Today’s Mother Dear Monday photos are from Mary Lynn’s first day of dance lessons. In the 7th and 8th grade children from the “other side of the river” (that’s west of the Willamette) are sent to ballroom dance lessons, a tradition that continues today. The girls then and now wear full skirted dresses and everyone dons a pair of white gloves. Around this time of year young ladies visit AlexSandra’s Vintage Emporium to find the appropriate gloves and dresses. Lorenzo, the Italian exchange student who was living with my Grandparents at the time took these photos in their home on Talbot Road. Her red taffeta dress with Peter Pan collar and bow was topped with a gingham pinafore and cinched at the waist with a thin velvet belt.
For as long as I can remember my Mother would complain about how in her youth, my Grandmother would roll her hair in socks that she would have to sleep on only to end up with a well coiffed hairdo that never lasted. Our fine, thin hair just doesn’t hold a curl well. To this day she recalls the pin curl seen in the photos above and how she had to wait until the moment they walked into dance lessons to pull the pin lest the curl be hanging in her face before the hour was through.
Several girls from St. Thomas More would car pool to dance lessons with a different parent driving each week. Here they posed for a precious Catholic Girl group photo. From left to right are Tory Boone, Mary Gay Malarkey, Colleen Doherty, Mary Lynn Bolger and Patty Volstad.
Mary Gay, old timey photo bomber.
Mother Dear had a toy shepherd dog named wags that she loved very much. He saved my Grandmother’s life on more than one occasion and was a beloved member of their family.
These pictures (and this one of Mother Dear’s prom dress) are from a recently discovered box of photos that we thought had been carelessly donated many years ago. Most of these pictures I have never seen before, unlike the photos from her acting career which I have periodically poured over from age four until today. What I have been enjoying most about these more personal family photos is discovering things in the background. The clock seen on the mantle in my Grandparents home sits above my own fireplace today.