March 12 — Working girl: Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home? What did she do? Describe her occupation.
My grandmother worked outside the home most of her life. She was a great seamstress and could always get a job in alterations, working in both men's and women's stores. She told me her mother was good at sewing and made all of my grandmother's clothes. My grandmother's favorite class at Stephenville High School was Home Ec.
She worked several stores in downtown Walnut Creek, California. Celeata's was a men's store where she did alterations. She also worked at the Clothes Horse, a women's store. She would take clothes home each night to do alterations, working until about midnight, and then bring them back in in the morning. At the same time, she worked on alterations with another women's store called Goldman's.
I remember her old black Singer electric sewing machine. My grandfather, a carpenter, built a cabinet for the machine. Before that she had one of those treadle machines you worked with your feet.
She made a lot of clothes for herself, her husband, and for her daughter.
Copyright © 2011 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family