In the early 1960s a song came out called "Little Boxes" by Malvina Reynolds. Pete Seeger scored a hit with the song, but living in the San Francisco Bay Area the one I remember hearing on the radio, the one I remember singing along with, was the version sung by Malvina Reynolds who was a native San Franciscan. For those who have never heard the song it's basically about suburbia and the transformation of landscapes into nothing but little boxes that people live in and the eventual mindset of the people who live in the boxes. Remember, this is before the counter culture of the 60s had come along. This song was a precursor to the attitudes against the establishment that fueled the youth in the 60s. It still makes me smile when I hear it.

Click on image to see it larger.

This photo, of little boxes, is from the George Kallman estate I received this week. Though the song is about Daly City, south of San Francisco, it could actually be about a lot of post World War II neighborhoods. I don't know exactly where this was taken other than the San Francisco area. It could very well be Daly City. Go ahead and mentally complete the picture by imaging the houses in their many colors.
There's a pink one, and a green one, and a blue one, and a yellow one, and they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same. —Malvina Reynolds


  1. Thank you for the post. I remember the song, but only the part of made of ticky tacky. Now I know the history of the song.

  2. I'd almost forgotten that little song. Thanks!

    Just right for the picture isn't it?

  3. The song was the first thought I had when I saw the shot. Of course, whenever I drive by South San Francisco and Daly City I'm singing the song.