She was stylish. She was not a typical sweet little old lady. In the days when no one went on cruises, she went on many, all over the world. She played in golf tournaments, had dinner at country and private clubs. She went to shows in New York in the 1950s, saw Billy Rose revues, heard Paul Robeson sing and Horowitz play at Carnegie Hall. She smoked and drank martinis. She baked Pennsylvania Dutch shoe fly pie and Lady Baltimore cakes and served cold asparagus salad with Alaskan King crab for Thanksgiving once.
When she died, most of her clothes weren’t wearable - too many ciggie burns and dinner stains. My mother salvaged the beaded trims.
I have these shoes for a long time, though. Small size, which is why my sister and I didn’t wear them out. Very Cool, silk DeLiso Debs. Hardly sensible shoes. Not even classic shoes. I always wondered what on earth she had worn with them.
And then I looked closely at a photo I have had for years and years. And that my parents had before that. It’s my grandmother with her husband and sister. She’s the redhead on the left.
Look at the shoes.
That’s what she wore with them! A really great print party dress. I wish I had it still. Sadly, it is long gone. I don’t believe I ever saw it. We did have a linen suit and a draped grey chiffon dress (who knows, maybe a Chapman!), both long gone to friends or theatres, plus a red chiffon Emma Domb dress with a tear.
But I do still have this cocktail dress with embroidered daisies:
Like I said, stylish.