Marjorie Grace. Born June 14 1906 – on Flag Day – before there even was a Flag Day! Born to James Benjamin Daigle and Mary (Minnie) Victoria Gardner (Daigle) in the family home at 4500 Perry Street in Denver. A mere 21 years later, my mother would be born in that very same house!
Gram was the youngest of four children. Two older brothers died at very young ages (one from an accidental discharge of a rifle and one electrocuted from felled power lines near their home. She was, admittedly, very spoiled and that carried through until the day she died in 2004. When Mom would take us to visit Gram in Denver no less than twice a year, everything revolved around her and care was taken to make certain that she did not prepare a meal, wash a dish or vacuum a floor the entire time we were visiting. When Gram visited Grand Junction, also twice a year, everything revolved around her and care was taken to make certain that she did not prepare a meal, wash a dish or vacuum a floor the entire time she was visiting. Déjà vu all over again!
Gram’s one and only chore during any visit was to take me shopping. The famous phrase still rings in my head “we need to buy you a new top!” Off to the May D&F or Fashion Bar we would go and I would return with no less than 4 blouses each time. In my much younger days, I received pinafore dresses with layers of crinoline complete with hoop petticoats, matching socks, shoes and sometimes even a bonnet – her word for a hat. When I was 3 or 4, I was dressed up in a pale pink dress layered with a pinafore. A pale pink hat was placed atop my head, brand new shiny white paten leather shoes atop the pale pink ruffled socks, AND the piece de la resistance, white gloves. The dainty kind that just barely covered my hands below the wrist. I cared not where we were headed when I was walked to the 1952 dark maroon color Chevy with the most enormous steering wheel I have ever seen. I was only concerned with not scuffing my shoes or soiling my pristine white gloves. After a short drive, I was out of the car and walked into a big building which was all quiet and hushed-like. I dutifully sat in the bench style seat next to Gram like the little lady I was.
I don’t know exactly when it was that I realized there was a dead body in an ornate box at the front of the building. I felt so betrayed. Why would Gram have me all dressed up in my signature pale pink color attire to bring me to sit on a hard bench looking at a box with a dead person in it. I should be going to Luby’s for lunch and taken to another store to shop! Nothing was ever discussed about that quiet day. But I do know that I learned some grace from Gram that day.
Happy Birthday to Gram who left us in this world to watch over us from another. I think I hear her voice now … don’t wear that. You look like a hussy!