On July 13, 2012, my two daughters surprised me with a big box of wrapped gifts, informing me it was exactly 80 days until my 80th birthday and I would be able to unwrap one gift a day. The gift items would commemorate a year in my life in some way. This is what I received this week:
1940 – A 1940s AAA tour book for the eastern seaboard which included my home state of Ohio. It’s so interesting to compare the listings to what we have today. Most hotel restaurants at that time offered breakfast for 50 cents, lunch for 75 cents and dinner for $1.00. For chicken or steak dinners, the cost was $1.25. Of course, we were still fighting our way out of the depression and wages were low.
1941 – My youngest daughter knitted a Navy watch cap made from a 1941 Red Cross pattern along with a flyer saying that “the boys need sox – knit your best”. I’ll wear this cap to take the dog for walks on cold winter days. Actually, my husband had a cap just like this when he was in the Navy in 1952.
1942 – A copy of Agatha Christie’s The Body in the Library, published in 1942 along with a scarf knitted by my daughter. This scarf is identical to one that Miss Marple wore on a TV series, pictured on a bookmark my daughter made. The yarn is called “Chipmunk Tweed”, just right for a Miss Marple scarf.
My granddaughter is a perfect model for the scarf.
1943 – Three copies of the 1943 magazine, The Gregg Writer. This is the perfect gift for me. I started taking shorthand classes in 1947, used it throughout my long career and still use it today as a time-saving way of keeping notes.
1944 – A postcard from August 29, 1944, showing our glorious art-deco Union Terminal.
Message on the back: “Hi Mom – In Cinn. now sure glad we came. We are at the zoo waiting for the monkey show. Came up to the zoo on the incline. See you soon.” Two more famous Cincinnati landmarks are mentioned – the Zoo and the incline with a cable car that brought passengers up and down the hill between the Cincinnati valley and the Zoo. One year, my mother brought my little sister and me back home from a school outing at the Zoo by riding on the incline.
1945 – My youngest daughter made up a CD of 25 hits from the 1940s, including some of my favorite artists – Perry Como, Dinah Shore and, of course, Spike Jones.
1946 – A March 18, 1946 copy of Life Magazine. There are all of the usual great pictures and ads, but of special interest to me is an article about one of my favorite authors, Betty MacDonald. Her book, The Egg and I was a best seller in 1946.
I have an original 1945 edition of the book which the article mentions sells for $2.75 in 1946.
Another wonderful week of gifts which show how well my daughters know me and know what I like.
Note: My youngest daughter has a post on her blog with information and links for the gifts she has knitted so far.
All of my posts on this wonderful celebration are listed in Family – My 80th Birthday in my index on the right hand side of the page.