Saturday, January 24, 2009

My entries into Retro Renovation's cool contest for Found Art/Found Objects. The prizes are just too cool! And I just lurrve Pam's blog! This is what I wrote about my photos:

First, I have a sample of some of the booklets and pamphlets I kept when going through my mother-in-law's belongings after her death. She was quite the hoarder, and I was delighted to find these little glimpses into the past. The pamphlet for polio and the Salk vaccine is quite poignant to me. It has the handwritten dates of the three shots for my m-i-l and her two brothers and "me", which I assume is their mother. This all reminds me of my father's stories about how his mother was just so terrified by polio, and wouldn't allow him to eat the ends of bananas because she had heard that it was a cause of the disease!

I love the woman who is so excited about her Farberware aluminum griddle, the industrious woman who knows all the smart things to do to make her ironing job "modern", the beauty queen with her Q-tips (inside, the tips include "Finger Flattery" and "Dainty Do's"), and the rarely-seen serious (but immaculately coiffed) housewife who asks us to please, please, just listen!

My other photo is of some of MaryAnn's old cake decorating items I found buried in a box. I wonder why she kept them for so long (a few with crumbs attached!), and whose celebrations they attended. Were they hers? Friends? For her sons? Since the one graduate is female, and she had only sons, could it have been for her high school graduation? I'm sure the pious little boy and the altar candles must have adorned First Communion cakes for her good little Catholic boys. And I couldn't understand why one of the storks had a pipe cleaner sticking out of him until I found this one with naked baby attached by his own pipe cleaner. Little baby bottles - so sweet, and the rattles actually rattle!

I miss MaryAnn so much, and it's been 12 years since her passing. Although it's bittersweet not to be able to ask her these questions and talk with her about her memories, I love to have her things and to imagine what her life was like as a young housewife and mother in the early 60s.


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