Mom, Nana, Tante, circa 1954'ish
A few months back, I posted a picture of my mom and Tante as little girls, dressed in their cowgirl outfits, along with the haiku, Ode to Cowgirls, to go with it. To date, that's my personal favorite…
A few weeks back, Tante emailed me new family photos. SWEET. Among the gems was the above cowgirl pose. It's not the same day! My mom is in a different blouse, but the same skirt.
Why is this significant? It means my mom strapped on her six shooter more than once! Seeing as she became a junior high school teacher, I think that practice came in handy. Not to mention in wrangling my sister and I.
Also, this picture is taken with my great-grandmother, Nana. I promise you she'll surface in my fiction sooner or later.
She's the iron steel of our women. I may not have all the facts straight, but her mother died young, so Nana was raised by other family, who didn't win any awards for their nice manners, including cutting off her hair. One woman was so bad that Nana walked right up to her and slapped her across the face when she herself was just a teenager.
- She always matched her heels and purse until the day she died – even if she wasn't leaving the house.
- She didn't mince words. One day, in second grade, I practiced cheerleading in front of the TV, blocking Wheel of Fortune. She sat me down, forcibly, and imitated me. Ahem. Long live Vanna White.
- Her first date with my Paw-Paw was a church outing, picking violets.
- While Paw-Paw, it is agreed, was the sweetest man to walk the earth, Nana ran the family and told everyone what to do. Don't believe me? One day on the phone with her son, I heard her say, "Yes dear, I know you're 72, but …"
- Nana was the church nursery lady her whole life. One day, I was in her nursery, around age four. When Mom asked how I did, Nana replied, "Oh fine. She had everyone organized and told them all what to do." (Nana and I may have a thing or two in common…)
So if/when you meet a steely gaze coming from a little lady in my story, you know who the inspiration was. Got any character gems in your family? Please share!