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Ouatic-7 [userpic]
Thoughts on the 82nd Anniversary of My Mother's Birth

In some ways she was very traditional in other ways, not.

When I knew her she was a stay at home wife and mother. In college she worked third shift at the Western Union because it was usually quiet and she could do her homework So as a young married she could always get find work at the local Western Union office.

She had a semester of law school (my Dad paid for it with one craps game) but decided she didn't want to be a legal secretary.

She was one of the first wives over to Germany after the war. My Dad said my oldest brother was conceived the day she arrived. In Germany was the only time of her life she had a maid of any nature, let alone a live-in. Meanwhile, she and the other wives were having to buy staples in mess hall sizes and bartering stockings and cigarettes for other necessities.

Speaking of cigarettes, my mother gave up a 2 pack a day habit in 1943 because it was too expensive. She was always chintzy.

In the late 60s, my mother got pissed off at a mechanic and signed up for automobile mechanics at the local junior college. She just wanted to learn enough to know when she was being lied to but found she loved it. The teachers liked having her in class because it made the boys work harder; they didn't want to be bested by some middle aged female!

MD never got to spend much time with her maternal grandparents but here are 3 nuggets of grand-motherly wisdom I am passing on to her:

  1. Never buy cheap shoes.

  2. It will never be noticed on a galloping horse.

  3. People are no damned good.

Mood: nostalgicnostalgic

I can't see any pictures you put up, but your mom sounds awesome.

Try now.

Awwww...your mom reminds me of Paulette Goddard or maybe Ginger Rogers during those few times she had dark hair. She's really pretty. :-)

She had auburn hair, originally natural and then Clairol. But, yeah, she was always put together. SHe couldn't take the dog out for a walk at 5AM without putting on her lip stick first.

I loved the picture - it scanned amazingly well. She looked so happy there.

She was very wise - I have a closet full of cheap shoes and they make my arches hurt. I enjoyed the part where she went to junior college to learn auto mechanics. Your mother had real gumption. You said you don't feel as adventurous as your mom, but I think she'd be proud. You're adventurous in spirit - and sharp with the pen. Actually, for all I know you could be quite adventurous in RL as well - you are going overseas soon.

Good thing your mother was not born one day later. April fools birthdays are always given a hard time.

Oh yeah, real adventurous. I'm flying to a country where I know the language to stay for two weeks. She went by ship to a bombed out country where she didn't speak a lick of the language to live for two years.

She had good advice and looked like she was enjoying herself, both good things.

I think my folks had fun together and I agree it's good advice which is why I'm passing it on to MD.

I think there was a social rule against showing your face without makeup. My mother recalls opening the door in the early morning to assorted repairman and such and having them carefully cast their eyes down and away from her un made-up face. No lipstick=no clothes.

Your mom does look happy in the picture :) Was it taken while she was in Germany? How old was she then?

My mother went to Germany with her first husband. My two older half brothers (who were twins) were conceived and born there. From the stories she told, Germany was a bit different than it was today. She had no maid, though, nor was she able to buy a ton of stuff at once (but this was, I'm guessing, around 20 or 30 years later from when your mom was there. My mother will be 61 this year, in case you were wondering.)
The part about your mom learning mechanics amuses me, heh-heh. A woman after my own heart :)

The picture is from 1947 or '48, in France. My mother would have been 23 or 24.

It was after that, that she realized she should have been studying to be an engineer in stead of going to law school. Of course, I imagine female engineers were as thin on the ground in the 40s as female lawyers.

She sounds like a great woman. I think it's wonderful that she was encroaching on male-territory (mechanics classes, law school, etc.) like that. What a brave soul. :)

That's a great picture too. She was pretty and had a great smile. :)

Funnily, we had our teeth straightened together. I had an upper retainer and my mother had a lower. Of course, this was much later.

She sounds like a neat lady, and that's a great picture of her. She looks pretty young and carefree in that photo.

Of course, I can't speak ill of the dead or my mother and bitch about my pollywogs. (but I willo anyway) I acquit her of murdering them on purpose but I will never forgive the "It's just as well."

I second everyone on the first rule. I've bought cheap shoes and then hid them in the closet cuz they never seemed as good as when I first bought them.

And your mom sounds like she was pragmatic to a tee. That she seemed able to balance pragmatism with fun is amazing. Sounds like a person to be proud to know. And your dad sounds like a hoot too. I couldn't imagine earning enough gambling to pay for an entire semester of schooling. It boogles the mind...

He normally didn't play craps, by his report, because he thought too slowly. And he was no high roller so it really is curious.

It's also possible the story grew in the telling over the years.