Lucky Discovery in the Audiovisual Archives

 

by Jacqueline Gertner (Graduate Student Intern, Northeastern University)

 

WS:1097-30 2 December 1967 The Lackey family and their dogs sitting around the couch. Left to right: Buffie Lackey, unidentified child, John Lackey (on floor), Mrs. F. D. Lackey, and Mr. Frank Danby Lackey III. Please credit "Stettner Studios. Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

WS:1097-30. 2 December 1967
The “Lucky” family and their dogs sitting around the couch. Left to right: Buffie Lucky, unidentified child, John Lucky (on floor), Mrs. F. D. Lucky, and Mr. Frank Danby Lucky III.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

 

Here in the Audiovisual Archives it is common to come across unidentified persons in our photographs. With the Lucky Family Series in the William Stettner Photograph Collection, we had another such case on our hands. The Lucky Family Series spans almost eight years, from February 1960 to December 1967, and this past month we have been scanning the negatives from the series to make contact sheets for future reference. Within the series are hundreds of images of the family including posed portraits, children’s playtime, and even a spirited snow fight.

 

But we had to ask ourselves—who is the Lucky family?

 

WS:20203-50S ca. 31 December 1964 or 1965 The Lackey family sitting on a couch. Left to right: Unidentified child; Mrs. F. D. Lackey; Buffie Lackey; John Lackey Please credit "Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston."

WS:20203-50S. ca. 31 December 1964 or 1965
The “Lucky” family sitting on a couch. Left to right: Unidentified child; Mrs. F. D. Lucky; Buffie Lucky; John Lucky
Please credit “Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

The situation called for the audiovisual reference archivists to go into research mode to investigate for clues. The first clue was a folder title with the names of the two oldest children, Buffie and John Lucky, and another clue was a handwritten order form made out to a Mrs. F. D. Lucky from Tarrytown, New York. With this information we hoped our detective work would solve the mystery of the Lucky family.

 

WS:2001S 18 February 1960 Buffie Lackey (left) and John Lackey (right) on a tricycle. Please credit "Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston."

WS:2001S. 18 February 1960
Buffie “Lucky” (left) and John “Lucky” (right) on a tricycle.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

WS:2069F-10 14 October 1962 Buffie Lackey sitting on an outdoor bench. Please credit "Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston."

WS:2069F-10. 14 October 1962
Buffie “Lucky” sitting on an outdoor bench.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

WS:2069K-3 14 October 1962 John Lackey on a swing. Please credit "Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston."

WS:2069K-3. 14 October 1962
John “Lucky” on a swing.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

But after online searches for the Lucky family from Tarrytown, NY provided no results, the mystery of the Lucky family started to turn into a cold case. Not giving up, I decided to take a closer look at the name written on the order form for more evidence. To my surprise and excitement, the name read “Lackey” not “Lucky.” The hunt for the unidentified family members continued!

 

Once a new search began for the Lackey family, newspaper sources with their names and images began to crop up. The mother of the family, Mrs. F. D. Lackey, appeared in newspapers such as the The New York Times, which revealed her maiden name to be Elizabeth Cleveland. She was born around 1933 in New York; she was a graduate of the Masters School, Dobbs Ferry Brillantmont International School, Lausanne, Switzerland, and Connecticut College; and she served as the corresponding secretary of the Junior League of Tarrytown.

 

WS:2023-4S ca. 31 December 1964 or 1965 Lackey family portrait. Left to right: Buffie Lackey; John Lackey, unidentified child, Mrs. F. D. Lackey Please credit "Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston."

WS:2023-4S. ca. 31 December 1964 or 1965
Lackey family portrait. Left to right: Buffie Lackey; John Lackey; unidentified child; Mrs. F. D. Lackey
Please credit “Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

WS:2023-41S ca. 31 December 1964 or 1965 Mrs. F. D. Lackey and her daughter in a pile of leaves. Please credit "Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston."

WS:2023-41S. ca. 31 December 1964 or 1965
Mrs. F. D. Lackey and her daughter in a pile of leaves.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

The father of the family is Frank Danby Lackey III who was born on April 23, 1928. He graduated from Phillips Andover Academy and Yale College and served in the Navy for three years as a lieutenant. Sources also suggest he was the Church School Superintendent of the Episcopal Church of St. Barnabas in Irvington, NY.

 

WS:1097-81 2 December 1967 Mr. Frank Danby Lackey III outside in the snow with his dog. Please credit Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston."

WS:1097-81. 2 December 1967
Mr. Frank Danby Lackey III outside in the snow with his dog.
Please credit Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

WS:1097-111 2 December 1967 The Lackey family poses by the fireplace. Left to right: Buffie Lackey; unidentified child; John Lackey (standing); Mrs. F. D. Lackey; Mr. Frank Danby Lackey III. Please credit "Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston."

WS:1097-111. 2 December 1967
The Lackey family poses by the fireplace. Left to right: Buffie Lackey; unidentified child; John Lackey (standing); Mrs. F. D. Lackey; Mr. Frank Danby Lackey III.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

We had wonderful luck tracking down the identities of the Lackey parents, and now the Lucky Family Series can be renamed as the Lackey Family Series. But crucial information about the Lackey family, especially the children, remains unknown. What is the third child’s name? Is Buffie a nickname? We are hoping to identify their two dogs, too!

 

WS:2023-43S ca. 31 December 1964 or 1965 Buffie Lackey and the Lackey family dog. Please credit "Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston"

WS:2023-43S. ca. 31 December 1964 or 1965
Buffie Lackey and the Lackey family dog.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

WS:2023-36S ca. 31 December 1964 or 1965 The Lackey family and their dogs in a pile a of leaves. Left to right: John Lackey; Mrs. F. D. Lackey; unidentified child; Buffie Lackey. Please credit "Stettner Studios. Willliam Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston."

WS:2023-36S. ca. 31 December 1964 or 1965
The Lackey family and their dogs in a pile a of leaves. Left to right: John Lackey; Mrs. F. D. Lackey; unidentified child; Buffie Lackey.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. Willliam Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

WS:2023-19S 31 December 1964 or 1965 The youngest Lackey child sits by the fireplace and toys. Please credit "Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston"

WS:2023-19S. 31 December 1964 or 1965
The youngest Lackey child sits by the fireplace with toys.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

WS:2069E-7 14 October 1962 The three Lackey children sitting on the grass. Left to right: John Lackey; unidentified child; Buffie Lackey. Please credit "Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston."

WS:2069E-7. 14 October 1962
The three Lackey children sitting on the grass. Left to right: John Lackey; unidentified child; Buffie Lackey.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

WS:1097-68 2 December 1967 Mr. Frank Danby Lackey III and his child outside in the snow. Please credit "Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston."

WS:1097-68. 2 December 1967
Mr. Frank Danby Lackey III and his child outside in the snow.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

WS:2069G-12 14 October 1962 An unidentified man and woman with the Lackey family dog. Please credit "Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston."

WS:2069G-12. 14 October 1962
An unidentified man and woman with the Lackey family dog.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

This series has so many highlights to share. We’re hoping someone will recognize this family and be able to fill in our knowledge gaps. Can you help us uncover more information on the Lackeys?

 

WS:1097-42 2 December 1967 The Lackey familiy on a sled. Left to right: Mrs. F. D. Lackey; John Lackey; Mr. Frank Danby Lackey III (standing); unidentified child. Please credit "Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston."

WS:1097-42. 2 December 1967
The Lackey family on a sled. Left to right: Mrs. F. D. Lackey; John Lackey; Mr. Frank Danby Lackey III (standing); unidentified child.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

WS:2069K-4 14 October 1962 The Lackey children sitting on the front steps of their house. Please credit "Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston"

WS:2069K-4. 14 October 1962
The Lackey children sitting on the front steps of their house.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

WS:1097-53 2 December 1967 Members of the Lucky family outside in the snow. Please credit "Stettner Studies. Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

WS:1097-53. 2 December 1967
Mrs. F. D. Lackey and her daughter outside in the snow.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

WS:2069I-6 14 October 1962 Mrs. F. D. Lackey and her three children walk together while holding hands. Please credit "Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston."

WS:2069I-6. 14 October 1962
Mrs. F. D. Lackey and her three children walk together while holding hands.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

WS:1097-93 2 December 1967 The Lackey family and their dogs sit on the front steps of their house. Left to right: John Lackey, Buffie Lackey, Mrs. Frank Danby Lackey, unidentified child, Mr. Frank Danby Lackey III. Please credit "Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston."

WS:1097-93. 2 December 1967
The Lackey family and their dogs sit on the front steps of their house. Left to right: John Lackey; Buffie Lackey; Mrs. Frank Danby Lackey; unidentified child; Mr. Frank Danby Lackey III.
Please credit “Stettner Studios. William Stettner Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.”

 

1 comment for “Lucky Discovery in the Audiovisual Archives

  1. Dianne
    November 22, 2016 at 11:37 am

    I love seeing the fashion and furniture of that time period.

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