Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman





Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Remember When: Gas Prices

This is a photo of a gas station my dad worked at, probably before I was even born. 

I can just imagine somebody wishing they had those old gas pumps. I've even seen fish in the top of one like the one on the left. Isn't it funny how things become collectibles?

This is my maternal grandfather (left) and my dad. Probably around the same time. Other people would love to have that old car.

Frankly, I would love to have that old car, except for the bad mileage. 

This car was the one my mom drove when I was little. She had it all trimmed because it was going to be painted. I was nine and remember that clearly. 


I remember Mom pulling into the gas station and complaining that gas was up to fifty cents or maybe it was twenty-five cents. I tried to find an ad from the Great Bend Daily Tribune for that year to confirm the gas prices but although I found a number of gas station ads none of them listed prices.

It's hard to imagine, now, a time when fifty cents was high. When Mom was supporting my sister and I on her own she sometimes worked two jobs. It was a tough life.

As we are constantly threatened with sky high gas prices I think about how it's all relative. Fifty cents was high to my mom in the late fifties and early sixties and now our prices are bouncing up again. Thank heavens for better cars with better mileage.

Do you remember big price changes that affected your family? When did you become aware of the price of life's necessities.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Remember When: Outfits

Every Monday I meet with a writing partner at the local Barnes & Noble. We order our tea and chat a bit but then it is time to write. 

I often work on my blogs and then branch out to writing my western history articles, memoirs, or whatever project is currently taking space in my computer bag.

Sometimes I stare off into space. Thankfully, Michele, knows that means I'm thinking and she doesn't ask me if I'm okay or whatever. She has her moments of staring off into space too. 

I was watching a little girl walk by with her mother and perhaps her grandmother. She had on a cute little outfit. It made me think of the days when I picked cute little outfits for my own daughter. 

This was one of my favorites:
Usually I notice little kids with bright purple pants and green shirts or whatever. Obviously chosen by themselves. Of course there's nothing wrong with that; kids need to learn to make decisions but I thought the little girl this morning was so cute. I kept picturing the scene:

Little girl ate her breakfast and maybe watched "Sesame Street." Then it was time to get ready to go shopping with grandma. Her mother took  her in her room where all her clothes are neatly folded or hung up and pulls out this top and shorts in a bright salmon color. Maybe she considered a blue outfit but the little girl wanted the brighter colors. She helped her daughter dress and find her little white sandals. They arrived at the bookstore where I noticed the salmon outfit. They headed straight back to the children's section.

There are stories, and memories, everywhere. We just need to take the time to pay attention and then think about them.

Do you remember a favorite outfit from when you were little? Or perhaps when your children were little? Did you choose them yourself or get help? Were you flamboyant or just didn't care? Or perhaps you were one of those children who didn't want to wear clothes, ever. (Michele pointed out earlier this is National Nudist Day.)

Write about those outfits and if you have pictures add copies to your journal.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Remember When: Costumes

 For about ten years my husband and I were very involved in Old West history events around southern Arizona. As the years went on we added authenticity and details to our costumes. My first dress was adapted from a prom or wedding attendant dress from a thrift store. Doug had his basic black gambler costume.

A friend helped me make this one. I love it, complete with a small bustle. 


I started coming up with more day-time easy to wear costumes like this simple skirt and blouse that I wore for a filming in Tombstone.


Doug went less formal (and cooler) too. This jacket isn't actually a costume but it was my sisters and I'm so proud of it. 

The final edition was this black satin with bustle and layers of ruffles. I bought the hat from a lady in Tombstone. I also had gloves, shawl and a parasol.

We still occasionally do events where we can wear our costumes but for the most part they stay in the closet. That was a fun few years with enough memories for a life-time.

Have you ever been involved in an activity that took you away from the normal every day life for awhile? When we were in Willcox or Tombstone it was like being in another world. Most of our friends dressed in costume and character. 

Here's a few of our friends:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Remember When: Mothers and Sons

 We so often hear about the special relationships between mothers and sons or fathers and daughters. I've always found this to be interesting. Growing up in a household with just my mother and sister I didn't witness that dynamic.

This is my second great grandmother, Orpha Ann Collinsworth Waggoner, with her second husband whose name I can't remember. Her first husband was Joseph Waggoner who went off to fight in the Civil War and never returned. She was left with one small son, Isaac Tandy Waggoner.

The family lived in northeastern Tennessee and she was near her parents and siblings so there was a lot of male support. I wonder what kind of relationship she had with her son.



This is Isaac Tandy Waggoner and his wife. Salenia Alzadie Freeman. Their daughter, Carrie, was my grandmother who died before I was born.


Next is my dad who apparently loved his mother very much. I don't remember either of them but the family still has the trunk my dad made for his mother in high school. 

Isaac never really knew his dad. I never knew mine. No matter what we do or where we go things stay the same. Sometimes I wonder: What if? What if my mom and dad had worked it out and he had always been around? What if he wasn't killed in a car accident and I was able to get to know him when I got older? What if Joseph had returned from the War? What if Carrie hadn't died from cancer before I was born? 

Write about some of your family dynamics. Imagine what might have happened if something had happened differently. Write a short story about that change.