Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day in the 1950's

To all the women in my life, Happy Mother's Day! My own mother is no longer living, although she lives through me and my children, so I send this Happy Mother's Day wish to those wonderful ladies in my life that have stepped up and mothered me.

Wasn't my mother a looker! I wish I could have met her the day that picture was taken. We could have had some experiences to write home about, I'm sure. From her I inherited the gene for adventure and curiosity. And what did I give her for Mother's Day when I should have given her the world?

A potholder a year.

I remember it now because of my interviews with Pilot Mountain children of the fifties. That must have been the trend back then, home-made potholders. A little hand held loom and a bag of stretchy loops miraculously appeared at school and we would weave the loops together using the most unholy combination of colors. When we cleaned out my mother's house, I discovered a stack of stained, tattered, well-used potholders in the top kitchen drawer. I was loved.

Pilot Mountain School was blessed with mother figures by the dozens who stepped up not only for their own children, but for the community children as well. Teachers went to homes and checked on their students when they were absent. The cafeteria ladies nurtured them through daily lunchline chatter as much as through their delicious food. Need a bath? Take them to the principal's house and wash their hair. Need clothes? Call a mother with a child in the grade ahead and ask for some hand-me-downs. Need a snack to eat? Pack an extra apple.

Come Mother's Day, the teachers called upon one particular woman in the community to help. This was a beloved lady who lived behind the school and walked to the mailbox same time every day consistently enough for the teachers to use her to set their clocks. On warm days, when the school windows were thrown wide open, she would stand outside and chat with the teachers while the children continued with their assignments.

But the week before Mother's Day, she came inside. She taught the children how to weave those precious potholders. Life was good!

Catch of the day,



  1. So do you remember making pot holders?

  2. Hi Gretchen,

    I've made my share of potholders. Gretchen, you make us stretch for memories, just like we used to stretch potholders on looms. Thanks for that.

    Linda A.