Goldie Bennett of Tuttle, Oklahoma was one of the few people I knew personally who regularly had her hair treated with bluing. Washed, bluing-ed, rolled, teased, styled, sprayed, and… good for another week. Goldie was my great-grandmother. Her son Frank married my grandmother Emma Lee a few years after Emma Lee’s first husband passed away. Frank was a joker. Goldie was stoic.
Well, Goldie was generally stoic. She did have her moments. Take for example my wedding day during the summer of 1985.
The scene: Family photo-taking after the ceremony is all a-whirl. As the photographer worked through grouping after grouping of the bridal party, the groom’s party, grandparents, uncles, and aunts, Goldie waited patiently on the front pew.
“Grandma Bennett, it’s your turn,” someone cued from the midst of the hubbub. She slowly rose and moved to her position in front of the communion table, turned around and waited. A few jokes came from the onlookers. “Goldie, where’s your smile?” “C’mon, Goldie, this is a happy day! Smile for the camera!”
Goldie hadn’t moved and neither had her facial muscles. This wasn’t unusual, however, as Goldie had a face that quite frankly reminded me of The Grinch. I loved my grandmother Goldie, make no mistake about that. But young children tend to get signals from their elder’s faces, and the vibe she generally sent the world was one that uncannily resembled Grant Wood’s famous “American Gothic” painting. No, not the female. Put an older woman’s hairdo on the farmer holding the pitchfork and you’re getting close to her expression.
“Goldie, you better smile. You don’t want Kelly’s picture album to have you frownin’ now, do you?” came a third comment. Goldie hesitated, her face staid. Continue reading Grandma Goldie Rolled Over in Her…Casket