Vintage & Fashion news, pretty vintage items and of course wee bit personal life style ramblings of an eleven year on line vintage clothing seller, avid fashion, antique and vintage lover

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Red Shoes

Anything more than 20 years old is vintage.. and it has to be more than 100 years old to be an antique.

Although my parents marriage is close to antique.. it's still only "vintage". Today they will be married for 60 years. i'm so proud of them. it has been a huge struggle.. they are still so very much in love, and they've come such a long way.

You see, my dad went to school with my mother's sister, and through her; noticed mom right away. it was love at first sight for him. He thought she was beautiful, and he was attracted to mom's red shoes, he just had to meet her.

Auntie introduced them, they dated and both fell in love.. this is the part where i think i should mention they were both only 15 years old.

After a few months, dad's mother grew concerned. it appeared the kids were getting serious. gram wasn't fond of this idea or my mom. So Gram did what she thought best.. pull dad out of school and ship him off to live with her brother in California.. a long way from Michigan. surely this would break them up. surely.

Who would think their love would endure seperation? dad immediately got a job in California at a gas station and worked up to mechanic. he lived with his uncle, and each week, when he received his paycheck he would send mom money.

Mom, back in michigan, was double promoted and continued school. she never told anyone about the money; but secretly hid it. immediately after graduation, this 16 year old girl took the savings dad sent, hopped on a greyhound bus and began her journey ~ young and alone cross country to be with her love.

When mom arrived, of course uncle was livid. he was not going to allow mom to live in the house when they weren't married, and his sister did not want these two married. so he only "partially" helped them, by driving them to the mexican border, and made them walk across into Tijuana and get married.

Even then, he did not allow them to live together in the house. mom did, but dad had to live in a garage apartment. So again, dad started saving money. six months later, when they could barely afford bus fare, they again got on a greyhound, this time together, and headed back to michigan.

And though they had bus fare, they barely had enough money for food or drink. a kind stranger in Chicago fed them and loaned dad money to continue the trip. Mom kept the stranger's address and as soon as they had jobs, sent him every cent of his loan back.

Once they arrived in Michigan, they stayed very briefly with grandma, then other relatives, then moved to the Brewster projects (famous for being the home of Diana Ross and the Supremes).

From the projects they continued to move as they could afford it. each time a little further north of the city until they were the first ones in the family to move "way out to the suburbs".. which back then was a block north of the "Eminem Famous" eight mile road.

Of course, by then, i was born, and a few years later a sister.. till eventually our family of five kids, two of us with birth defects; which mom and dad handled with grace. We outgrew the house. Dad picked up a hammer, called some friends and we all pitched in to help build an addition large enough to accommodate us, as well as the all important huge kitchen; which was always the gathering spot.. We stayed in that house for almost 20 years.. and have so many happy memories there.

With such young parents, they literally grew up with us. there were always Friday pizza dinners with uncles, aunts and cousins. barbecues on weekends. a constant flow of company, both friends and family.. and always music. lots of music, dancing, lots of happy times.

Dad bought a boat, and we each had a turn to go fishing with him early Saturday mornings. we bought a tent, and would camp. Dad bought the boat used. .. the tent was used.. we were poor, but never knew it. Mom was always our room mother at school, as well as Brownie and Girl Scout leader.

We had everything we wanted or needed within reason; a nice home, loving parents and were always happy. We were taught morals, ethics, scruples. All of us kids worked part time jobs in high school and actually enjoyed the responsibility.

All five kids are grown now, there are 21 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Sixty years later, mom has the most amazing shoe collection that fills four closets and favors sparkles, glitter and faux animal. They are still crazy in love. dad can't pass mom without giving her a kiss on the cheek, or even if she's just standing at the sink. Mom still holds dad's hand when they are walking, and they still love to dance. And of course, dad still loves it when mom wears red shoes.

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