Monthly Archives: September, 2012

Something Special

In my traditional household, Mom compromised in ways today’s mothers would plainly refuse.  Dad could put his foot down, as was customary in the 1950’s, and it was seen as a sign of knowing one’s limits, clear self-expression, and a man “taking the reins.”  Mom derived an element of security from these traditional roles, but the dynamics …

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Moskatels

Another place I must revisit.  What I would really like to find is Moskatels’ booklet “How to Arrange Christmas Flowers,” from the 1970’s.  Mom and Grandma frequented Moskatels when I was small.   Buckets filled with brightly colored plastic flowers extended endlessly down the aisle in front of me.  Nature’s own polymers within reach, yet the glorious …

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Mom’s Dream Car: Model A with a Rumble Seat

Ford’s Model A cars were heavily marketed towards women, as seen in this 1929 ad featuring a classy lady driver. What woman wouldn’t feel more secure and confident knowing her automobile sported a “silent, fully enclosed six-brake system.” This ad shows the rumble seat.  It was said to be “deeply upholstered” with “artificial leather.” Someday, …

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Unrest in Christmas Village

Each holiday season, several weeks before Christmas, State Farm would send home a catalogue for employees to choose a Christmas gift.  The catalogue was sectioned by years of service.  For instance, an employee of one year may choose from section one.  In that section, they may have a few fancy holiday ornaments, a nice cookie press, candle …

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Do Not Pass

There was a great little restaurant on PCH back in the late 1970’s called The Wine Cellar.  On the mountain side of the highway, nestled to the left of its small lot, it had a beach-chic feel with obligatory ’70’s low lighting.  Steve and Cher found it while they were living on Reading Ave, and frequently enjoyed the …

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Powder Puff Girls

Mom didn’t use a lot of make up, but she would powder her nose before leaving the house with Coty Airspun Face Powder.  I spent an hour today tracking down Mom’s little powder puff set, and here it is.  I only knew it by sight, so it took some detective work.  It’s a loose powder and is …

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The Theater

Grandma A always had a tough time saying the word “Hoover.”  An unmistakable Irish brogue pulled that first syllable into the air with thick reservation. “So do you remember how we go?”  Grandma questioned, even though Mom well knew how to navigate the path.  “Right at the corner onto Hoover.  It’s less than five minutes then to Florence.  That’s where the …

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Grape Soda Wins

“See that ‘T’ word?  T-o-panga?  See that off ramp?  When you see that, you know we’re almost home.  About twenty more minutes.” Driving from Westlake to Inglewood every Wednesday after school was a chore.  The dance lessons were enjoyable; those I didn’t mind.  I minded the drive.  It was hard not to squirm all over the …

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Sometimes My Name Is Eleanor

Mom and her sister Eleanor were five years apart in age.  Even as a small child, this observation troubled me.  I worried about when Mom might die.  Both of my parents seemed part of a social climate more reflective of the 1950’s than the blossoming, technicolor 1960’s.  In fact, my parents were older than most …

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Emptyness and Schlub

I awoke this morning crying.  In my dream, there was a terrible void, a marked feeling of immanent distress and turmoil.  I knew, in the dream, that Mom could “fix things.”  I looked in the car, but couldn’t find her.  Instead, in the trunk, was her empty sweater.  It was her off white, thick, winter sweater …

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