Mom did good work

On the old site, I had a little tradition of occasionally showing off embarrassing baby pictures of the kids (here’s Alaric, Connlann, and Skatje, for instance). Today is Mother’s Day, and it would be cool to show off old pictures of Mom, but wouldn’t you know it — mothers are much too clever for that. She just sent me a collection of baby pictures of Little PZ, so I’ll turn the magic time-machine on myself, instead.

This is pure treacle, self-obsession, vanity, and nostalgia. Don’t look below the fold.

My first mug shot. Those are my vital stats on there: 3/09/57, 7:07am, Dr Hogan, Head 14, Chest 13. My weight is supposed to be somewhere in the middle, but unfortunately it looks like “63y    .9″, which is rather baffling.
Yes, ladies, I am completely naked in that sink, and I’m adorable.
I wanted a pony. I got this nag that never went anywhere.
My first set of wheels. This photo was dated “April 1958”, so I guess I was only about a year old, and already trying to escape Kent.
The bath photo was for the ladies, this one is for the guys. 1959 automobiles: note the nice fins. And there I am at the age of two, compelled to carry out manual labor to raise the 30¢ a gallon for gas I needed to cruise the town.
This is the moment when I decided I would never again shave.
Me at 4½. Mom tells me I was quite the fan of the bow ties at that age. I outgrew it, which is more than we can say for Tucker Carlson.
The red-haired scamp with the grin next to me is my little brother Jim. This is a very unusual photo. From the formal dress and the papers we’re carrying, I surmise that this was taken as we were about to go off to Sunday school. Look at the expression on my face and try to guess what I was thinking.

You know, though, the little guy in all those pictures was completely dependent on his mother, and wouldn’t have been here without her. She was right there, outside the field of view of the camera, not really visible to you, maybe, but always on my mind.

I guess this is about Mom, after all. Thanks for having me, thanks for taking care of me, thanks for putting up with me, thanks for caring, thanks for everything.


  1. says

    Thanks to your Mom, and all mothers everywhere. Thanks for sharing the pictures, PZ.

    Re: Your thoughts on the way to Sunday School? You seem to be doing a very good job of following the plan you were formulating even back then.

  2. says

    Nice entry, PZ. I’ll admit that I’ve been curious to see what you and your family look like, which I suppose is natural given I tend to read Pharyngula most days. Still, isn’t it kind of weird to put your kids’ photos up like that? I mean… Google caches everything, and there’s always the Internet Archive. I figure it’s a bit early to tell how all that is going to play out further down the years, but I wonder if that could be problematic/embarrassing later on. Maybe I’m just weirdly private, but I’d have a BIG problem if my parents did that to me. Anyone else feel like this?

  3. says

    I looked. Wow. A cute PZ. That would be difficult for the mind to comprehend except for the fact that photographic evidence exists that I was once cute. Once you get over that enormity, you can believe anything.

    Well, except for ID, of course.

  4. says

    There’s privacy, and then there’s privacy. Those pictures reveal little other than that we are at least superficially human, that we went through childhood, and they can fix our existence temporally in a certain window of time (I hope none of those are surprising). They do not reveal credit card numbers, the presence of deleterious alleles that might scare off insurance companies, or private behaviors that we do not want to share with the world.

    Do you believe that wallet photos of families are also dangerous revelations of important secrets?

  5. Maronan says

    I clicked the first link in this post and saw a picture of you in sunglasses. Would I be banned if I made snide remarks about your appearance? Based on your posts, you seem to be pretty intelligent and a nice enough guy, Mr. Myers, but I’m overcome by a strange impulse to criticise your looks.

    Would I at least get the penalty reduced to disemvoweling if I mentioned that I’m a teenager and thus inclined to criticise the appearance of anyone who even vaguely resembles my parents?

  6. Graculus says

    I have always been allergic to cameras, by the time I was 9 I was already giving the finger to the camera (in family shots I was always at the back, making antennae on my mother’s head). So it has worked out that I have more blackmail material on my mother than she does on me… which is a good thing, because she’s evil. It’s one of the things I appreciate most about her.

  7. Hank Fox says

    Oh, damn. Now the Time-Traveling Christian Militia will gain vital clues to where and when to go to alter history!

  8. says

    You’ve evolved! I thank evolution every day for sensible chaps like yourself who have made our lives a little more sensible on this sphere.

  9. says

    You’ve evolved! I thank evolution every day for sensible chaps like yourself who have made our lives a little more reasonable on this sphere.

  10. Jeff Chamberlain says

    Just to get car-nerdy, I think the Chevy is a ’57 and the Packard is a ’55.

  11. says

    Hey there, PZ!

    I just wanted to thank you for sharing these faboo photos. They’re priceless! Also, your kids are beautiful. Lucky dad!

    Normally, I just lurk here. I’m the Maria who contributes silly links to Brian Flemmings’ blog from time to time, and a well-published dark fiction writer. (I don’t know the Neilsen Haydens personally, but I’ve met them on various occasions at different professional conventions.)

    Anyway, thanks for all you do!

  12. Carlie says

    I had a very similar pony – perhaps our parents acquired them from the same breeder.

    I found it a few years ago in my parents’ basement, and had that immediate flash of “what were they thinking” that so often happens when looking at old toys. The fingers those humongous springs could have pinched!

    Great pictures.

  13. CortxVortx says

    re: #9 Oh, damn. Now the Time-Traveling Christian Militia will gain vital clues to where and when to go to alter history!

    Just prevent them from inventing a fucktardis in which carry out their revisionism.

    As for the color picture… Wow, can I identify with that! Any and all “outside” pictures with the old Kodak and Polaroid cameras had to be in full sunlight, making for stark relief and much eye-watering squinting.

    We mature folk have it a bit better than the GenXL’s, since photos are relatively few and movies (i.e. videos) really rare. We have ever so many more embarrassing pictures of our progeny that can be flashed to far-flung relatives and friends within an hour of the event, with the added bonus of captions. Not that two-week wait for the mail and that one print that might “accidentally” get torn up.

    Yeah, my young-uns had better watch out!

    — CV

  14. says

    I’d like to point out that you missed being born at 6:66 by just one minute.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  15. mmills says

    Thanks very much to your mom (and dad) and for the great photos. I love the “sunday school” photo, I was a “terror” in SS classes so feel great affinity with your facial expression.

  16. says


    Sorry it took me so long to respond on this. I was just curious about your take on the privacy/photo issue. I had a stalker for quite a few years, so you’ll forgive me if I’m a bit burned on the whole sharing thing. You’re probably right– the photos don’t show any “useful” information. Chalk it up to my own paranoia. Useful as it was in getting through some tough times with my stalker, it doesn’t translate very well the rest of the time.

  17. Coragyps says

    “The fingers those humongous springs could have pinched!”

    They put fabric covers over those same springs these days.

    Wussy kids!

  18. tony says

    Re old photos….

    My wife is almost convinced I am some kind of alien (and I don’t just mean I’m not from the US!) — mainly due to the desperate lack of photographs of me at an early age….

    Some of an indeterminate child of about 3, a couple more of a seeming 6-year-old… then nothing until about 15!

    Only the latter bears resemblance (unfortunately)!