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Coral Memories of June

June 1, 2016

 

NOTE:  Is your June calendar marked with numerous special occasions?  The June calendar of my extended family is filled with birthdays (even three on one day–Flag Day), wedding anniversaries, graduations (cousin Dominic from high school and cousin Olivia from eighth grade for this school year), Father’s Day, and even one little baby cousin’s birthday yet to be determined.  For me, June holds one tremendously special day–June 6, 2009–the day I received my third Leader Dog Zoe.  From waiting for the arrival of the newest family members to celebrating the 90th birthday of my Uncle Jules (who lives in California), June of 2016 will be a wonderful month for my extended family and me; and I hope this month will be a very special one for you and your family also.

 

A bittersweet day in June will come on the 16th when my aunt in Minnesota will mark her 60th wedding anniversary without her beloved Bill.  Fortunately, they were blessed with nearly 59 years together.  Their wedding, in 1956, was the first I remember attending; and it was quite special.  The young bride was beautiful in a Cinderella-type gown.  Of course, the bridegroom and the groomsmen were in tuxedos.  My cousin Carla, maid of honor, was in a long dress of a shade of turquoise which was popular at that time.  In similarly fashioned gowns, the bridesmaids were in a coral pink–again today a stylish color.  My cousin Carole and I, the flower-girls, wore dresses which matched the bridesmaids.  While my aunt wore a veil, the bridesmaids donned “picture hats”; and my cousin and I sported bonnets of coral and white lace.  All of the long dresses (except the bride’s) and all of the hats were sewn by my cousin Carole’s maternal grandmother Jewel, a professional seamstress.

 

Besides still having the 8-by-10 photograph of the wedding party, I still have the coral hat in a drawer of my old chest-of-drawers.  Hanging in one of my closets is still the pretty, coral, sleeveless dress.  Sixty years old, the flower-girl dress is still in amazingly good condition.

 

After wearing the long dress for my aunt’s wedding in June before my first-grade year, I wore the long dress with the rolled collar for my Jacksonville Grade School (Indiana) 1957 Halloween party; with this “costume,” I, as a second-grader, won a prize in that October masquerade.  However, the history of this dress goes on through the generations, as you will read in the following poem which brings together a wedding, an anniversary, and a birthday.

 

 

The Coral Flower-girl Dress

 

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

 

Sixty years ago this June,

in coral pink, long dresses–

selected by my aunt,

made by my cousin’s Grandma Paris–

my cousin Carole and I

dropped pink flower petals

from cream-colored baskets

onto the white linen runner

that covered the aisle to the altar

of Sacred Heart Church

where a young couple was blessed

on the sixteenth of June

and for nearly sixty years to come.

 

Fast-forward fifty years!

For the golden wedding anniversary

of my aunt and uncle,

I had an idea for the coral flower-girl dress.

I sent the dress to Oregon

so that it could be fitted for Olivia,

a granddaughter

of the fiftieth wedding anniversary couple.

Thus, at the

golden wedding anniversary party,

Olivia surprised them

by wearing the coral, flower-girl dress.

 

The little dress came back to Milwaukee

because I wanted to save it

for another young family member

to wear someday for another special occasion.

Does the tradition go on?

Will my grand-niece Lanie

wear this special dress of memories

for a photo on her third birthday,

this June 14?

I hope so.

 

 

Happy June!

Alice

 

June 1, 2016, Wednesday

 

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6 Comments
  1. Dear Alice,
    The pictures over the years have surely touched all those who attended these special occasions. Thanks for sharing, and may the traditions of your family live on strong and proud.
    dp

  2. Hi Alice,

    That’s so nice that you saved the dress and that it is being passed down.

    Mary-Jo

  3. Sue McKendry permalink

    Alice–Every family needs an auntie who is the “glue” to keep precious traditions and memories alive, thus preserving family ties. Sounds like you fill this role in your family. They are lucky to have you. Oh, and turquoise and coral are two of my very favorite colors!–Sue

  4. Fran Rayce permalink

    I will be eager to see a picture of lovely Lanie in that same dress. How special! What a fun thing to be the one who saves and collects family items. They do hold us all together.

    I can well imagine the wedding “look”; picture hats were quite the rage. I’ll bet it is in black and white. My cousin, Rose, a classmate of Kathy’s, was married in 1960, and pastels were still in fashion as that wedding celebration, also at Sacred Heart church, featured lavender dresses for the bridal party.

  5. Katherine Binole permalink

    Alice, Thank you for your vivid memories of our wedding. That was so special, as are all your family memories.

    I can’t tell you what a heartfelt surprise for Bill and I when Olivia walked into our hotel room wearing your coral flower dress! The best 50th anniversary gift ever!

    June is indeed a special month for our family. This year we can add two more special occasions, the birth of my first great granddaughter, Mia, and your new leader dog, Willow!

    Keep writing the beautiful memories. I love you. Aunt Kathy

  6. Thanks for the memories, Alice! That little coral dress has definitely traveled many miles with more memories to make. You are very thoughtful to share the special dress with family members. Did the dress fit Lanie? The dress was a perfect fit for Olivia’s surprise in Las Vegas.

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