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Mid-Century Style

No matter what’s going on in my life, when February 16 pops up on my computer screen or date book I think of  Grandma and Grandpa. It’s their birthday today. Grandma would be 104 and grandpa would be 106. I’m talking about  Thomas Edwin “Ed” Rose  and Lela Mae Scott Rose.

Ed and Lela Rose and Me

This was Easter Sunday and I was just a few weeks past my first  birthday. Grandma was 43 and Grandpa was 45.

I love grandpa’s double-breasted suit. According to mom he was quite the dandy. As a construction worker he wore dungarees, similar to, but not quite jeans, and  chambray or flannel work shirts; but on Sundays he was always in a suit and tie. I never thought of President Eisenhower as a trendsetter, but here in the midst of the “Eisenhower Years” that military-style jacket Grandma is wearing has to be influenced by the General. There’s something very practical about the waistband at the bottom of the jacket. In a military uniform it would keep the tail of your jacket out of the way of your sidearm. The matching shirt cuffs tie the look together. On the battlefield the flapped pockets protected military orders and maps, but here thy add an element of style. The jacket looks perfect with  the slim a-line skirt. High-heeled pumps would look out of place with this suit, so grandma completes the look with fashionably updated oxfords.

And then there’s me, with my cute little dress coat over my Easter dress.

So Happy Birthday to my Grandma and Grandpa!

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2015 in Rose, Scott

 

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Christmas 1962

When I was a kid we’d first see what Santa brought us and then we were off to my great grandmother’s for Christmas dinner with the extended family. We called her Mommy, but her name was Caldona Della Kathryn Crouch Scott. She had five kids and here she is with her daughters, daughters-in-law, my mom and me.

Four Generations of Scotts

Four Generations of Scotts

From left, Mommy, my great-grandmother Caldona Della Kathryn Crouch Scott; my mom, Darlene Rose Miller; Aunt Dorothy, Dorothy Clark Scott, Uncle Mac’s wife; me, Jan Miller Stratton; Aunt Syble, Syble Scott Sherrman; Aunt Dessie, Dessie Blackburn Scott, Uncle Luke’s wife; Aunt Bill, Dorine Scott Taylor; and my Grandma, Lela Scott Rose.

We’re more likely to have a bright Christmas instead of a white Christmas here in Oklahoma.

The photo was stamped “1963” so it would have been taken Christmas Day 1962. I was in fifth grade. I remember that dress. It was a sleeveless shirtwaist dress with a gathered skirt. I liked that little jacket (maybe it’s called a weskit?) with the big button closure set off to the side. I don’t remember if the collar was attached to the jacket or the dress, but I remember it was green to match the big green buttons. The sleeves came down to the elbows.

I think my Grandma Hamilton made the dress for me. Kathryn McKay Miller Hamilton, my dad’s mom, lived in Key West, Florida. Every summer we didn’t go to Florida for vacation mom would take my measurements and we would go to the fabric store and pick out a few patterns we liked and send the numbers to Grandma. When we went to Florida, Grandma did the measuring, but either way, about the time school started I would get a box in the mail crammed full of school clothes and a cozy flannel nightgown. Getting that box in the mail was almost as fun as Christmas.

Hope you have some happy Christmas memories from years gone by.

Jan

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2014 in Scott

 

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Have a Glorious Fourth of July, Oklahoma!

When I was a kid, long distance calls were a big deal. My Grandma Hamilton lived in Key West, Florida and when we spoke on the phone it was a family affair. After my dad and mom talked to her, each of us kids got a turn before dad got the phone again to say goodbye. Her standard sign-off was “meet you at the pump,” unless it was Christmas when she also added, “Have a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a Glorious Fourth of July!” 

I couldn’t help but think of her when I snapped this last week.

Old Glory and the Spirit of Oklahoma
Old Glory and the Spirit of Oklahoma
 
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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Rememberies

 

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And Now a Little Something About Grandpa

My Grandpa was a farmer, a rancher and a highway construction worker. He lived on a farm, raised some cattle and worked full-time bulldozing and operating a crane on highway construction all across the state of Oklahoma.

He worked on the original Shield’s overpass to I-35 that survived the May 3 tornado. And for ages he worked on the Little River, first excavating for the lake and then building the Little River Dam, which resulted in Lake Thunderbird here in Norman. He never missed a day of work. On the iciest, coldest snowiest days he got up extra early in order to be at the job site on time—no matter where it was. More than once I got up to find him in the kitchen having coffee with mom after going to the job site to find out work was called off for the day.

Grandpa and me

Grandpa, Thomas Ed Rose, age 45, and me, age 3, Easter Sunday 1956. The dump truck in the background was what Grandpa was driving to his job at the time.

Grandma and Grandpa moved from Oklahoma City to a farm east of Lexington, Oklahoma when I was nine years old. I just recently learned the move was prompted by the Cuban Missile Crisis. They immediately planted a large garden and started putting up food in order to be self-sustaining. If things went bad they wanted to have food enough to feed us all.

Shortly after the move I spent a week with them. It was the first of many such weeks on the farm. After a tiny bout of homesickness, that first week on the farm with just me, Grandma and Grandpa was fairly eventful.

I got my finger pulled into the rollers of the wringer washing machine while helping Grandma do the wash on the back porch. As she put it, “Purt near broke it.” Grandma’s padded bra saved me. That’s what I was feeding into the wringer when I got caught, with my index finger sandwiched inside.

I asked Grandpa to wake me up in time to see the sunrise on Saturday… in the days before Daylight Savings Time, sunrise came at about 4 am in the summer. Grandpa and I sat on the tailgate of his red Ford pick up and watched the sun come up over the horizon while Grandma made breakfast. A hearty farm breakfast of bacon, eggs over easy cooked in the bacon grease, gravy and toast or biscuits filled us for a good start to the day.

After breakfast I helped wash the dishes and clean the kitchen while Grandpa started on the porch we were going to build that day. The house was about 3–4 feet off the ground and we had to climb a set of steps made of concrete blocks to get to the front door. At the time it was the only door into the house.

I’m sure I wasn’t a lot of help, but Grandpa made me feel like I was. I do recall him asking “How come you say ‘How come’ so much?” Evidently I talked a lot and was full of questions. He built an old-fashioned deck-type porch on a base of concrete blocks. The decking was 1 x 4 slats and I hammered all day long with my swollen and bruised index finger still wrapped and bandaged from the wringer incident. The porch was a temporary fix since the house would soon be moved to another location. As I recall, we were nearly finished by the time mom and dad and my brothers arrived later in the morning. The porch was finished by the end of the day and coated with barn red paint.

Grandpa only had part of his right hand. He lost most of his thumb, index and middle fingers in a crane accident. My brother knows more about how that happened than I do. It happened when my mom was a girl, so by the time I came around Grandpa was totally at ease with the parts he had left. There were very few things he hadn’t figured out how to do with the 8 whole fingers he had left.

That first summer on the farm we found out Grandma was severely allergic to wasp stings. Each sting put her in the hospital a few days, and living so far from town and alone all day it’s really a wonder one of those stings didn’t kill her. Grandpa was her knight in dusty overalls. As soon he heard that familiar bzz he would grab the offender and kill it with his bare hands. He received a few stings, and as painful as wasp stings are, I’m sure it didn’t hold a candle to having half his hand ripped off. Everything is relative.

If he hadn’t smoked, there’s a chance my Grandpa would have celebrated his 102nd birthday yesterday. I heard he started that nasty habit when he was 14. He smoked unfiltered Lucky Strikes (LSMFT for those old enough to remember cigarette ads on TV).  He developed emphysema and had a stroke which he recovered from fairly quickly. Another stroke just before Memorial Day 1985 put him in the hospital in Purcell. Memorial Day the whole family gathered together to visit him. He couldn’t talk very clearly, but he knew all of us and had a bit of a conversation and even cracked a few jokes. We thought we were there to say goodbye, but it didn’t seem like he was ready to go yet.

Soon after, he was moved to a nursing home in Norman. Grandma drove up from Lexington every day to visit him. Mom visited almost every day. The rest of us visited every week or so. He’d finally quit smoking, although not by choice. If he could have managed on his own, he would have smoked until the last day. As it was, he continued the gesture of bringing the nub of his thumb and forefinger to his lips in the repetitive movement he’d made hundreds of times a day for over 60 years.

It was on my dad’s birthday, July 10, that we got the phone call he was gone. He was only 76 years old. I think of him every time I slide a pan of raw peanuts in the oven to roast them. He always had a bag of roasted peanuts and a trash can close to his chair in the living room. If he was sitting in front of the TV he was smoking a cigarette or shelling and eating peanuts.

Wish he’d eaten more peanuts and left the cigarettes alone.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Rememberies

 

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