Last week, when I wrote about the hatbox and my memories of Revere McCleod , I was reminded that my own great-grandmother Alice was a milliner. I never knew her -- she died shortly before her daughter ( my maternal grandmother) was married.
My grandmother often talked about her mother, saying that she could do anything she set her mind to. There were three daughters and one son and, though her husband had a good job working for the railroad, Alice set up as a milliner in her hometown of Troy, Alabama.
Her business did so well that eventually the Rosenbergs (across the street neighbors and owners of the largest department store in town) bought her out and put her in charge of the millineryin their store.
They also made her a buyer and she would ride the train to New York City to purchase merchandise for the store -- a pretty big deal for a small town girl back in the early 1900s.
On several occasions, Alice and her employers disagreed. "She would quit," my grandmother told me, "and go back into business for herself and then, sooner or later, the Rosenbergs would buy her out again and she'd go back to working for them."
Evidently this happened several times. And evidently the families stayed on good terms because Bernice Rosenberg was a bridemaid in my grandmother's wedding.
"Junior bridesmaid -- I was a lot younger than the rest of them," Bernice told me when she and her husband visited my grandparents some fifty years after the wedding.
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I'm the author of The Elizabeth Goodweather Full Circle Farm Appalachian Mysteries from Bantam Dell. The series includes SIGNS IN THE BLOOD (LA MONTAGNE DES SECRETS in France), ART'S BLOOD, (LE SECRET DES APPALACHES in France,) OLD WOUNDS,IN A DARK SEASON (Anthony Nominee, Best PBO), and UNDER THE SKIN. There's also THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS (a spinoff/standalone)chronicling the unexpected life story of Miss Birdie, one of Elizabeth's neighbors.
Currently I have just completed a historical novel, dealing with a massacre in my county during the Civil War.
I came to this weird business late (my first novel was published in 2005) and am still trying to figure it out.
As my novels are set in a place much like my real life home, I thought I'd use this blog to share pictures of our farm and county. I've been blogging for nearly nine years now, on an almost daily basis, and the topics have ranged from writing, chickens, food, books, quilts, flora and fauna of all sorts, to the occasional tiny rant. There's no plan, but there are lots of pictures.
There's more information about me and my books on my web site: http://vickilanemysteries.com/