Category Archives: 70’s fashion

The Opening Act: Oscar’s Red Carpet

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The first thing I would like to say about the Red

Carpet is that this summary was broken into three

parts, so there may be more ‘palatable’ chunks and

easier to read. This part is about style, charisma

and other details noted during pre-Oscar interviews.

Mainly, my comments are reflecting my own personal

thoughts, although I may mention something that

was a fact or opinion of someone else, also.

When I had gathered up my snacks and iced coffee

in preparation for what I knew would be a long

night, I was very excited to sit down to watch

the 86th Academy Awards Show. I turned on to watch

the preliminary Red Carpet event.

The first person I saw was the handsome, quirky

(remember he liked to play his bongos in the nude?)

and very honest Matthew McConaughey. I always felt he

had ‘deserved an Oscar,’ for his early career, lawyer

character he played in “A Time to Kill.” This was an

outstanding movie version of John Grisham’s book of

the same name.

Here Matthew’s character was in the South, trying

to defend a man who was accused of killing two men

who had raped and killed his 10 year old daughter.

Race comes into play, as the man Samuel L. Jackson’s

portraying is black, while the men who raped and

discarded the child are white. Sandra Bullock portrays

the lawyer’s wife. There are fascinating characters

including ones portrayed by Donald Sutherland and

Kevin Spacey portray. It is an intense drama, made

in 1996, Matthew was able to ‘sink his acting chops’

into this role and did a fine job, too!

Matthew McConaughey has never been nominated for an

Oscar, which is shocking in itself. That movie was

like a variation of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” for

which I am pretty sure won Gregory Peck an Academy

Award!

Matthew had his beautiful wife and mother of his

three children, Camilla, on one arm and his now

famous mother, who has accompanied him to prior

award shows, on the other arm.

Naomi Watts looked outstanding in a glittering white

dress which had cap sleeves. She wore accents of a

silver necklace and held a black and white small

clutch, it sported a zigzag pattern on it.

I really loved Kerry Washington’s lavender dress,

which was made of satin, off her shoulder and

not trying to cover her pregnancy. She is on a

television show that I don’t watch, “Scandals.”

Viola Davis looked very fashionable in a green,

almost aquamarine, colored dress, while showing her

natural ‘down to earth’ beauty. Her husband, of

over ten years, accompanied Viola. When she was

asked, “Who is your date tonight?” by interviewer,

Lara (rhymes with Sarah) Spencer, I thought to

myself,

“You didn’t do your homework!”

There will be an even more major ‘faux pas’ by this

Ms. Spencer, in my mind, later…

I like the relationship Jason Sudeikis has with his

wife, Olivia Wilde, who looked lovely in black.

Jason is a comedian, with his roots in Saturday

Night Live, branching out into many comedy roles.

(In such comedies as “We Are the Millers,” “Hall

Pass,” and “Horrible Bosses,” mainly R rated and

not ones to watch for plot or character growth,

but funny!) While his wife, Olivia, has played

conniving, yet beautiful and intriguing characters.

They were smiling and it seemed there were a few

private jokes in their glances at each other. She

is expecting and the black silky dress showed her

‘baby bump.’

Cate Blanchett, in a gorgeous Armani dress which

was sheer with a vine pattern of golden sequins,

just shimmered! Her hair style resembled the 50’s

like the way famous actress, Lauren Bacall, wore

her hair about shoulder length, curled under and one

side pulled back.

I would say Cate looked ‘bejeweled’ and ‘enchanting.’

Sandra Bullock wore a fabulous dress of a deep blue

with purple tones, it was designed by Alexander

McQueen, for her. I liked that interviewer Robin

Roberts, a more serious newscaster, asked her about

Sandra’s role in the movie, “Gravity.”

The way Ms. Roberts asked, it helped draw Sandra out.

She gave a revealing expression of her feelings while

in her role as an astronaut, floating in space and

dangerously disconnected from the spacecraft, left

her a “changed woman.”

She further told Robin that she is quite emotional

about her experience “and hasn’t quite sorted all

of it out yet.”

This is the kind of candid remarks I like to have

the interviewers, in their brief moments, make their

time worthwhile. By asking a serious and thoughtful

question, this makes the Red Carpet a great feature.

Jennifer Lawrence has been sporting a nice, short

young-looking hair style this whole season of awards.

Her portrayal in “American Hustle” was a whole

different look, matching the seventies movie. Her

short blonde hair and red satin dress, made her look

like a classic beauty. I did not mind her flat waist

with red ruffles on the side continuing onto her

back. The dress flattered her, emphasizing her curves.

Now, here goes the problem with Lara Spencer, when

Sidney Poitier approached her, being told to head

that way, (off camera) she recognizes him, or maybe

there are big cards with his name, hidden from our

view? But really, who doesn’t know how to pronounce

his last name? She mangled it, not sure if anyone

else will notice, but he did! He did not seem too

pleased, very quiet and not answering her questions

too frankly, either. He deserved respect. Surely she

knew who he was, 87 years old, presenting later, during

the Oscars’ show. On the Red Carpet, this is something

that really bothered me about this woman and other

interviewers in the past. I would have loved a chance

to ask.

“Mr. Poitier, which was your favorite role?”

I liked him in many movies and he played different

kinds of men. Educated, in “To Sir With Love” and a

handyman stranded amongst nuns in “Lilies of the Field.”

He won an Academy Award in 1963, for this role, as the

first male black actor, winning “Best Actor.”

(I did a post about this movie, actor, director and

diplomat.)

Then proving himself a major star, drawing large

audiences to the box office, Poitier played a great

police detective, in “The Heat of the Night,”

followed by two other sequels, “They Call Me MISTER

Tibbs” and “The Organization.”

Jonah Hill, nominated for his role in “Wolf on Wall

Street” has ventured into dramatic roles, growing from

his comic roots. He looked like he is trimmer, nicely

dressed in a tuxedo, having brought his mother as his

‘date.’ His first Oscar was for an interesting movie,

I had not expected to like him, in “Moneyball.”

Chiwetel Ejiofor was the only man in my forecasts and

posts for the Academy Awards, 2014. I predicted he

would win “Best Actor,” for his role in the intense

movie, “12 Years a Slave.” He has acted for years,

contributed to a lot of fantastic movies, an edgy

character role of a transvestite, included.

Ejiofor comes across, in interviews and on the Red

Carpet, as a very dignified and articulate man. The

interviewer labeled him, “Dapper,” and I agreed.

Lupita Nyong’O looked very beautiful in her light

blue, airy like the lightest turquoise colored

sky dress with a low cut v-neckline. She was very

attractive, beaming and spinning for the cameras.

She portrays a young slave woman in “12 Years a

Slave.”

I have yet to find an “ugly” dress or someone who

didn’t look ravishing or handsome. I do wish to say

that Julia Roberts’s black dress was very pretty,

but upon closer look I found the ruffle around her

waist made her look ‘thicker’

than her sleek body usually looks. I remember this

style, had a jacket that had the ruffle, my mother

had pointed it out as ‘not very flattering.’ I hate

to say much about Julia because her hair, makeup and

jewelry were ‘just right.’ She looked glamorous,

except for the odd weave to the black lace on her

bodice and ruffled waistline.

Julia looks great in what is called a “mermaid style”

dress.

We will hear during the different follow up shows on

“E!” channel, “Entertainment Tonight” and the “Billy

Bush” show, who the ‘worst dressed’ were…

soon enough!

Another unattractive look was that Bill Murray had

no makeup or cover up over his age spots. I thought

his whole appearance looked like a disheveled, absent-

minded professor. He is a very humble man, when asked

by an interviewer what makes you laugh? Murray said,

“The two sportscasters on ESPN, my kids and good

humor in comedies.” (Paraphrased, I started to

not get things down as quickly at this point!)

The last glamorous couple who look like they fit

together and show an easy going relationship,

were Will and wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. She looked

effervescent in pink. Her Versace dress had a

stylish twisted halter top with another twist of

fabric on one side of her waist. It suited her

well. Will Smith’s tuxedo looked very handsome

with a black vest and tie.

Later, during the Oscars, there was some concern

about Kim Novak’s plastic surgery and her outward

appearance. She seemed distracted or flighty, but

she may have been nervous. It has been a long time

since she was the beautiful actress in “Vertigo.”

After all, that was 1958 and she is now 81 years old!

On to the Main Event…

Please join me in the next post!

“Let’s Start at the Very Beginning”… of Seasonal Cards

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I love the first six words of this title, does anyone know why? It refers

to a famous song that has recently been remade by Carrie Underwood… I

will tell you the answer at the end of this post!

When Henry Cole, a London businessman decided to create the first Christmas

card, he is given credit for this undertaking in 1843. He originated this

card idea to his fellow business connections. Then, three years later,

it became a tradition or custom having spread itself around in big circles.

During English postal reform, 1846, this cost only one penny to send a

Christmas card to someone.

The very first card was commissioned by Henry Cole to the designer/artist,

John Calcott Horsley, of the Royal Academy of Arts (Fine Arts). There were

three panels on this first select card, two panels that held two of the

oldest Christmas traditions. These are also British in origin, “Feeding

the Hungry” and “Clothing the Needy.” In the middle of this tri-fold

card were the simple words, “A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to You.”

This message is still one of the most popular ones, on Christmas cards, of

all time. The Hallmark Historical Collection of Cards has only two copies

of the “First Christmas Card,” along with over 100,000 printed artifacts

from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

When researching this lovely subject, which gives me special memories of

different styles, I learned that the cards do reflect the current times.

During the Depression years, there were American flags and wishes or

hopes for “better times.” During the War Periods, the words “Across the

Miles” and “Missing You,” became quite popular.

During the more modern “Cold War times” there was an increase of sharpened

wit and a wider demand for more humorous Christmas cards.

Throughout all years, the most popular Christmas card of all time would

be one with angels or the Nativity scene. The Baby Jesus in a Manger is

a sight that means so much to the Christians that are celebrating the

birthday of the Son of God.

During the 1960’s and 1970’s the designs reflected the times again, with

Flower Children, Peace Symbols and the First Manned Moon Landing. The

creative artists worked the Christmas message into the designs. I seem

to remember during this period of time, my parents ordering their

Christmas cards from UNICEF. One particular card’s design had the Peace

dove with its olive branch and the words, “Peace on Earth” on the outside

and the enclosed message being: “Goodwill to Men. Happy New Year.”

In the early 1980’s, a surge for a new sports-oriented society drove the

card designers or artists to depict Santa in a jogging suit with running

shoes on. This was our “fitness craze” beginning! I remember the cards

that my parents received including a relaxed Santa and a reindeer on the

beach in an old-fashioned red longjohn looking bathing suit. Maybe my

memory is playing tricks on that one! Ha Ha! There have been cards with

such product placement as Coca Cola or Budweiser beers, maybe some

other countries had ales or liquor, as in a toast given to celebrate

the upcoming New Year. Of course, there are the popular children’s

cartoon characters and current animated movies that make it on the

annual Christmas cards being sent out.

There have also, throughout the television era, (which it is still

going on, right?) “spoofs” on the T.V. shows and commercials were

worked into the Christmas card department! With new innovations, and

different accessibilities being included, there are certainly Braille

Christmas and other holiday cards to be purchased. I know the man down

the hallway, David, told me he cherishes “hearing” from his blind friends

he made in the Columbus School for the Blind. He also appreciates his

family members who order these special cards. He has an orange cat who

likes to try to sneak into my apartment that I told David he reminds

me of Garfield! I asked him if he had any residual eyesight when he

was younger, he answered he loved Garfield in the Sunday comics

when he was in elementary school. He is “nearly blind” he says but

is able to tap his way around the apartment building using his cane

and has a woman who comes in to help him once a week, doing his

laundry and she (Linda) put up a Christmas tree for him. I peeked

in and told him when he gets a Braille card to please bring it

down, since I had struggled with that course while in the Master’s

program at OSU. (I have an A average but received a “C-” in this

course, due to not being able to go beyond Elementary level in

my typing Braille. That heavy typewriter and taking the tests

in Braille, was almost the “death of me!”

The various holidays celebrated around the world have been shown in our

Christmas cards. My cousin, Heather, married a Jewish man in the 90’s,

so from that point on, we sent both a Christian card and a Jewish one

celebrating Hanukkah. My parents also had friends, the Lezbergs, from

when I was in third grade through their retirement, who received the

general box of holiday card, that was before the Jewish individual

cards were bought for Jerry, Heather’s husband and then, one sent

to Dad’s good NASA friend, Herb, and his family. I am not sure if

there is a timeline for when Kwanzaa cards came into being, I did

not see this in the articles I read. I am sure there is a historical

reference somewhere for this!

I wonder, as some of my friends have recently discussed this subject,

will technology take away the fun and custom of sending Christmas

cards? I know you can send e-cards and email family newsletters.

There are also, “walls” on Facebook, where you can post a general

“Happy Holidays” or “Enjoy the Festivities!”

But, I hope and truly believe there will be some of us that will

still buy the boxes of Christmas cards, sit down and address them,

write a personal message, possibly write a family newsletter,

copy this off to send in numbers or like I do, write each family

a personal note on Christmas decorated stationery. Which I enclose

in each of the cards I send off with Christmas stamps and little

seasonal stickers sealing them closed. Do you know why it is worth

the effort? To me it is so special and I get teary-eyed to see

the letters and cards coming to me. I feel like I am having a

“visit” with them, different from the phone calls and the

hurried notes that sometimes get written on birthday and

Easter cards.

There is something “magical” about Christmas

cards, or is it my age?

What do you think about this age-old tradition? Is it

going “by the wayside?”

I will make one more appeal or declaration Why it should

not be discontinued, this holiday tradition has managed

to “weather the storms” of wars, economic hard times, and

social changes, including more cultural beliefs and

embracing the changes.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, those six words start the

song, “Do Re Mi” from “The Sound of Music!” I feel that

Carrie Underwood did a sweet, innocent portrayal of a

nun who falls for Captain Von Trapp. She sang every bit

as well as Julie Andrews and I know this is almost

“blasphemous,” but I enjoyed it better than any other

portrayal of Maria. This is also, a true story, which I

read while in elementary school and my Grandmother Mattson,

who came to America from Germany, encouraged me to read.

It is okay if you are on a totally opposite side from my

way of thinking or have a different take on this custom of

exchanging cards… Really, it is!

Let me know!

Hugs to All and no stamp needed!

Typing Class troublemakers

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The class sounds so archaic: “Typing 101.” In our classroom,

my high school friends and I had a blast there! I am talking

about some girls and guys who usually stayed out of trouble and

got excellent grades.

We were the ‘brown nosers’ and the ‘goody two shoes’ most of

our high school career. In this class we were sometimes called

to the front of the class, got low C grades and could barely

concentrate on our assignments!

What made us go a little crazy in typing class? We were assigned

some letter writing tasks that made us decide to not only be a little

creative but a little ‘dirty,’ too. We were writing to each other and

when we would have to hand them in, our typing teacher would

roll her eyes and seem to get exasperated! (Too bad, it is too late

to ask her; “Did we entertain you?” Hope so!)

This is what we wrote about: movies and specifically, our place in

famous peoples’ lives! Each of the young girls in our tight knit group

had chosen a famous person to be married to. So, Becky was Mrs.

Redford, I was Mrs. Newman, Diane was Mrs. Hoffman, etc. We also

included a couple of guys who were happy to be married to Farrah

Fawcett and Cheryl Tiegs.

What on earth was the reason? Because we thought it would make our

letter writing tasks more unique and interesting. So, I could write that

I went to a fantastic movie premiere, checked in with the babysitter on

our car phone and then went to an “after party.” Or I could mention to

my dear friend, Becky, that I needed to borrow that cute red bandana

top to go sit in the grandstands to watch my husband, Paul, race his

car towards the finish line! It made the tasks bearable and fun!

I forget who was married to Steve McQueen but you can bet she wrote

about the amazing stunts he did himself in “Bullitt” or in “Le Mans.”

I also forget all the wandering adventures that Mrs. Warren Beatty

engaged in, but she was every bit as racy and naughty as her husband!

Each of us pushed the indecency a little to include sexual encounters,

swinging experiences and dangerous situations. All while trying to

stay connected as friends and learning about our own sexual desires.

 

Did you ever engage in such escapism or fantasies while in high school?

Do you want to or dare to comment?

Compromises move us along

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Have you noticed I have been silent awhile about dates? I have been talking

to someone who started calling me in February… from my recent past! I am

interested in him more now than the first time I met him. He was on the

“back burner” of my brain but once we started chatting, I started thinking

about him more.

Let’s just say I goofed up a bit when I met him. I was divorced but not ready

for anyone “steady.” I also had made a list that included all the characteristics

that I thought I should find in my lifetime (for the rest of my life) partner. When

I was out with this man, Roger, I was telling him some of the ‘lofty aspirations’

I would like to have happen in my dating and love life. It included going to the

symphony, (he said, “yuck!”), going to sit on a blanket in Schiller Park to watch

live dramas by such authors as Shakespeare, (“not my cup of tea,” he said) and

going to my best friends’ house as a couple and watching OSU, Nascar or another

sport on a large screen t.v. on their deck (“I hate college football and don’t really

care for Nascar! he declared).  Needless to say, I did not continue on with my list

of my “dream guy’s” interests.

We tapered off from dating into friendship. We drifted for awhile, with intermittent

phone calls, but I was getting a lot of attention from what I considered “much better

potential partner material” from match.com dates.

Roger is a great name:

Roger Miller was one of my Dad’s favorite casual listening singer, “Trailer for Sale or

Rent.”

Roger Daltry is a member of one of my old favorite bands and did well in his solo singing

career.

Roger begins with “R” and my brothers and parents all have “r’s” in front of our names.

Roger Moore (in my humble opinion) was a hunk and I liked his light hearted version of

James Bond.

This time, when Roger called, I was much more humble and yes, a little weary of the

dating scene as it had been pretty much discouraging! I was thinking that his voice sounded

more upbeat and his tone pleasant, and I felt like saying “I miss you.” What a corny thought!

I started by saying in February that I was glad to hear from him, that I was looking more

for someone to spend outdoorsy things and going for a walk in the winter would be fun

sometime.

Well, he right away said, (can you believe this?!) “I missed you.”

I actually said, “What?”

He repeated those words and added, “Do you know how many women play games out

there?”

I answered, “Probably as many as the men who play games and actually two-time their

dates!”

We enjoyed complaining and then, when that was over, he said going for a walk could

continue this conversation and we met. We went off and on to parks on nice weekend

afternoons, while I still had a few dates interspersed with the few remaining guy friends

that put up with that.

I told him that I had always liked to fish, my Dad had taught us up on Lake Erie and had

also learned to boat, as I was one of the first “girls” to join the Explorers’ Boy Scout Troop.

I also filled him in on other personal interests while he told me some of his. We shared an

an interest in animals. Roger likes cats mostly while birds are some of my particular

favorites. Not just due to my namesake the robin but because of my cardinal story, too.

He liked my cardinal story, (check out that post, if you wish…)

Soon we were talking about grandchildren. I felt that he had never been close to them, from

our earlier conversations.

Roger admitted, “That is true. I am ashamed of that.”

I was a little relieved but said, “Do you think I am too blunt?”

He answered with a big smile, “I would not recognize you if you didn’t tell me what you thought.

After all, I have heard about why you are the way you are, scientist and teacher parents mean

that “facts are important.”

Wow! I was lifted up by that. I almost believed I could start being more of myself with him. We

seemed to have passed a test or a hurdle.

After March through half of April passed by. There were a lot of phone calls and casual dates

like playing cards at the local coffee shop. We found out we like a few of the same comedies and

Roger would come over once in awhile to watch a t.v. show with my youngest daughter in our

little apartment which we like to call our “dorm.”

I have to tell you that one of his visits the first time we dated, he accidentally put his foot in his

mouth. I smile because my brother while I was in high school used to say, “When Robin opens

her mouth, it is to change feet!”

Well, Roger had said, “Your place is kind of cluttered!”

Needless to say, some people let these things roll off their shoulders. I am one who will try to

figure out why someone said that and maybe get a little defensive. We did not do well the first

time around on so many levels. Sometimes, I had thought we were polar opposites. I may have

purposely pushed him away, but now he was back!

We also had a difference about going out to eat. Apparently his last girlfriend had thought it

was too expensive and maybe not hygienic enough. I love to go out to eat! (Almost as much as I

love my kids and grandkids! Just kidding!)

All those years of doing child care, then the last few years of my marriage where we were

struggling on my two jobs and he was getting unemployment; I had vowed to have a man

who would take me out to eat!

Also, I am one who will throw a $10 or $20 on the armrest in the car, (never in public in the

restaurant to embarrass a guy, but I would offer to help out, just to get to go out to eat!) After all,

I had two brothers who thought equality meant sharing money and not women getting all the

meals for free!

This time, Roger brought it up while we were at his apartment, he was cooking pork chops, with

onions, garlic and soy sauce for the entree. He had bok choy in a pot boiling and two baked

potatoes in the microwave. I think MY not having to cook was the thing I wished for! Not

necessarily going OUT to eat! Anyway, Roger said, “I like to cook Sunday dinners at my apartment

for friends or if I have a girlfriend. I don’t mind going out once in awhile to eat, though.”

Breakthrough on that subject led to many others, too numerous to count.

I would like to mention a romantic (semi) current song that is named, “She will be Loved.” In it,

the man says “Compromise moves us along.” It also has a line, Its not all just butterflies and

rainbows.” (Maroon 5 sings this.)

I feel that the compromises have brought us closer, so that this summer along with sharing fun

times with my guy friends, Bill, Gary and Steve, I may have a few extra dates with Roger.

Do you know what? I told him when I lost the house this past divorce, that I lost a nice 3 speed

bicycle. Roger listened and bought me a beautiful Hawaiian red and white printed Schwinn

7 speed Cruiser bicycle (it is named Admiral) with a nice comfortable seat, a clip on the back

if I go to the library I can put a book or DVD on it, and easy to reach handlebars.  He also a

month ago saw an antique silver spoon ring in a thrift store and I said that I used to have a

spoon ring and bracelet back in the 70’s. When I wandered off in the store to look for a jacket

he bought it.

These are the silly words that make me smile, “Will you go steady, Robin?”

If anyone thinks this man sounds like someone else: Roger has a bunch of many men packed

inside of him, some that I actually like!”

An Elegant British Tea

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I was invited two weeks ago to attend a special tea today. I emailed

and RSVP’d. including these words: “I would thoroughly enjoy

getting dressed up, being served an elegant British tea with the

delightful light accompaniments.” My friend, Jenny, and I went

to the beautiful country farmhouse of a woman named Sylvia and I

will tell you about the diverse women who attended.

First I would like to describe Sylvia’s table: it had a white brocaded

cloth table cloth, white napkins with white embroidered roses, she

had two bouquets placed in small delicately painted vases. She had

little plates for our food, individually designed tea cups and saucers

along with a raised crystal cake plate in the center of the table, with a

dark brown bundt cake.

I met a woman named Dagmar, who really looked like an older

version of Lauren Bacall!  A lovely woman who was born and raised

in Germany. When we had finished our introductions and  a few

questions were asked of each person, I was allowed to suggest

the subject matter at one point while my friend was serving the

ginger tea. I suggested of the elderly guests to share their personal

love stories if they wished to.

Dagmar met her husband Robert in Spain on a vacation while she

was 28 years old. She was staying along the Mediterranean and had

spent the day in Mallorca. She had asked her girlfriend who often

visited the towns on her ‘holidays’ along the coast, if she knew of

anyone who was teaching Spanish lessons. Dagmar got the detailed

directions and had a taxi drop her off at the location of a small villa.

This had a vineyard and flower gardens with a market that sold some

local wares and food items. She was slowly walking around the tables

and perusing the beautiful tapestries, hand woven rugs and the different

fruit preserves and jarred olives. She considered the bottles of wine made

from the grapes of this particular vineyard when a handsome, smiling

man approached her.

Dagmar is a very forward older woman presently, but she assured us she

was quite taken aback by the appearance of the man and when he asked

her,

“Can I help you?”

She almost forgot to ask him if there was someone who would teach

her Spanish locally? When she blurted the words out, he chuckled.

“I am the local school teacher of the younger grades, I am known

for helping visitors or sight seers in many ways. Are you on holiday?”

Dagmar said that was the beginning of a cross continental love

affair that ended by Robert sending for her from Germany to come to

the United States to get married in a huge Catholic wedding.

Dagmar and Robert have made it past their 40th anniversary.

“We are on our way to our 50th anniversary!”

The next woman to speak about love, was a soft spoken woman with

long gray hair, pink framed glasses and a striped turtleneck sweater

with black pants on. Her name was Pauline and she was British! It

was so wonderful to hear her voice and her way she put words together.

She met her husband while she was ‘on holiday’ in the Spring, 1970.

(I was fifteen years old at that time, I thought. While she had been 35.)

Her group of coworkers at a large international company had come to

Canada for a teamwork activity and yet, they also were on break from work.

On the way home I mentioned to my friend that it would be so neat if all

companies sent employees across the ocean to become a close knit and more

cohesive group.

Pauline met Ted while looking at the Niagara Falls from the bottom of it, on

the Maid of the Mist tour. Her big, wet yellow “tarp” made her feel dumpy and

she could not imagine why this man kept talking to her, “chatting her up.”

She asked him if he were Canadian, as she could not recognize his accent.

He answered he was ‘from Ohio in the U.S. of A.’

Pauline and Ted became good friends and enjoyed a few meals and only

one night out alone together while she was in Canada for the week.

He had to leave at around the same time she did, so they exchanged home

addresses and phone numbers. She said she liked his looser kind of style

while she was a ‘button up kind of girl.’ She felt that although he was probably

humoring her more than she was, she felt a strong attraction for him!

We had passed the ginger cake, chicken salad finger sandwiches, sugared

gingerbread, relish tray, purple grapes and cream rolls. Jenny had poured

more ginger tea, while we passed a cute honey container around along with

the sugar bowl. One of the women commented next time she would bring a

hand crocheted ‘tea cozy.’

We were ready to hear more now that we had our mouths full of deliciousness.

We looked at Pauline to finish her love story.

“When a year had gone by, while we had written such long and revealing

letters, we felt we needed to see each other again. We had not seen each other

due to tight finances. Finally, we decided to meet at my annual team building

conference in Canada. He would get a room in our hotel. We traveled more

together, feeling much closer,” Pauline told us. “We ventured to Toronto.”

“We enjoyed the bay and the tall buildings. We ended up getting another room

up there, my missing a couple of work meetings. I didn’t care!”

On the second to last evening, they went to a French restaurant that is well

known by the local citizens. Pauline wore a beautiful satin dress in light blue to

match her eyes.

“Ted wore a nicely pressed suit, white and dark blue striped shirt with a light

blue tie. It was totally out of character!”

“When we left the restaurant, I had my eyes cast down, did not look at

Ted’s face at all,” Pauline sighed.

Ted looked alarmed and asked, “What’s the matter, sweetheart?”

Pauline told u,s what we figured out, that she was disappointed he had not

proposed in the beautiful setting of the French restaurant.

She kept walking and holding his hand without letting him know by her

words but her actions spoke loudly, she felt.

At the end of a block, where they stopped to gaze at an engraved, etched

and carved depiction of an old Toronto settler in a canoe with his paddle in

a swirling body of water and the background of tall pine trees, Ted turned

Pauline towards him, put his finger under her chin and said,

“Did you really think I would let you go away from me this time?”

We all six women got smiles, I got a goosebumped feeling up my arms!

Pauline and her husband have lived in Ohio for thirty years, going back

to Canada on anniversaries, taking their children camping during their

growing up years and twice Pauline and Ted have been back to her “home”

in England.

Jenny, Sylvia and I did not choose to tell our stories so we asked Marnie,

the oldest guest there to tell hers as the ‘piece de resistance!’

Marnie grew up in Forest, Ohio and had a simple beginning to her life. It

was a sad story of how her siblings stuck together over time. She said her

youngest brother was the seventh born of her mother, that she died in

childbirth! The Springfield Children’s Home ended up taking them all

there after her father tried various family members, finding out relatives

were not always to be counted on.

Marnie did not shed a tear nor sound depressed, she said they all were

able to stay in the same room until her brothers and sisters got older

and even then, ate all of their meals together.

“In those hard times, my father worked two jobs and kept his eyes peeled

for a good woman.” Her father also came to visit the children at least

once a week.

The time came that she was old enough to graduate and move out of the

home. She had made a good friend, Thomas, while in school and had

discussed many times with him her troubles. Marnie sometimes felt that

Thomas was, “the one.”

She just didn’t know how she could bear not having the littlest ones come

and live with her.

Thomas came to her one afternoon at the place Marnie was working.

It was a nice homey restaurant. The owners were generous and helped her

by giving her any leftovers they knew would not be able to sell. She took these

home to her little apartment and sometimes would pack them up to go and

visit her siblings the next day off.

Thomas got a table and ordered his meal and had a conversation with the

wife of the owner. He was looking intense, Marnie noticed and worried that

he might do something foolish, like join the army! He had talked about all

the opportunities they could have if he made more money and education. He

could be trained and they could pay for his schooling and she could stay back

here with her brothers and sisters, tending them best as she could.

The meal he ordered was liver and onions, Marnie told us. He was half way

through it when the owner’s wife told Marnie to pick up another order to

go to his table. She went to the window and saw a piece of cake with a pretty

pink frosted rose on it. She carried it to his table with some puzzlement but

smiled at this kind, big teddy bear of a man.

The only formal proposal of this British tea came next!

Thomas got on one knee and said, “Marnie, will you marry me?”

Marnie, seeing him in a different light, answered with an enthusiastic, “Yes!”

Thomas told her his grandfather had left him a “fortune” and it was sitting in

a bank until this day, his twenty-first birthday!

She had never known this good friend, Thomas’ birthday, even!

And, then, he added something: “Look under the frosted rose, Marnie!”

There was a beautiful half carat diamond ring, she exclaimed to us.

Still amazed, still in love and their story was like saving the “best for last.”

Vanessa Williams has a song with a friend who tells her all he thinks of

women he dates and how he doesn’t see that she is the one he belongs with

until the end of the song. That song crossed my mind just as she finished

her love story.

“I used to make big bowls of bread batter and then bake 2-3 loaves of bread

a day! I also started to invite people to come to my home for a meal and telling

them they could donate a little money for my brothers and sisters. I did not

know shame, nor did I count on Thomas’ money. We kept that for even leaner

times, and still have much left to enjoy our senior years with!”

Marnie also had many people travel to her home to be served high British tea,

with home grown spices, garden bouquets of wild roses with other colors of

blue, lavender, and yellow to brightly decorate her table. She collected antique

bisque china and combined it all to make a picturesque tea “house.”

When Jenny and I got up to leave, the elderly friends who had shared their stories

and the delightful repasts all said, “Thank you!” to us for joining them.

The members of the Stratford Ecological Center board and the Herb Society ladies

were grateful to have our younger ears to hear their stories and see our happy

responses. There are much more stories to tell, I can guarantee, in those strong

and intelligent women’s lives!

Kim and Sunny from India

Standard

I almost entitled this the post about a great and fun man named

Kim who sent off a request for a “Mail Order Bride from India!”

My ex-husband while in college, worked with a wonderful staff

of cooks, servers and a lively manager at a Frisch’s in Bowling

Green, Ohio.

My boyfriend at the time was very friendly and open minded to

all kinds of people and always inviting anyone who didn’t have

plans to join him with his floor mates for a Friday or Saturday

evening party. In fact that is how I met him, I was asked,

“Do you like to party?”

At the time I was innocent and unaware of the significance of

those particular words strung together. (For those not growing up

in the seventies, that meant: “Do you like to smoke pot?”)

So, on one Saturday evening that I was in the boys’ dorm, Rodger’s

Hall, doing my boyfriend’s and his roommate’s laundry, his head

stuck into the hot and airless room with a big smile on his face.

He said, “Are you almost done?”

I replied, “Things are in the dryer, so not too many minutes more!

How was work tonight?”

He answered, “Fun, as always, and guess what? Kim has his new

girlfriend from India! She will feel so much more comfortable when

you get done with the clothes and get up to the floor. Hurry up!”

He came in and leaned in for a kiss and added, “Thanks for doing this,

honey!”

When I got upstairs, lugging the clothes up the elevator and dragging

the basket down the hall. Until I ran into my high school friend, Jimmy,

who picked the basket up and easily got it back to the room. I chatted with

him about math homework as he was tutoring me. If he ever sees this, I

will admit he would have been the BEST boyfriend or future husband! He

was always a very good listener and friend.

Anyway, when I walked in I noticed right away the music was a low key

Pink Floyd song, (not the raucous noise of Alice Cooper or the Stones!)

and there on the one bed that was not made into a bunkbed sat a pretty

girl who stood out in her nice long skirt that resembled batik art work.

Kim, who really was a “party-er” (please check back what that means if

you have lost track of this point!) was sitting with his arm around the

girl and stood up to introduce the young lady as “Sunny.” The other

change in the atmosphere this evening was the lack of dense pot fog

that emanated usually out of all the rooms on the floor.

Side note and sad news:  Rodger’s Hall got taken down in 2012 on

BGSU campus.

I was very happy to meet her and had hopes of going places together.

I mentioned that we all should go up to Toledo or Maumee and have

dinner together soon.

We started talking and both Kim and my ex did not have to work the

next day. We all agreed to get together at around 1 p.m. to walk around

a mall and then eat afterwards on Sunday.

When we got up at noon the next day, I hurried back to my dorm (Kreisher

Quadrangle, my sophomore year would have been Ashley part and my

freshman year would have been Batchelder section.) I got my nicest long

skirt out which was in a paisley pattern with rust, dark blue and cream

lace at the bottom and I wore a nice lacy top with it.

When I got back to Rodger’s, the still awkward and unfamiliar couple was

waiting for the elevator up. I rode up with them chatting about some of the

sights that might have been of interest and asked Kim if Sunny had seen the

downtown yet. Kim mentioned Sam B’s and the Elder Beerman’s store that

they had shopped for a few items of clothing for Sunny. He also spoke for

her about the living arrangements. Sunny was staying at his aunt’s house

that was in Bowling Green in a trailer park. She was the designated woman

who would be their chaperone at nights, supposedly. Of course, his aunt was

not there the previous night but I could vouch for the time they were there,

“No hanky panky was carried out in my presence!”

While we drove up north to the mall, the men rode in the front seat and we

sat in the back. I asked Sunny how long she had been there, what she thought

of Ohio and if she had been anywhere else in the United States yet?

Sunny was very soft spoken and answered in halting English. She understood

me well and yet, was a little unfamiliar with the language so it was not flowing

out of her mouth yet. Occasionally I noticed that gregarious Kim was answering

for her.

When we got out of the car, the men took off walking briskly and I almost wanted

to shout, “Slow down!”

But that would not look too smooth nor did I want to appear too bossy.

Once the men got to the doors of the mall, they did slow down and held the door open

for us to enter. Inside, again the men walked in front of us. I was kind of used to this

when out with other couples, our friends, Rich and Laurie C. were always separating

into the men and women. I liked to walk slower to window shop.

I asked Sunny if she had anything she was looking for. Maybe an item she had still not

found in the local B.G. shops?

She could not think of anything. When I passed a “Sale” sign in a popular clothing store

for younger people, I raised my voice and called out to tell my ex, that I was going into the

shop to look for a pair of jeans. I have to also mention to younger readers, in my high school

days we (girls) were not allowed to wear pants except on Fridays for pep rallies. Once I got

to B.G. the two purchases I made on the first weekend after my parents left me there, were

a two piece bathing suit (my Mom forbade me to wear anything but a ‘baby doll’ suit or a

one piece) and a pair of jeans! I was still working on adding jeans to my wardrobe at this

point in time.

Sunny told me nicely, after I shared this information about my past and current wardrobe

changes, that she did not own a pair of any type of pants! Not even dress pants! Nor did she

have a bathing suit or a pair of shorts or ‘pedal pushers.’ (A lot like capris now look.)

I was not too shocked since I was not too far “ahead” of her in my fashion awareness but I

insisted that she had to come into the dressing room with a pair of jeans, a bathing suit and

a pair of pedal pushers. She was easily persuaded and agreeable to see how she looked in each

choice. I had grabbed a cute red bandana top for her and a white dotted swiss backless top for

myself. We stepped outside to “model” them for the men who we had heard out in the area. Kim

did not smile at me nor did he look directly at Sunny.

I almost asked him, “What’s up with you, Kim?” He was very well known as the biggest FLIRT

in the whole men’s dormitory! And yes, he would look the girls up and down!

I kept my mouth shut. So far…

My ex always had extra money from his parents and from his working as the cook at Frisch’s so he

offered to buy the jeans and the white top for me.

Kim did not offer nor make any comments and as we walked into the dressing room, I noticed Sunny

had a less than sunny disposition. She had her head down and was disappointed. I caught her sad

look and felt bad for her. She had such a beautiful countenance when she would break into a smile!

 

Just in case you wondered what brought this memory  to mind so long after this occurred? I have a

few reasons, it is Spring and my memory went back to that time recently. Also, my daughter still has

the gorgeous cream, orange, turquoise and gold thread embroidered sari that Sunny gave me that

summer. She showed me how to wrap it. My artistic, oldest daughter loved wearing it for a special

school project where she read a book on India and wore the sari.

As a follow up on this story, Kim did marry Sunny.

Sunny became more assertive and I like to think my tutoring her on American habits and acceptance

of our “women’s liberation” movement helped. Kim was fairly patient with my gradually adapting her

to the culture. We even got to go to the mall three years later, two married couples walking together.

No longer were we 10 or more paces behind the men!