Julie Park

Sep. 1st, 2010 06:16 pm
estaratshirai: (jim henson muppet)

Got the details on Grandma's military service, so I am putting them here so I can't lose them again.

She was Army, and volunteered early into WWII.  Although she apparently always impressed the boys with how quickly she could assemble a rifle, what they mostly had her do was PR work, traveling and shaking hands and posing prettily in pictures.  Late in the war she went to Fort Dix and did x-rays.  Grandpa came to Fort Dix after his tour in Germany (which was after his tour in Japan).  They met when he asked her to dance.

She said no.

But she changed her mind later, and after dancing, in her words, "they went to town."  Their courtship was pretty fast, and she married him after making him convert to Catholicism.

The service was today, and apparently it rained big time.  Aside from the Catholic service she received the military honors of "Taps" and a three-gun salute.  Mom will be sending me the memorial cards, which have Mary on them.  My aunt's business associates drowned the place in so many flowers that there are now lovely arrangements all over the hospital and hospice in their old hometown.  The family's memorial fund is going to go to the local Catholic school, and my mother predicts that it will be "the most money they've seen in twenty years."  (It's a small town.)

Mom told everyone I wanted to be there and they said yeah sure they knew, and my aunt Joannie said I could have sung at the service, and Mom told me that and I said GAH, because I so would have.  I need to develop some kind of contingency plan for getting myself across the country at a moment's notice so these things don't happen.  ._.
estaratshirai: (boober says no by hanihani28)
In honor of Mother's Day - early, since now is when I'm thinking of it, which as most of you will know, is no guarantee that I will think of it again on Mother's Day - this is a brief list of things my mother did that, while they irritated me at the time, make sense to me as an adult.

1.  Stomped on my early enthusiasm for makeup.  When one is ten, one can end up believing that the purpose of makeup is to look like makeup.  The keys to success, according to this philosophy, are color and quantity.

There was a day once, somewhere that was not our house, when I got into some makeup and applied something like nine pounds each of lipstick, blush, and eyeshadow.  I came out feeling very mature and glamorous.  My mother, however, insisted that I wash my face because I looked like a five-dollar whore.  (I doubt that she used the words "five-dollar whore," but surely the sentiment was there.)

2.  Never, ever let me have a horse, not even when we lived in Idaho.  My idea of having a horse was that I would go out to our stable whenever I felt like it, ride around on my beautiful horse, and then go in.  That was it.  Several of the finer points of keeping a horse were lost on me, things like space, food, and an amount of poop that would have far outweighed the amount I already had no interest in cleaning up after dogs or cats.  These are the kinds of things the servants take care of, yes?

3.  Would not buy me a Gunne Sax dress, not even one.  Gunne Sax was a hot brand in the early 80's, at least in Idaho, and especially famous at the time for a sort of glamorized "frontier" look.

(This isn't exactly like the ones I remember, but the fabric gives you some idea.)

I wanted one desperately, because I thought they were perfectly attuned to my "rugged princess" sensibilities.  It's possible, since apparently this was a Serious Brand of the sort that some people collect now, that these dresses were too expensive to buy for a kid.
In retrospect, given that we had just moved to southern Idaho, I can also see the possibility that the image called into my mom's brain was not "rugged princess" but "two-page spread in the Joy Book."

4.  Not letting me go on a date with that one guy I don't even remember his name.  I was in ninth grade, which in Idaho (all the key moments seem to be there) was still junior high, and went to an orthodontist to get my retainer fiddled with, and there was some teenage boy there who made eyes at me.  That evening, he called me at home.  He'd managed to convince the receptionist to tell him my name and number, he said.  Now:  to a sane person this probably already sounds creepy, but I was 14 and very annoyed that boys were not yet asking me out.  So I thought this was wildly flattering, and was not a bit put off by the fact that he was a junior in high school or that he closed the deal with, "Are you interested or not?"

My mother, however, was not nearly as bowled over as I was by the pure romance and refused to let me go on a date with him.  I was so annoyed.

Oh my god.  Thank you.  Thank you forever.

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