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Portable Magic

Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.

Currently reading

The Bungalow Mystery
P.M. Carlson, Russell H. Tandy, Carolyn Keene
The Remains of the Day
Kazuo Ishiguro, Simon Prebble
Duel of Eagles: The Mexican and U.S. Fight for the Alamo
Jeff Long
Progress: 11/431 pages
The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Carolyn Keene
I am No One You Know
Joyce Carol Oates
The Return of the King
J.R.R. Tolkien, Rob Inglis
Progress: 13 %

PM’s Task the Ninth: The Happy New Year

Task: If you're feeling brave, post a holiday picture of yourself from your childhood or misspent youth.


That’s me, on the right, in a red mobcap and gown, holding Santa’s left hand. And yes, those are little girls wearing pleather hotpants, white go-go boots, and orange satin blouses behind us. I have a vivid memory of that night, running/being dragged by Santa across a football field, my arm nearly yanked out of the socket, deafened by music and a screaming, faceless crowd of strangers, and crying because I lost my cap on the field and Santa wouldn’t let me go back for it.


Believe it or not, there’s a rational explanation for all of this.


There has been a F.U.N. Football league for elementary school aged kids in the Houston area since the 1950’s, providing local community engagement and teaching kids the fundamentals of teamwork and sportsmanship through organized football, cheer, and drill/dance. One of my older sisters was on the drill team and the other made the twirl team (I remember that as a Very Big Deal). So somewhere off-camera, my 11-12 year old sisters were dressed in pleather hotpants and orange satin, sequined leotard, respectively.


I was too young to be anything other than a “mascot”, for which my only job was to be dressed up and look cute. I suspect I failed in my job on this night, with my mobcapless hair tangled and my face covered in tears and snot. I had my own little orange sequined outfit and go-go boots, which I’d have much rather been wearing than a mobcap and nightgown. That’s not me in the linked newspaper photo, btw, it was taken a few years earlier.


My mother made all those uniforms for the team. This was back when it was cheaper to make clothes than to buy them. Her sewing room was also my bedroom, and all my childhood memories are filled with scraps of orange satin, white fringe and feathers, and loose sequins everywhere. Here’s a photo of those amazing Twirlers’ uniforms – I cropped out my sister since she may not appreciate me posting her picture on the internet for strangers to gawk at. But I wanted to brag on my mother’s sewing ability. She even made a little mascot uniform for my doll.