Sunday, May 29, 2011

Neckin' in a rumble seat...

"I remember neckin' in a rumble seat in that car!" Papa said loudly, to Mr. Sussen.

They were standing in the dining room area of the Florida house - it was early evening - men were wearing the appropriate attire (funny looking pink and green pastel pants) and chatter was everywhere. But Papa's voice was un-ignorable.

I was 14 at the time - I think. The worry of sickness is not part of this memory - so I think this moment occurred before cancer joined us and became an ever-present member of my family.

Nan shot Papa the look - many of you reading know the look well - and said "Well who was with you - because it certainly was not me." She glanced at me - then back at Papa and the message was clear (1) I never necked and (2) Amy is here.

Papa said "Well, Anne, there is no way it was anyone else."

I dreamed about this moment recently. I remember it vividly. And it made me want to return to researching the family - and consider courtship, dating, teen age years, and love. All of those "things" are present in this story -
  • Papa and Joe were remembering being young.
  • Nan was more worried about me being on the precipice of teen age hood
  • I was at an adult party - watching, listening, learning - I wanted to jump into adulthood with both feet - immediately
So, I am reading up on dating, adolescence etc. If you want to read along with me - stay tuned - or head to the bookstore:

From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth Century America

Teenage: The Pre-History of Youth Culture: 1875-1945
Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 1920s


  1. PS: if you have memories or stories of any of the folks listed here

    about their dating - pls comment on the link above -- I'd love to hear them

  2. What a lovely post. Well done, Amy!

  3. 1 -- I remember THAT look!

    2 -- Joe Sussen was Dad/Papa's 'bad little brother'(honorary title) because he said and did the outrageous things that proper Dad/Papa couldn't do. DPM just thoroughly enjoyed him.

    3 -- I have a lovely letter from DPM that express his wonder and joy that such a "tiny, little girl" would agree to marry him. I'll share it with you