2021: V – Mama in Photos…
I’m back for my sixth year (2021)… can you believe it… of participating in the yearly April A to Z challenge… and I’ve had quite a time in deciding on my “theme.” I had a few running through my head, but as I lost my mother last November, I thought I’d honor her through the many photographs I have of her… and tell the story of the photograph… as every photo has a story.
I’m fortunate that my mother had many photos of herself growing up… and I’m honoring her this year as the theme of my April A to Z… especially as was she was an April baby. Mama would have turned 91 this year… but she’s now back home celebrating this birthday with her parents and brother on the farm… where I believe she was always the happiest. The past few years my mother was fighting off dementia, while still managing to live alone until the last couple months of her life. I miss her every day… thinking of her daily and remembering all she did for me. She was the storyteller… She supplied me with my stories… and it’s because of her, that I write!
V… Vacationing with Mama
Daytona Beach, Florida vacation with mama, daddy and cousin Paulette… and more photos that mama cut out all the “goodies” in he background. Love seeing all the cars parked on the beach… was our car parked there? Maybe this was the vacation where we actually stayed in one of those houses on the beach… and where I remember going downstairs to find homemade cinnamon rolls.
What I do remember about our vacations was that they were never anywhere else but Florida… was that because we lived next to the great “sunshine” state, or because daddy liked to go deep sea fishing? I believe most of my memories come from the many stories mama has told me through the years.
Mama with me and cousin Paulette on the Daytona beach. This was the era when most women wore that rubber beach caps to keep your hair dry… seems so silly now to think of wearing them. They were horrendous hard to stretch on while pulling your hair. Notice, mama tied a wrap around her hair… as I never saw her wear one of those plastic stretch caps. Loved riding the waves there… mama always kept her eagle eye on me and those waves… I do remember being
scared, told me how those waves would pull me under… probably why I wore a tube all the time.
The Florida welcoming center has sure changed from this… along with the cars. Wish there was more to show… like where is our car… as daddy seemed to always have a station wagon when I was small. Loved the old station wagons… my favorite spot was always the way, in the very back, seat. I remember ones in which the back seat faced the rear car and even one had two half back seats where, if more than one rode back there, we could face each other. You could pile lots of kids in the old station wagons… there were no seat belts… and we all survived!
This is possibly the cottage we stayed in on the Daytona beach… I look about six, so it would have been about 1958… and here’s Daddy’s classic station wagon. Did he really like owning one for trips, fishing, the family vacations? When I was older, he never bought them again, but he always bought Pontiac cars. When I was looking for my “1st” car, I wanted a Pontiac Firebird… but he quickly squished that car… instead finding me a ’65 yellow Ford Mustang… which granddaddy McKinley bought for me.
Mama, me and Clark Gable… oh my! I looked about six years old here, so this must have been the vacation when I spilled hot chicken noodle soup all over me on the way down. The waitress brought butter for mama to slab on… which is a “no-no” today… as butter holds the heat in longer. I had no scars, so it must not have been a bad burn… just made me cry. Those terrycloth rompers mama wore, were quite popular at that time.
I”m assuming this was our trip (left) to Miami Beach when daddy found Marilyn Monroe! Photo on the right would be another Daytona beach photo… tell me daddy isn’t holding a beer out in the water?
Daddy didn’t even have to go out to the deep sea to catch this big fish…
Panama City, Florida vacation… Our “Fun ‘N’ Sand Motel was directly on the beach… awesome staying on the beach. Panama beach had the clearest water… no matter how far out you went… you could still see your feet. I liked walking the beach to pick up the multi-colored Periwinkle shells that could be found in several colors. My girlfriend Janet came on this vacation… we were about 16, and quickly discovered lots of cute boys at the pool that summer… and surprised when daddy let us hang with them. I do remember daddy talking to them… can only imagine that conversation!
Did my mother ever “not” have a figure? She wore those halter-style jumpsuits she sewed very well! No one every wore the same clothes she did… and she liked it that way.
This was the year for these babydoll type summer outfits… Janet and I both sewed ours… and of course Mama sewed her jumpsuit. What’s with that funky blue hair thingy covering her rollers?
Another vacation spot… but sadly no photos… was a specific motel in Tallahassee… which daddy frequented every summer. He went deep sea fishing daily, while mama and I hung by the pool. There was a long pier we walked on, but the beach wasn’t good for sunbathing or swimming, as I remember it being very rocky below. They had a tiny restaurant at the motel and mama would let me walk there by myself and buy my favorite, bacon sandwich, for breakfast. That was a real treat, to be able to go there by myself and sit on the stool at the counter… guess I charged breakfast to our room! The grassy area surrounding the pool was where I saw the biggest grasshoppers I’d ever seen… they were huge… not anything like the tiny ones we had in Georgia. Daddy usually took us out for dinner nightly… and always ordered me a Shirley Temple and red snapper for dinner. Funny how little things like that stick in your head!
Another vacation spot was Alligator Point, Florida… although at that time I never knew that the reference to alligators was actually the towns name. Our neighbors owned a cottage by the beach there… and yes daddy went deep sea fishing every day… while mama and I walked the beach.
The beach there wasn’t great for sunbathing or swimming, but it had the best beach shells we’d ever seen, and the whitest sand. Mama learned fast that some of those pretty shells even came with living creatures.. they tickled her palm. If you’ve never seen “real” silver dollar shells on the beach… well, they all washed up on the beach at Alligator Point… never ever found them on another beach except maybe a few broken ones… those there were pristine perfect. Years later I learned that this community was so-named because the aerial view of the inlet beach actually looked like an alligator. I remember the entire trip how mama wouldn’t let me out of eyesight… as she was afraid that an alligator would come walking around every corner… and gobble me up… although I was secretly hoping to find one!
Mama and I collected a huge bucket of shells from that beach, and even a crab… she came home and cleaned them all… wiring the shells and crab on a frame, which she hung in my room. I kept that frame for years, even after I married… finally dismantled it, but kept the silver dollar shell. (Alligator Point is an unincorporated community on St. James Island in Franklin County, Florida, United States. It is located along U.S. 98, south of Bald Point State Park, along the Gulf of Mexico.)
My previous years of A to Z Challenges:
- 2016: A to Z Southern Foods and Memories… they said write what you know… and being a girl born in the South… well this was what I knew.
- 2017: A to Z Conversations with Mama… it was a somewhat easy one for me to write as I’d journaled our conversations for years… I researched favorite topics to write.
- 2018: A to Z All About Nancy Drew… this one has been my favorite topic so far, and I don’t know if I’ll ever come up with another one to equal it
- 2019: A to Z Italian Famiglia Foods and Memories… I felt it was time to finally write the favorites of my husbands family foods.
- 2020: A to Z Family Stories… writing the stories of my husband’s family.
For more A to Z of Mama in Photos… click HERE!
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