The letter had arrived from Charleston SC, on a November day in 1963. I rushed to get the mail and it was there. I was 6 at that time and it was a letter from my Aunt Louise. She was my dad’s oldest sister. It was official, she and my Uncle, were coming for a week during the Christmas Holidays.
She was a bit bossy and blunt, but she loved me a lot and I her. I only got to see her 2 times a year at best when I was younger. As I jumped up and down at the table, for Mom to read every word out loud my mind was already racing. Wow, in two weeks she would be here. She always came in with a bang, suitcases, and clothes, like a star!
To a kid that lived in a middle-class neighborhood seeing someone that carried themselves like a movie star was fun and exciting for a kid in the 60’s. I remembered another great part of their visit, they took my bed, and I slept on the sofa! I loved that it was like being away from home fun and something different. And in 1963, we did not get a lot of different! It was school, home, homework, dinner, then bed. Weekends were cleaning the room, playing on the front porch with the girl next door. We always played school, I guess we didn’t get enough Monday through Friday lol.
I was always the Teacher, I guess we start role modeling early huh. All you 50’s ladies know life was easy, simple and laid back and as I pointed out not a lot of doing different things when you lived in the city. After all, my Mom had just had my baby brother and she was in the bed before and after, so I was in for a treat with Aunt Louise coming.
I counted the days and it had finally arrived, she would be at home when I woke up the next day. They usually got there around 6:00 AM and ALWAYS had a dozen fresh Krispy Kreme Donuts all kinds, that was a treat for me too. It was the only day I did not mind getting up before 6 AM, except Christmas. She strolls in with some of her bags, hair all done, makeup just so, beautiful rings, and oh I was in awe as that six-year-old little girl in a small town, middle America.
Days went by and we were getting to the end of her trip we have laughed I got to stay up late the only time I think my Mom let me was when my Aunt was in town. I felt like I was 20 an adult too I think that was old to me then.. lol I was wondering were we going to take that annual shopping trip the one we always took each time she came to visit.
Yep, just she and I would go shopping and it was all for me… Don’t get me wrong, I was not the spoiled that brat you may think. I got this 2 times a year from someone other than my Mother, I looked up too. It was a privilege for me, and I so enjoyed it. She had the best taste and would buy me dresses, shoes, socks, slips, PJ’s you name it. We ate out something we did not do a lot of in our home when I was 6 maybe once a month. My favorite thing this Winter trip was my white “go-go boots” I thought I was all that and a box of rocks, ladies. For this little 8-year-old from Alabama, I hit the big-time! It was Christmas and just 5 days before .. And a surprise on Christmas Day from her, a coat, a beautiful long coat, fit for a little princess. I never knew that my parents had some hard times, but My Aunt Louise did, that is why she took care of my needs until next Spring. For me and for her baby brother, we were family. She had it and was not selfish by any means of the word than the fact that she did this for me 2 times a year proved it and she spared no expense.
My Aunt Louise lost her husband early in her years and something happened to her. She no longer had that Star charisma. And it went on for years, she moved back to Alabama years later after my Uncles death. But, the lady I once knew was gone, she had lost her partner, her one true love and it took away that special spark she had. This mailbox was one that she gave me years ago when she moved from her old home-place in Alabama to a new home.
Watering the flowers on my front porch yesterday and her having this same mailbox in 1963. I could see the Letters she would write in my mind. And the fun we had all those years ago. The anticipation I had each time she came for a visit. All I have left of her is this mailbox and a lifetime of wonderful memories. I’d not take anything for this old mailbox. It is a reminder of such easy, fun and good times in my life and that one person that made life a lot more special for me. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s were wonderful times. Having someone that took time for you once in awhile was even more amazing. I am blessed!
This mailbox hangs on my front porch to the right of our Front door to this very day…