Monday, November 24, 2014

Mam-ma was a Tomboy

Mam-ma was a tomboy.
1930s One of Mam-mas dresses she made
A dress she made

You wouldn’t know it by the fact she was also a lover of clothes. When she was young, she sewed her own clothes. She also loved shopping for new clothes and she loved looking nice. For many years, turquoise was her favorite color, but in later life pinks and purples also became part of her color palette.

But she told me she was really a tomboy. She was named Pansy Louise but she hated her name, feeling it sounded too sissy. She liked sports and played softball as a young woman. But as the only girl in a household of boys and her mother being ill with Parkinson’s disease, she had to do a lot of housework and taking care of her younger brothers. So she learned to cook, clean, and sew.

Clothes Horse box
One of the stores where she worked.
This is an old box from the store.

She married at 19 and had my mother at 20. She worked as a seamstress, mending and altering men’s clothing and as a saleslady in women’s and men’s clothing stores. She worked at Goldman’s and for many years at The Clothes Horse, working at both the Walnut Creek and Concord stores. The Concord store was first at Sun Valley Mall and later moved to the Willows Shopping Center.

1979-03_Fat Farm-Tecote Mex - Mam-ma with tennis racket-crop
Mam-ma with her racket at a resort
After the death of Tom-Tom, she became active with sports again. She played tennis first. Not only playing tennis with her best friend, Eveline, but also going to pro tennis tournaments and watching matches on television. I played against Mam-ma once and my sister, Renee said they played together once, too.

At Dublin Bowl

When she couldn’t play tennis anymore, she took up bowling and continued to play into her nineties. She won tournaments and was proud to reach 90 and receive free games.

Bowling in Dublin, Calif.

She especially enjoyed bowling with her grandchildren and great-grandkids. It was always great fun. The youngsters would have a lane with the bumpers set up and us grownup would then have two adjacent lanes. Afterwards, we would all go out to lunch in a local Pleasanton restaurant. It was always such great fun!

Finally back pain prevented her from playing anymore. Instead, we had get-togethers in other ways from visits to her house to outings in restaurants.