Tag Archives: Nostalgia

If We WereHaving Coffee…6/4/16

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If we were having coffee…I would welcome you in and offer you a chair. The pot is filled with piping hot French roast coffee but since the weather is a bit warm here in southern New Jersey, I would also offer iced tea or lemonade if you preferred. Yesterday, I purchased some yummy red velvet cupcakes with butter cream frosting so you could help yourself to those as well. Sorry, Hubby hasn’t done any baking since our Memorial Day barbecue last week so I don’t have any fresh baked goods to offer.

After we were settled in with our drinks and our snacks, I would ask you how your week has been. I would hope that you have been safe from some of the extreme weather that has been plaguing so many parts of the world. We have been lucky here but my brother, who lives just outside of Oklahoma City, has had a few tension filled days. Out there, he tells me, it’s just a part of life. I’ve also been praying for those effected by the massive amounts of rain in France which has caused deadly flash flooding. I read in the paper today that in Paris many of the works of art in the Louve had to be moved to higher ground for fear of water damage. It feels as if the world has gone a little crazy!

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that my week has been very busy and filled with both good and not so good moments. Work has been a bit challenging because the students’ brains have mostly checked out. The lunch room has become a circus and I’ve been having discussions like “Sometimes it is more important to be kind than to be right.” and “We have 11 days left of school and there is still a lot more learning left to do.”

I don’t really think anyone is listening. They’ve all forgotten the rules, their manners and all their multiplication tables as well. *sigh*

If we were having coffee…I might remind you that this was the week that Mr D’s lease for his off campus housing began. He is living, at the moment, with one foot in each camp. He has a bed, his TVand some personal things at the new house but all his clothing is still here. One of his roommates is completely moved in, one is half way, and the other won’t move in till September. This is good because it give me time to adjust. My Hubby saw the house for the first time this week and his first response once we were back in the car was “How much are they paying for this place?!?” I don’t think he was impressed.

If we were having coffee …I would tell you that my sister and I went to a family reunion this past Saturday. It was fun but also awkward. This reunion was for my father’s side of our family so  everyone there was an off spring of one of my paternal grandfathers six siblings. Linda and I were the only ones representing our branch so we were surrounded by many second and third cousins that we had never met. It’s a weird feeling to be in a room full of strangers that you also happen to be related to!

We met many cousins we had never known and heard some wonderful stories. The best part of the night came when we got to see a very old photo of my mom and her best friend Gertie when they were both just 16. Gertie was my dad’s first cousin. That is how my parents met. My mom would go to Gertie’s family parties with her and check out her good looking cousins! My father noticed!

If we were having coffee…I would ask you about how your parents first met and if you have seen photos of them when they were  dating? Isn’t it strange to think of our parents so young, before we were even a thought?

Well, I see the time is getting late and I am about ready to rest my weary bones, put on my pjs and curl up with a good book. I’ve started rereading the Harry Potter series, something I do every few years, and I’m just at the part where Harry and Hermione send Hagrid’s dragon off to live with Charlie Weasley!

Thank you so much for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Weekend Coffee Share brought to you courtesy of Diana at Part Time Monster.

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The Weekly Smile….Barbecues, Family, and the Great Outdoors

Our home tends to be a meeting place. My husband and I have always been fortunate, not only to belong to very close families, but also to have the two separate groups be very close as well. His nephews called my mother “Mimom” like her grandchildren did and our mothers often vacationed together. His father invites my sister and her family to his parties and they share photos and recipes over the Internet. We use every opportunity to appreciate and cultivate this close relationship by doing a lot of entertaining.

This weekend will be the official opening of the barbecue season and I just can’t wait. Not only will I be surrounded by the people I love, who are all relaxed and comfortable together, but we will be doing it under a (hopefully) clear blue sky.

Welcome burgers and hot dogs fresh off the grill, accompanied by coleslaw and potato salad! Welcome sliced watermelon, fresh picked strawberries and corn on the cob. Welcome water ice and Hubby’s famous peach pie. I can taste it all!

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Welcome plastic table cloths and plastic cups brimmingwith homemade iced tea. Welcome coolers filled with beer and juice boxes, cans of lemonade and pitchers of my nieces special sangria. Welcome to the net tents that cover the platters and keep the flies at bay.

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Welcome back to the yard game and the lawn chairs, to tables with umbrellas and citronella candles. Welcome jars of bubbles and sidewalk chalk just to keep the little ones occupied and welcome to the tire swing that has served us faithfully since my own children were little enough to enjoy it.

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But mostly, welcome friends we’ve lost touch with over the long cold winter. Welcome tofamily who arrive, inevitable carrying dishes of salads and desserts to add to our bounty. Welcome laughter and good natured ribbing and the new babies wearing sun hats. Welcome to the smell of sunblock and the feel of the sun on my skin.

Welcome summer.😊

imageThe Weekly Smile is brought to you by Trent’s World. Stop over and collect a few more smiles or even leave one of your own!

I Remember Mom-mom

Last week, my friend Ann, over at “Muddling Through My Middle Age,” posted a lovely tribute to her grandmother. I enjoyed reading it very much and was reminded so much of my own grandmother,  that I was inspired to write a tribute of my own. 

Lola (1926)

Lola (1926)

My maternal grandmother’s name was Lola. She was born in 1909 in Delmar, Delaware but spent most of her life in Southern New Jersey. Lacking in physical stature,  four foot, eleven inches tall and a hundred pounds soaking wet, she more than made up for it with a strong personality. She was  fiercely loyal and protective of those she loved and not above quietly voicing her opinion if she felt it necessary. We all called her Mom-mom.

Lola and her sister Anna 1927

Lola (left) and her sister Anna 1927

She met my grandfather Cliff through mutual friends. They married in December of 1928, two months short of her twentieth birthday. For a while she worked at a cigar factory in Philadelphia, but when my mother came along in 1930, followed three years later by her brother Bobby, Lola settled down to run her household and care for her family. My grandfather, a very cheerful, easy going fellow,  made a very good living as a master plumber. He  installed plumbing systems in large buildings and even ocean liners, but he was also a weekend drinker and very free with money,  so he could be a bit of a trial.

With my mother and uncle, 1938

With my mother and uncle, 1938

He certainly tested my grandmother’s patience! According to tales I heard growing up, she was a bit of a spitfire in those days. Occasionally on payday, my grandfather would stop at the pub on his way home.  In the wee hours, after buying many rounds of drinks, he would stagger in, with less than half his pay left.  Lola would be waiting up.  During the ensuing argument, she would emphasize her points by pelting him with anything she could lay her hands on!  Either she had bad aim or he was pretty quick even when drunk, because she rarely hit him even though she threw candy dishes, mixing bowls and nick-knacks of any kind. My mother told me that at one time they had no working lamps in the house because she had thrown them all at my grandfather!

Eventually, the fighting and the money worries were put to rest when it was decided that she would pick up my grandfathers pay each week, allowing him money for the pub and keeping the rest. This arrangement seemed to work fine and Mommom, who had grown up with very little, proved very good at managing money. She even had a habit of hiding little stashes around the house, just in case of a rainy day. After she passed away, we cleaned out her house, and found almost $500 taped to the back of dresser drawers, hidden behind wall art or under the carpet corners.

Mom-mom and Pa with my mother around 1975

For most of  childhood, Mommom and Pa lived in a little house down the street from my parents.  My memories of her are of an energetic, task oriented woman in her late sixties, early seventies. At one time, I was told, she always wore skirts or dresses (house dresses at home) but in the seventies, when ladies “pant suits,” became popular she latched on to the style and never turned back! I can’t remember her wearing anything else, except to weddings or formal occasions.

She wore her steel grey hair short with tight curls and every Thursday morning she went to “Estelle’s Beauty Parlor” to have it washed and set.  She managed to keep her “do” looking good till the next Thursday by sleeping with her head wrapped in toilet paper each night! I also remember that she had a fondness for large pocketbooks and had a different one for every season as well as a several more just for special occasions.

My grandmother liked to drive whenever we went out.  I suspect she liked to be in control. Having had to keep my grandfather in line for most of their marriage, she was comfortable in that role but, being a rather tiny person who, for some reason, always chose to drive large cars, presented some problems.  In order to see over the wheel (which, by the way, she always gripped at “ten” and “two”), Mommom needed to sit on a cushion….and to boost the cushion up a little further, she tucked a wooden rolling pin beneath the back edge.  Even with this extra height, her chin was just above the top of the steering wheel.  Add in the  fact that she insisted on driving exactly the speed limit or less, and you have for some fun road trips!

Mom-mom with my niece At her christening .

Mom-mom with my niece At her christening .

One of her favorite pass times was playing bingo. A little odd for someone who was so money conscious but I think she enjoyed the idea of a windfall; money for nothing. Some nights, she would take me with her to the hall at the Catholic Church and I would watch in awe of her, and her friend Bea as they monitored ten cards each, marking each number with a chip or a ink dotter. They never missed a number and sometimes they even caught one that a neighbor had missed on theirs! Later on, when the casinos came to Alantic City, she and her friends would take bus trips down there and spend the day playing the nickel slot machines. She was very careful to spend only a certain amount but even so she usually came home ahead.

Mostly what I remember when I think of Mom-mom is always feeling safe and loved. She took care of me whenever my parents were out, making me cheese sandwiches and teaching me to play Tiddly Winks with her bingo chips. I helped her with her house cleaning on the weekends and she helped me buy my first car. I always knew she had my back and it makes me sad that my children never got the chance to know her and even though I have a few inches on her, I hope someday to have as  “big” an influence on my grandchildren.

Christmas Postathon Day 21

Children’s Rules for Christmas Morning

What follows is a story that is infamous in our family. It has been told to me by all my siblings and my parents. I was a principle player in this tale, however, I was much too young to remember it and much too innocent to be held responsible for my behavior. Certain parties have argued that point. I will let you, dear reader, decide for yourself…..

It all began mid December 1965. I was just turning three. My sister Linda was 15, Patty 14 and brother Jim was 10. All of them were old enough to know better.

Just saying.

The girls were well beyond the whole Santa thing and Jim was as well but not quite ready to admit it.  I was at that age where I was just begining to  understand the wonder of Santa and all the excitement of Christmas itself.

As a toddler, I was no more a morning person than I am as an adult therefore my mother had an awful time getting me up back then. Often, if she was busy getting breakfast for the school age kids, she would send one of them in to try and coax me out of bed.

One morning, my brother had the bright idea of telling me that it was Christmas morning and that Santa had come.  The lie worked because I sprung out of bed and rushed out to see my presents. Naturally, when I realized the truth I had a meltdown like any three year old would. Mom yelled at Jim when she found out what he did but he and my sisters thought it was hilarious. They rolled off to school laughing while my mother was left to comfort me.

Over the next week or two they periodically convinced me it was Christmas morning just to get me out of bed. They sounded so sincere that I believed them every time. My mother warned them that they were going to pay for their mean spirited behavior.

Their payback came on December 25th.

The Christmas morning rule in our family was that everyone had to come out to the living room together. There are many Super 8 films of us in our pajamas, coming down the hallway, eyes closed, single file with our hands on each other’s shoulders, ready to start the unwrapping.

Well, that year, when Christmas morning finally came along, Jim and the girls were up at the crack of dawn, eager to get to their presents. Mom and Dad headed to the living room and set up the camera, all ready for us to make our entrance.

Guess who refused to get out of bed?

My three sibling, wild to get to their presents, pleaded and cajoled but I buried my head under the covers and refused to budge. They yelled out to my mom and dad but recieved no help.  Mom told them that they had created the situation so they had to deal with it. I’m sure she had a very satisfied grin on her face.

I don’t know how long my parents let them stew before mom finally came in and told me that they were telling the truth. The Christmas morning home movie that year show me wandering out slowly rubbing my eyes and Linda, Pat and Jim close on my heals practically humming with desire to get to those gifts. I guess I was lucky they didn’t climb right over me!

My brother and sisters have always maintained that they were unfairly treated that Christmas morning 1965. My parents and I, however feel they got exactly what they deserved. What do you think?

Christmas Postathon Day 5

A Holiday Movie or TV Special You Look Forward to Seeing

“Gather round, children,” I call. “Let me tell you about what Christmas was like back in the olden days.” They come running, eyes wide with anticipation.

“Sit down. Sit down.” I say and I begin my tale.

“When I was a little girl, back in the 1970s thing were very different. For one thing Christmas specials were only shown on TV once each holiday season!”

They ‘GASP’ collectively.

“What about DVD or Blue Ray? Couldn’t you just buy them?”one cries.

“How about online streaming or that TV channel that shows the specials 24 hours a day from Thanksgiving on?” Another asks. I just smile and shake my head.

“Computers and DVD players hadn’t been invented yet and we only had 6 television channels, none of which showed all day Christmas specials. Heck, most of them went off air everynight at 12:00!” I can see they are stunned into silence so I continue.

“What  we did have was something called a ‘TV Guide’, a little book that listed all the shows that would be on that week. I would check the listing for shows that would be on between 7pm and 9pm, what they called ‘prime time’ and when I found my favorite Christmas special I circled it in red pen so we wouldn’t forget about it.”

“What were your favorite shows?” One of the little cherubs asks.

“Well, I had two that I really liked. The first was A Charlie Brown Christmas, the same one that’s still on now-a-days and the other was How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but the old animated version narrated by Boris Karloff, not that silly one with Jim Carey that you all watch.

Now, my sisters were ten years older than me, and if you asked them what their favorite Christmas special was they would probably tell you about one that was sponsored by the ‘Bell Telephone Company’ and was shown on the Public Broadcasting Station each year.

“Who is ‘Bell Telephone?” they shout, confused.

“Never mind,” I reply, “That’s a story for another time.

The TV special was a rendition of the poem The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore and The Christmas Story from the Bible told entirely with marionettes. you know, those puppets that move on strings? I found a video of it on YouTube last year and showed it to my daughter. She said it was creepy and was surprised that my sisters didn’t have nightmares after watching it so I guess marionettes aren’t for everybody.

Anyway, on the nights that Charlie Brown and The Grinch were scheduled to air I would make sure I was done my bath early and was ready in my pjs in front of the TV in time for the show to start. I knew that if I forgot, or we were out that night, I wouldn’t get another chance to see them for a whole year.” The children stare at me doubtful, wondering if I am putting them on.

“What about your  favorite movie? asks the oldest. “We know you love A Christmas Story. Every year you laugh like crazy at Ralphie in his fuzzy pink bunny suit. Did they show that all day long on Christmas Day like they do now?”

“I do love that crazy father and his leg lamp!” I chuckle, “but that film wasn’t made till 1984. when I was little my favorite movie was one I still enjoy today. It was an old black and white film called Its a Wonderful Life starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. You may have seen it once or twice.”

“Everytime a bell rings an angel get his wings!!” they shout knowingly.

“That’s right!” I smile. “My mom and dad loved that one too so we would all snuggle up, turn out the lights and watch it together. By the end when George Bailey runs through Bedford Falls wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, I was happy and all filled up with the Christmas spirit.”

I sigh and gaze over there heads lost in childhood.

“Hey, guys!” the oldest one yells, “Let’s go download all three Santa Clause movies on to the flat screen TV and binge watch till dinner!” They jump up in unison and race off ready to make their own Christmas memories.

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Christmas Postathon….Day 1

A favorite Holiday Decorations

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This little house is a result of this the ceramic phase my mother went through back in the 1980’s. For many years it spent the Christmas season in the living room of the house where I grew up. Then it moved to the condo Mom purchased after dad passed away. Now it has come to live in the home I share with my husband and children.

Over the years, the lid has been broken and glued back together and a few of the little colored “bulbs” have gone missing but I think that is part of its charm. Every December I look forward to  putting it on the table behind our sofa and being reminded of Mom every time I see it.

Super 8

When I was a baby my father purchased a Kodak Super 8 movie camera. This was a very big deal in our family but I guess to understand what a big deal it was you first have to understand a little about my father.

My dad was born in 1923, a child of the Great Depression. He grew up in a small row house in north Philadelphia sharing, not only a room, but a bed with three brothers. His father worked as a trucker, supporting a wife, six children and an ailing brother-in-law who lived in the attic. The sons in the family quit school around 15 and went to work as well. In his house they made things last, repaired stuff instead of replacing it, and never wasted anything. Luxuries were few and far between.

As a result of his upbringing my father grew into a man who was the epitome of frugal spending. My mother’s phrase was ‘he squeezed a penny so hard you could hear Lincoln scream!’. Choosing to buy something as frivolous and unnecessary as a movie camera was very out of character, especially since he also splurged on a portable movie screen to go with it! Maybe it was because by 1965 life was getting more comfortable. Dad was a member of the Teamsters union making a middle class income.  He was living the American Dream with a wife, four children and a nice new ranch house in the suburbs. He still worried about money but maybe not as much. He also really loved gadgets-power tools, radios, engines and motors of all sorts so when Kodak came out with the new Super 8 cameras he probably saw them as the ultimate gadget!

IMG_1751This new gadget became a much used toy. My brother and sisters, born in the 50s had their early years recorded on photos. My childhood, for the most part, is on film. From the first 4th of July parade I attended in my carriage, to Easter morning, to Christmas Day, and each birthday along the way, my life was preserved in celluloid. Dad even created title boards at the beginning of each reel saying things like “Christmas 1969”  with red and green felt letters.

Some of my favorite memories growing up were the nights I convinced my parents to haul out the movie projector and show the films. We would set up the screen at one end of the livingroom and the projector on the ottoman at the other end. Dad would thread the film and I would listen for the click, click, click of the end until the film caught on the empty reel and began to hum. Mom would switch out the lamp and  I would sit on the floor underneath the light beam swirling with dust motes listening to my parents narrate the events on screen. I remember that there was always a distinct smell in the air on movie night. It’s hard to describe. I think it was a combination of the metal and vinyl screen and the heat from the projector bulb against the film. Whatever it was, years later, when my husband and I brought out the old films to show our child, that same smell was in the air and it instantly took me back to my childhood.IMG_1752

My brother Jim inherited the Super 8 movie camera after Dad passed away in 1994. The projector and all of  the films are in my possession. Each 50 foot feel, was painstakingly spliced into 5 inch 200 foot reels, each film canister carefully labeled in my father’s neat handwriting  – 4th of July 1965 (when I won first prize for my Miss Liberty costume); Philadelphia Zoo Summer 1966 (where the cow at the petting zoo ate the back of my dress); Nancy’s 4th Birthday December 1966 (when the poorly planned paper carousel on the cake caught fire!)- so many life experiences that predate my actual memory. I only “remember” them because I’ve seen them in film.

I would love to watch them all again and share them with my now grown children but the bulb in the projector burned out many years ago and a replacement has been difficult to find.  Maybe this will be the year I have them transferred on to DVD. I know it is a better way to preserve the memories before the film becomes too brittle and faded but I keep hesitating. Popping in a disc and watching them on the TV just won’t be the same. I want to sit in the dark, listening to the clicking of the projector and watch my childhood unfold on a crisp white screen. To me, that’s how it’s suppose to be done although if my Dad were around he would probably really appreciate a machine that could change his old films into nice new DVDs. Talk about a really cool gadget! Maybe I need to keep up with the times? 😊

Gettin’ Our Halloween On…

imageNot surprisingly, the most popular topic in the lunchroom this week has been Halloween costumes. It’s always fun to hear the students describe what they’re  going to be and all the treats they plan on collecting. They’ve been thinking and planning for months and I just know there are a bunch of frantic parents out there rushing around trying to find a “Ladybug Princess”  or  “Zombie Hunter” costume in the right size.

Thanks to pop-up costume super stores and online web sites, Halloween has become a big, expensive deal. I’ve been there too. Most years my kids wanted store bought costumes but I’ve also made a few by hand. I can’t sew to save my life but give me some felt and a hot glue gun and watch out!! And you know what? Even though they were a lot more work, those costumes were my favorite.

Growing up, we almost always made our costumes by hand..and when I say “we” I mean my mom. She was queen of the last minute Halloween costume. There were no weeks of planning ahead and most times final touches were being added as you were heading out the door! We had a huge cardboard box in the attic filled with Halloween type odds and ends, old hats or neckties, pieces of former costumes, masks, wigs, you name it. A day or two before Halloween we would drag down the box and start sorting through. The big difference between us and the kids today is we didn’t have any plan about what we wanted to be ahead of time. Mom just pulled stuff out of that magic box and then tried to figure out what costume could be made with it.

Being the baby of the family by quite a few years, I missed out on a lot of my moms earliest costume triumphs and my oldest sister, Linda hated dressing up She stopped trick-or-treating when she was about 12. But my sister Pat and brother Jim (the middle children) were very adventurous and were willing to wear any outfit they thought would win them first prize at the local Halloween party and score them the most candy when they went door to door.

I’ve heard many stories about some of mom’s most clever creations.

There was that year that she took an old house dress, cut it in half and sewed it to half of one of dad’s old dress shirts and a half pair of pants. Then she took a mans hat, decorated half of it with ribbons and flowers and glued part of a long blond wig to that side. Then she put makeup on half of Jim’s face, drew a beard and mustache on the other half, put him in the sewed together clothes and ta-da! Half-man/half-woman.

Or there was the year that she cut up an old sheet and made Pat into a mummy. She wrapped and wrapped till all but the eyes and nose were covered. After adding some blood colored  paint to make it more scary she sent her out to trick-or-treat. The only flaw was that she came undone periodically and the neighbor’s had to keep re-wrapping  her!

My favorite was the year she found an old worn summer blanket with a southwestern print hiding at the bottom of the box. She borrowed three long sticks my dad had in the shed, probably left over from some project, and tied top ends together. Then she attached the blanket over the sticks. The result was a four foot Native American teepee! After adding a slit for a door and another for looking through, Jim climbed inside and just carried it around. When he got tired he sat down inside! He won first prize at the party that year!

By the time I was old enough to partake in the Halloween festivities my brother and sisters were well into their teenage years and mostly through with that stuff. The costume box still lived in the attic and mom made me one or two thing but she said I always wanted to be “something pretty, like a princess or and angel” so she usually ended up buying me one of those kids costumes that came in boxes with a cellophane window on top.  Anybody remember them? They were one piece polyester suits with ties in the back and they came with a plastic mask held on by an  elastic band that usually broke before you reached the third house!

I’m feeling pretty nostalgic about all this Halloween stuff. Too bad there is no one in this house trick-or-treating this year. Maybe I can dress up the cats?

This post has been added to the Leisure Link at Perspectives On. Stop over and check out the other leisure posts!

Just Playing Around

imageI read in the newspaper this week that the Slinky is turning 70! Cool, huh? This iconic toy was invented in nearby Philadelphia by a gentleman by the name of Richard James, an engineer at the Cramp Shipbuilding Company. Apparently, Mr James invented the Slinky quite by accident. He was attempting to devise a spring that would hold sensitive shipboard equipment stable during rough seas when he knocked one of the reject springs off a shelf. It flounced about the floor for a bit and Jim had enough imagination to see an opportunity.

We spent many days playing with Slinkys when I was little and my own children had them too. When I think of them I am hit with dozens of memories of us building ramps and steps out of books just to see what tricks we could get the Slinky to do!

Isn’t it funny that when you think about the toys you played with as a child, it’s not just the item you remember but the wonderful way it made you feel. Life was so exciting when the whole world of your imagination was open to you! My friend Donna and I would spend hours playing Barbies or paper dolls inventing entire lives for them complete with jobs, pets and boyfriends! She had a Barbie Camper so they often went on road trips, usually to see The Monkees in concert. We had a thing for Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork back then. The best Christmas ever was the year I received both Quick Curl Barbie and Mod Hair Ken!! He had stick on facial hair! Hard to beat that.


Dolls were always my favorite things to play with and it wasn’t just Barbie. The 1970s produced a plethora of weird and wonderful dolls.

One that I really loved was Dawn. She and her friends were like mini Barbies with various shoes and outfits. I even had a fashion show stage for her. You basically stuck her little foot in a little vice and then cranked a handle moving a track around the stage. It sent her for a spin than brought her back. Very low tech.

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Dawn by Topper Toys (1970).

Then there was Mrs Beasley from Family Affair. Anybody remember her? She talked!

Mrs Beasley by Mattel

Mrs Beasley by Mattel

I also had  Growing Hair Kerry, the doll whose hair expanded out the top of her head then retracted when you pushed her belly button. Nothing weird about that. She had a bunch of outfits too (I’m beginning to think my older sisters were right-I was spoiled!)

Kerry by Ideal (1970)

Kerry by Ideal (1970)

Of course if you wanted a truly weird and disturbing doll it would have been Little Miss No Name, the poor orphan doll with the glued on tear drop. Her box reads, “please take me home and wipe my tear away.” Yikes! Who thought up this one? Not only is this sad little girl  wearing a burlap bag, her eyes make her look like a zombie! Can’t imagine why I wanted her so bad.  I do, however, remember that her tear drop fell off and got lost within the first week. Guess she got her wish. 😌

Little Miss No Name by Hasbro (1965)

Little Miss No Name by Hasbro (1965)

I played with other toys too; wooden blocks, puzzles, the Easy Bake Oven, but the dolls were always my favorite. Whenever I come across one of them now, at a yard sale or antique store (those Mrs Beasleys are very collectible by the way) I get all misty eyed. I miss playing dolls with Miss Dee. I guess I’ll just have to wait for the babies in the family to grow up a bit more.  In the meantime, I can get them all Slinkys!

Tell me about your favorite toy.

FYI..This post has been added to the Leisure Link curtsey of Perspectives On. Hop over and check out the other blogs!

The Story of Doris and Charley

imageToday would have been my parents 66th wedding anniversary so it seemed fitting to tell the story of their wedding. It is actually the story of a wedding that never happened but I’m getting ahead of myself…

Doris and Charley met in 1946 at a “Welcome Home” party celebrating his brother, Jimmy’s return from WWII. Charley had been medically discharged from the service the year before because of stomach ulcers and was working as a truck driver for Schmidts Brewery. Doris had come to the party with her friend Gertie who was Charley and Jimmy’s cousin. My mom was 16 at the time. My dad was 23! The first time I heard this I said to my parents,

“You would never had let me date a 23 year old guy when I was 16!” Mom’s answer was that times were different then and she knew the family and so did her parents. Anyway, they were instantly smitten and three years later Charley bought Doris a diamond ring on the famous Jewelers’ Row in Philadelphia. They both wanted a small family wedding and set a date in October. The ceremony would be at the courthouse followed by a party with family and friends at the local VFW hall. The food would be homemade by my grandmothers, good wholesome food! Doris purchased a white suit to wear.

That was the plan, however best laid plans sometimes go awry!

The story is that even though they were very much in love, my father was a bit reluctant when it came to marriage. On the evening of September 2nd he and mom were at a local bar with a group of friends when conversation turned to the upcoming wedding. Some of my dads buddies were kidding them, saying that my dad would never go through with it. Well my father, who was the better (or worse) for beer wanted to prove them wrong and said to my mom,

“Come on Dar’! Let’s go somewhere and get married tonight!” According to my mother, he had his mind made up and wouldn’t budge. She figured if she didn’t go with him he would wake up alone and hungover in another state! She told him she would do it but only if they could find another couple to come along as witnesses. There was also the added bonus of having someone as their designated driver! Mom’s first choice was her best friend Tillie who was suppose to be the maid of honor but when they woke her and her husband up they weren’t too thrilled about taking road trip in the middle of the night. Go figure. They ended up with a cousin and her husband.

They needed to drive four hours to Virginia, the closest state that didn’t require a three day waiting period for a wedding license. Charley could get some sleep on the ride down and hopefully once he was fully sober, he would still be ready to elope!  Another cousin was enlisted to break the news to my mom’s parents so they wouldn’t worry.

So on the morning of September 3, 1949 Doris Mae married Charles William in Alexandria,Virginia-the  first town they came to across the state line. Doris wore a navy blue skirt and jacket and Charles, a slightly wrinkled grey suit. The lady clerk in the courtroom scraped up a bouquet of flowers. The next month, on the originally planned wedding date, they gathered with their family and friends for a belated reception. The rest is history!