Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Can you remember your date's name after 72 years?

That was the question I was asking myself after my Mammaw shared her own prom memories with me yesterday.  MiniMe and I had dinner with Mammaw last night. She is 90-years young. I was showing her pictures of Stepson dressed to go to his prom last Saturday.

Mammaw went to her Senior High prom in 1937. That's her in the center of the photo, surrounded by her daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter. 

At first she couldn't remember the name of her date, although as she recalled, "I had a corsage, so I must have had a date." I guess the flower left more of an impression than the boy. In 1937, her high school held prom for its seniors in the school's gymnasium. Before the dance, the teens all were served dinner in the school cafeteria (though they weren't served cafeteria style, but waited on by the school staff). Her mother made her dress, but then again, her mother made everything she and her sisters wore. Even their underwear, I learned.

Then, the name of her prom date came to her. 

"W.T. Owens. He was killed in the war," she said.

Which made me think. When I share memories, I recall the names of friends and past dates with the description, "I went to high school with her," or "we grew up together on the same street," or even "we met in college." 

Sadly, just about everyone my Mammaw ever knew, from past loves, to best friends, even most of her family is now gone. Her stories (which I love by the way), unfortunately come with caveats such as "he died in the war," or "she died from cancer." I guess that's what happens when you live to be 90-years young. 

As I drove home, I thought about how sharp my Mammaw is and what an interesting life she has led. I don't know that 70 plus years from now I will remember the name of my Senior Prom date. 

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