Saturday, April 01, 2006

'Till the Ocean Wears Rubber Pants

"What children did for amusement? Work. At our house we had to get up early to churn butter. That was a big seller with the passengers along with the eggs and milk. We had about 50 chestnut trees on our property and we picked and sold the chestnuts.”1 I heard my mother's voice when I read Edith Blake's reply to the question I had asked so often as a child.

Edith Blake was a child during Orlando's heyday: a generation older than my mother. Ma's chores were not geared toward the railroad because the trains no longer stopped in Orlando in the 1930s. I don't doubt for a minute that life was very hard, for reasons I can't even imagine. But wasn't there something good about her Orlando childhood?

After she died I found tucked away in a drawer her autograph book from high school. Lots of friends had written once or twice in her book. Here are some of the entries. I hope Ma doesn't mind.

Sophomore 1838-1939 In Algebra Dec. 16, 1938
Dear Mary,
Always remember me as one of your many friends. I am a little nervous now because it won't be long before we'll have to give the play, "A Pair of County Kids." We did have lots of fun practicing, didn't we?
Remember these lines so few
May be the last I write to you,
So keep these when death do part us,
You may say the hand that wrote it, sleeps in clay.
A Friend
Mildred Clay

May 1, 1940
Back Again. Could it be true that school is so near out and we have to part for another summer- Remember our times Walking to school together How dumb we acted- Especially me.
Yours until the Pacific Ocean wears rubber pants to keep its bottom dry.
“Married or Single, Best Wishes”

Edith Short

Hi “Nick"2
Just to jot my name the second time.
Remember the fun we have together. Remember the roast at Posey Run and well just everything.
Until the Atlantic Ocean Wears rubber pants to keep its bottom dry.

Study Hall 10:11 May 1, 1940
Dear Mary,
Remember the fun we had in B.H.S. For one serving the “Junior – Senior” banquet when we were Freshmans.
Also the class tournaments.
I wish you much success in life.


For more entries from Mom's autograph book, see April 9, 2006.

1. The Weston Democrat Wed, Nov 2, 1977. Orlando: Cinderella City writen by Mary Mazza.
2. All the kids and cousins had nicknames. My mother's was Nicodemus.

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