Grandmas Are The Best


Today is my grandma’s birthday. This is a picture taken probably in the early 1960s at the Nicollet Hotel (which is no longer around, as are all these women). The women are, from the left, my mom (with a fox mink that I remember still had the face and paws — it was so gross), my grandma, their friend Helen, and my great aunt Edith who is obviously already a little tipsy. I love this picture not just for the women in it but because it is an era that is long past. This is how people dressed if they went downtown. Today I feel like I’m dressing up if I don’t wear jeans.

My grandma, Louise Kelso Hay, was quite a woman. She never wore a pair of slacks in her adult life. I don’t know if she had any as a child, but probably not. She was a tremendous seamstress and would make lined wool jackets on a manual, not electric, sewing machine that she had to operate with the foot pedal she would pump. I remember as a kid laying on the floor watching her work that pedal while she sewed. She made a lot of my clothes too. I loved the clothes but hated having to try them on and stand there while she pinned them up. She had a marvelous sense of humor and fun but was also sheer class and pure love. I don’t remember her ever saying a cross word to me.
So happy birthday Grandma. I’d like to think these four ladies are together somewhere out there having lunch and playing bridge.