Saturday, January 13, 2024

Grams and Pop Pop and The Dress

     I have mentioned countless times how close I was to my grandparents, both my maternal and paternal.  This blog is about my paternal grandparents, Grams and Pop Pop, Sarah VanGilder Hughes and George Henry Hughes. 

Out to dinner Spring Break 1969
     Every spring break from Heidelberg College (now Heidelberg University) my Dad kindly flew me down to St Petersburg, Florida to spend the week with Grams and Pop Pop.  It was the highlight of spring.  They had a huge swimming pool behind their condo, which I took full advantage of during my visit.  Grams cooked many of my favorite meals and there were several dinners out.

     There was usually a loose routine to my week long stay.  Swim in the gulf, go fishing with Pop Pop, visit my favorite amusement, Tiki Gardens, go to the race track, visit Busch Gardens, play bridge, and hang at the pool.  Pop Pop and I would take walks along the beach and I swear, he spoke to everyone he passed.  

Mother and Son
Grams and my Dad

     My final spring break was the Spring of 1969, the end of my college senior year.  My Dad flew down to Florida and was with us for a day or two.  I image he had a medical convention nearby as he is in some of my photos.  

     One afternoon, Grams, Pop Pop and I went to St Armands Key for lunch.  I believe the restaurant was an English Pub and probably long gone.  While we were having lunch fashion models were wandering from table to table wearing trendy outfits from a local boutique.  There was one dress that caught my eye.  Short and with a colorful pastel psychedelic print.  

     Unbeknownst to me Pop Pop must have asked for a card from the model.  After lunch, Pop Pop wanted to walk around the town and didn't we stop at a boutique and go in.  I certainly had no money to spend in a clothing boutique.  Once inside, Pop Pop found a store associate and began to ask about the very dress I had admired at the fashion show in the restaurant.  

     And there is was, hanging on a my size.  I still have that dress fifty-five years later.  I will never part with it.  The memory of that afternoon and the fun my grandfather had in making the very special purchase for me is one I hold dear.  BTW the dress label is Symphony, is what's happening, happening, happening.


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