Christmas Shopping at the Five and Ten

Neisner's (1024x795)At Christmas time, my little sister and I loved to go to Neisner’s 5 and 10 (“the dime store”, we called it), a treasure trove of gifts for children, or adults for that matter, with small coins in their pockets.  We circled around and around the counters, picking up cards with beautiful jeweled earrings or flowered boxes of dusting powder or the ever popular Midnight in Paris perfume in small cobalt blue bottles.  These would be wonderful surprises for Mother, the Grandmas, the aunts – if we pooled our money.  There were small bottles of shaving lotion, glistening emerald green on the counters, which were standard fare for the men in the family.  For small cousins there were jack sets, paddle balls, tiny dolls – such an array!

Now, that 5 and 10 stores are a thing of the past, I remember all those dear people opening our dime store gifts, clumsily wrapped and labeled, and exclaiming with wonder – the same as my sister and I did as we entered the marvelous world of Neisner’s.

HAPPY MEMORIES OF THE WONDERS OF CHRISTMAS

A Cincinnati Christmas in the 1960s

In 1989 my oldest daughter made up a little booklet for family members with her memories of Christmas in the 1960s.  Since then, I get it out every year and read it – and cry.  It’s a very accurate depiction of our family’s Christmas and this year she put it on her blog in PDF form.  For those who grew up in the 1960s or who raised children in that era, it might be a fun read.

http://www.nudged2write.com/archives/3219

Happy Christmas Eve.

It Was a Very Good Year – 1996 – 2002

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.


1996 – Two 1996 note cards by one of my favorites – Tasha Tudor.


1997 – My youngest daughter knitted 3 beautiful washcloths from a 1997 pattern – too pretty to use for washcloths.

1998 – A 1998 cookbook by Florence Henderson – Short-Cut Cooking.  This was intended as something of a gag gift from my youngest daughter who is still a huge fan of Mrs. Brady and The Brady Bunch (and I‘m not), but actually there are some good recipes in this book.


1999 – 1999 was an important year for all of us when my youngest daughter’s son was born.  The gift is an amazing fold-out picture book of photos of my grandson accompanied by his notes and sketches – priceless.

2000 – A beautiful Lenox Holiday Silver Millennium Ball.  It’s designed to hold a small gift, potpourri or small treasures.


2001 – A set of coasters knitted from a 2001 pattern.


2002 – Lynette Jensen’s 2002 edition of Cozy Cabin Quilts.

All of my posts on this wonderful celebration are listed in Family – My 80th Birthday in my index on the
right.

It Was a Very Good Year – 1989 – 1995

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.


1989 – A small spoon commemorating the 1989 “Breakup of the Berlin Wall”.

1990 – A 1990 edition of The “Late Night with David Letterman” Book of Top Ten Lists.


1991 – Two copies of 1991 Queen City Heritage magazines – The Journal of the Cincinnati Historical Society


1992 – A Helen Steiner Rice Daily Devotional Calendar.  Helen Steiner Rice is famous for her verses for Gibson Greeting Cards in Cincinnati.  In 1992, my oldest daughter was a writer for Gibson Greetings.


1993 – A 1993 Cat’s Meow rendition of Aglamesis Bros. ice cream parlor (est. 1908), Oakley Square, Cincinnati.  My future mother-in-law introduced me to Aglamesis in 1951 and said they had the best ice cream and chocolates in town, and she was right.  We still take the grandchildren to Aglamesis Bros. for sundaes.


1994 – A 1994 edition of Dave Barry’s Gift Guide to End All Gift Guides.  Dave Barry was always a favorite of mine and this is one of his books I’ve never read.


1995 – A crocheted piece from a vintage pattern that includes a locket heart with a picture of my youngest daughter and me on her wedding day in 1995.  The small heart is made from a scrap piece of velvet from my oldest daughter’s Maid of Honor dress.

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.

The Significance of September 8

After 61 years, I still think twice when I see the date September 8.  My father hadn’t allowed me to date in high school, but in 1951, I had graduated from school and was a secretary at Procter & Gamble.  I had been dating a little bit – never more than one date with the same person and never feeling it was a successful outing.  On September 8, 1951,  my sister suggested I come along with her to the neighborhood St. Rose Bingo.


We didn’t go to St. Rose Church, but my sister was the best friend of a girl named Cecilia who was a member.  I didn’t really want to go but it was Saturday night with no plans and I gave in.  Besides, there was a possibility that a boy who was being suggested as a potential date might be there.  Cecilia’s boyfriend Peanut had a pal who had moved away while in the 6th grade at St. Rose – Buddy – and everyone thought we would make a great couple.  So, I went to the bingo and sat at a long table with the rest of the group and sure enough, in came Buddy, dressed in nice slacks and a maroon corduroy jacket.  He sat across the table and was very sober and serious but he had pretty green eyes and seemed pleasant enough.  There wasn’t a word of conversation between us that night but it was an introduction and later in the week we did meet again, made a date and on my birthday on September 30, we agreed to go steady.

“Buddy” told me immediately that he hated the nickname and wanted to be called Frank and his pal “Peanut” also insisted on being called Rich.  We double-dated with Rich and Cecilia all the time – mainly because Rich had a car and Frank didn’t have a license (or a car) yet.  We had some really nice times – Rich and Cecilia were both outgoing and funny and they usually made the plans on where we would go.  We went to football games, drive-in movies, Frisch’s for Big Boys (which were really huge then and I had never tasted one, plus they were served by car-hops on trays that hooked to the car door), a hayride in the back of an old farm truck, lots of house parties, and many, many evenings playing poker with Frank’s family where the only outlay of cash was for a jug of beer and whatever money we might lose playing cards (Cecilia and I nursed a soft drink for the evening).


We even went to one of Cecilia’s high school proms which was good for me since I hadn’t gone to my own.  I picked out heavy gold satin fabric and Mother made the dress for me.  Frank wore his standard blue pinstripe suit.  The prom was predictably boring but at least I could say I had been to one.


Dating came to an end pretty quickly when Frank left for the Navy in February.  By the time he came home on leave in May we were getting married and dating was over, but for a short time I experienced what the kids talked about all through high school – going to movies, eating hamburgers in the car, watching football games, going to parties and proms – some of it was nice, some was boring,  but at least I got to try it.  And it all started on SEPTEMBER 8.

It Was a Very Good Year – 1975 – 1981

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.

1975 – A collage of pictures from an old area amusement park, Fantasy Farms, including vintage tickets.  One sunny afternoon, my mother and I took my five-year-old daughter to the park.  My mother had just made herself a dress of denim with red bandana trim and also made one for my daughter.  I thought it was a cute idea but my daughter was indignant – not only that she went to an amusement park dressed like her grandma, but that all the other girls were wearing shorts and tee-shirts, not a pretty dress.  My oldest daughter made up the collage that includes bits from a home movie I took that day and some photo-booth antics of my daughter.  She also did a classic 1970s design on the back.



1976 – An RC soft drink bottle commemorating the Bicentennial 1776-1976.  This is even more special because it pictures and lists the Presidents who came from Ohio.


1977– A vintage Atlas Strong Shoulder Mason jar and zinc lid with a 1977 Ohio State Fair blue ribbon and entry tag.  This is amazing for me to receive because I remember so well seeing this woman’s food entries at the Ohio State Fair for many years – most of them with blue ribbons.  The jar dates between 1896-1902.  Somehow, the jar, ribbon and entry tag wound up in a Cincinnati antique store where my oldest daughter found it.


1978 – A 1978 Hallmark Date Book with calendar, gift guide and wedding anniversary gift list.  Also, a First Day of Issue for  the 13-cent square dance stamp, dated April 26, 1978.  This is important to me because I had just graduated from square dance class in March of 1978 and continued to square and round dance for over 15 years.

1979 – The 1979 Royal Copenhagen Christmas plate – Choosing the Christmas Tree.   I’ve always loved Christmas and this plate will be a nice addition to my decorations this year.


1980 – 1980 issue of Quilt World Omnibook.  I hadn’t begun quilting yet in 1980 and I love seeing the patterns, stories and pictures from this era.

1981 – 1981 catalog – Gifts from Top Value Stamps.  These were the stamps our neighborhood store handled and it was like a wonderful bonus to collect the stamps each week and finally have enough to exchange for something nice.  I found a couple of items in this catalog that the girls remembered having in our 1981 kitchen.

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.

It Was a Very Good Year – 1968-1974

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.

1968 – A double CD set of favorite songs from 1960s.



1969 – My oldest daughter put together a booklet of clippings from her 1969 scrapbook.  There was quite a bit about Neil Armstrong and the moon landing.


1970 – This is something of a tongue-in-cheek gift – a David Cassidy/Partridge Family trading card.  Although I was never much of a fan, my daughter who was born in 1970 is and was delighted to find this gift for me.  The lyrics to the song are on the back of the card.


1971 – A Gordon Lightfoot songbook.  This is perfect for me since Gordon Lightfoot is my all-time favorite singer.

1972 – A 1972 edition of Sport Story with Pete Rose on the cover.  No one lived in Cincinnati in this era who didn’t know Cincinnati Reds star Pete Rose.


1973 – The book Secretariat.  Secretariat was the Triple Crown Winner in 1973.


1974 – My youngest daughter knitted a pair of mittens in the classic colors of the 1970s from a vintage pattern.

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.

It Was a Very Good Year – 1961-1967

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.


1961 – A 1961 edition of a television schedule that was included with our newspaper.  It’s so much fun to read because of the ads for local businesses.  And wasn’t Andy Williams young and handsome?


1962 – A copy of Life magazine featuring one of my favorites from the early days of television – Sid Caesar.

1963 – My youngest daughter knitted this for me from a vintage pattern – everyone had to have a fancy toilet tissue cover in 1963, right?

1964 – A tiny tray with salt and pepper shakers from the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

1965 – A copy of  Strange but True Baseball Stories.  Anything relating to baseball has been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember.

1966 – A token from Cincinnati’s Potter’s Shoes celebrating 100 years in business – from 1866 to 1966.  On the reverse side is a memorial to our Suspension Bridge which was also built in 1866.

1967 – A small plate commemorating Salzburg and The Sound of Music.  My oldest daughter included a note reminiscing about how the two of us saw the movie in a neighborhood theater in the fall of 1967.  She writes, “The theater was packed with kids, who cheered loudly when Maria and the Captain did their “Something Good” number, then again when Maria appeared in her wedding gown.  I always think of The Sound of Music in October and imagine the hills of Cincinnati are the hills above Salzburg.”  In 1990, we were able to go to Austria and visit Salzburg.

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.

Remembering Andy Griffith and a Mayberry Birthday Party

I’ve always been a big Andy Griffith fan and in thinking about his passing, I remembered a 61st birthday party that my daughters gave for me in 1993.  The theme was Andy Griffith and MayberryMayberry fans will recognize these characters and references to incidents from various shows.  This was the invitation (remember Ernest T. Bass meeting his “Romena” at Mrs. Wylie’s house?):

Quoting from my notes in my photo album, “The room was decorated with large, round, colorful decorations such as Mrs. Wylie might have put up for a party for her social group.  There were big platters of dill Havarti cheese, strawberry dip, vegetable dip, potato salad, bagel chips, croissants and baguettes.  There was a huge punch bowl of lemon/grape juice punch and we got to drink out of Shannon’s antique cranberry/chrome cocktail glasses.”

“All the gifts were wrapped in pretty paper with notes attached telling me which Mayberry character had sent something for the celebration.”  What an array of gifts there was and the notes were priceless:

Andy wrote on official Mayberry Sheriff’s Office stationery that he was sending me one of Aunt Bee’s favorite birthday presents, a whole carton of preserving jars.

Opie sent a set of Mayberry trading cards with a note, “Paw says this is a good present for a nice lady like you.  Aunt Bee helped me pick it out.”

Aunt Bee wrote about the time she left Andy alone while she visited Cousin Edgar and Andy had wound up with blisters from the hot pans, so she sent me a sturdy oven mitt.

Barney writes that Eleanora Poultice recommended two classical music tapes – A Carnegie Hall Christmas tape and another by Kathleen Battle.  Barney writes that he “was going to crochet you an afghan in the North Carolina State colors, but we had that gun seminar in Raleigh and I never got around to it.  Well, see you in the funny papers.  Ha ha.”

This note accompanied an “I’d Rather Be Watching the Andy Griffith Show” license plate.  Note the oil smudges on the paper.

Thelma Lou sent a note along with a tin of cashew fudge, “Barney and I really enjoy this when we’re watching TV.”

Floyd, the barber, sent a note that when Ellen Brown was working at his shop as a manicurist, she had left a bunch of bottles of nail polish and he sent one to me.

Ernest T. Bass had his girlfriend, Rowena, write a note explaining he was sending something he has always treasured – a rock and his gold tooth.  “You are my favorite mother figure.  I hope your birthday is more fun than a moonlight possum hunt.”

Daphne and Skippy, the “Fun Girls”, sent a video of a George Raft movie with a note that said, “Last time we were in town, Andy and Bernie told us about this great George Raft movie over at The Grand and you just have to make sure you see it for your birthday.”

Otis Campbell wrote that he thought it was undignified to drink out of a brown paper bag and picked up a special “Dipsy-Doodle” cup in Mt. Pilot for me to drink from.

Bobby Fleet and his Band with a Beat sent a tape of Andy doing his comedy routine from his early years.

The Darlings sent over a tape of the Dillards’ latest hits.

Clara Johnson sent a can of allspice to improve my pickles.

Malcolm Merriweather sent a beautiful English tea set of cup, saucer and “crumpet” plate.

Jennifer and Clarabelle Morrison sent a little Mason jar of their beverage “just for this special holiday (and for medicinal purposes later!)”.

Helen Crump sent a Mayberry Union High sweatshirt which the alumni was selling to raise money for the reunion ball.

The hostesses of the fun Mayberry party:

The happy 61st birthday girl!