Five-year-old Richard Mahler is caught on film skipping from his childhood home on his way to school. Usually, a pretty unremarkable event except in 1952 Mahler’s home was the Fire Island Lighthouse where his dad, Gottfried worked as keeper from 1948 until 1954.
The black and white photo of the young boy - taken by Roger Higgins for the World Telegram & Sun - captures Mahler’s innocence and joy as he makes his way, the lighthouse perfectly framed behind him.
The caption reads: Richard Mahler (5) is the Fire Island School's youngest pupil and lives the farthest away. His father is the lighthouse keeper and, since the lighthouse is about four miles away, school is a long ride by jeep.
Photograph shows a boy skipping away from his house at Fire Island Lighthouse carrying a book bag and lunch box.World Telegram & Sun photo by Roger Higgins. No known copyright restriction. 1952.
Want to know more about the Fire Island Lighthouse? Click here to read Crazy Facts About the Fire Island Lighthouse.
Mahler has shared his memories of growing up at the lighthouse in presentations at local libraries. He even once returned to the place of his youth to recreate a picture of himself for the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society.