Posts tagged ‘memories’
June 9, 2016
In my last post, I took exception to an article blaming British baby boomers for their children forsaking gardening. I still stand by my point that each generation is different from every other generation, but I also note that certain interests and talents are passed along. A case in point: the pleasure I get from taking care of the garden I certainly got from my father.
When I was a young girl, my father spent his free time in the backyard planting and weeding. He grew beautiful roses and peonies, placing cucumbers among the flowers, so they would not be noticeable. He cultivated tomatoes on the far side of the detached garage, frequently checking on them, as they turned from green to red and ripe.
I recently went back to the family history my husband and I had written for my parents’ anniversary to see what we had said about my father’s favorite pursuit. My mother remembered that he “spent from early spring to late fall out in the yard blissfully gardening.” I recollected a few incidents, including one spring, long after I had left home, when he had discovered that a migrating bird had laid her eggs in one of his larger flower pots. What could he do, despite his lack of patience, but wait for the ducklings to hatch and fly the coop? My dad, a hardworking businessman, never mentioned his outdoor activities at all.
Do you spend your time in the garden? Do you have a favorite flower? What about your parents? Why not write about it? As English author P.G. Wodehouse remarked, “Flowers are happy things.” And they bring back wonderful memories.
© 2016 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved
August 3, 2015
February 18, 2015
It might have been branding, but I always thought Bette Midler was divine. I bought “It’s The Girls,” her first studio album in eight years, as soon as I learned of it. I knew almost every song on her tribute to classic girl groups, which included the Shirelles, the Shangri-Las, the Chiffons, and the Supremes. Reaching back to the thirties and forties, Midler also included hits by the Andrew Sisters and the Boswell Sisters.
When asked how she made her selection, Midler, now 69 years old, replied, “The bulk of it is the sixties because it was such happy music. You have very fond memories of the music you grow up with. In fact, really, it’s the music you know the best. It’s the time of your life where you have the most time to listen.”
Ah, to have time to listen to the music and dance. So, make time.
© 2015 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved
December 14, 2014
You can buy a Madame Alexander doll wherever fine toys are sold. Saks Fifth Avenue, for example, has a wide selection from babies to ballerinas, including Fancy Nancy and Pinkalicious Cloth Dolls. Or, you can buy a vintage Madame Alexander doll on E-Bay.
Beatrice Alexander, the founder and namesake of the doll company, began her business from her kitchen table in Brooklyn, New York in 1923. The daughter of Russian immigrants, she learned her craft by the side of her father who operated the first-of-its-kind doll hospital.
Initially the Madame Alexander Dolls were homemade from cloth, but the business soon expanded. In the 1930s, Alexander added lifelike details. With synthetics introduced in the 1940s, she began using plastic to create vinyl heads and hair that could be styled.
In the 1950s advertisements touted various models:
Madeline – fully jointed at wrist, shoulder, hip and knee for pretty posing.
Kate Smith’s Annabelle – with the pixie look.
Rosebud – soft plastic baby with voice and moving eyes.
Maggie Walker – walks where you lead her.
Dryper Baby Doll – let her drink, change her real Dryper pantie pad insert.
Alexander believed that dolls could be used to educate and created collections based on historic events, literature, music, art and film. Some of the well-known personages on whom she based her designs include Jacqueline Kennedy, Coco Chanel, the Dionne Quintuplets, and Queen Elizabeth and her daughters (at the royal family’s request). A Scarlett O’Hara doll is housed at the Smithsonian.
My mother received a Madame Alexander doll on her eighth or ninth birthday. It was the height of the depression, so my mother wonders how her parents had the money for such a wonderful gift. She still exclaims, “Oh, such a beautiful doll.”
As a personal historian I believe a favorite plaything can fill a sleigh with happy memories. What are some of yours?
© 2014 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved
October 15, 2014
No one is in the kitchen, not even Dinah. Nor is anyone making dinner, not even “simple, easy, everyday meals,” per chef Mark Bittman in the October 20 issue of Time.
That’s a shame for a lot of reasons.
As Bittman points out, it’s so much healthier to eat at home. A home-cooked meal, compared to the same served in a restaurant, has two hundred fewer calories. It’s less expensive, too.
Sure, eating out is convenient. That’s why fast-food restaurants are so popular. But, when was the last time you had a real conversation at MacDonald’s or Burger King or even Chipotle? Do you even remember your last meal in an In-N-Out? Who were you with? What did you talk about? Did you try something new?
Currently, Del Webb, the retirement community developer, is running a slice-of-life commercial narrated by a young-looking senior citizen who proudly claims, “I never cooked Thai food in my life, and now I’m cooking it for twenty people.” Well, I used to laugh at the ad, thinking the spokesman had nerve treating his guests no better than guinea pigs. Now, I think, why not.
Why not step out of your comfort zone? Why not learn a new skill and make new friends? As a personal historian, I’m all for creating memories, as well as recording the past.
By the way, those of you who didn’t catch my reference to “Dinah in the kitchen” probably never had the pleasure of singing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” around a campfire. You can make up for lost time by listening to Muffin cartoon characters here. I’m sure any resemblance to “Hell on Wheels” is purely coincidental.
© 2014 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved