizemore
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