Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!
This is my Mom on her wedding day, age 19, thirteen months before I was born. Her own mother had died when she was 13, and her dad died when she was 18. She was never afraid to try anything, and never had a problem telling someone where to go — in the nicest possible language, and always with a smile.
Dad was in the Navy then, so we moved around A LOT. Wherever we went, Mom always seemed to find an older lady to adopt. They’d have coffee together, go shopping, get to doctor appointments, etc. It took a shocking amount of time for me to figure out that she was adopting a Mom everywhere we went. I don’t think we ever talked about it…it was just something she always did.
When I was in junior high and high school, we managed to live in the same housing for about six or seven years — the longest I’d ever lived anywhere in my life at the time. We lived on Fallon Circle, or as Mom liked to call it “Fallon Circus.” She was the ring leader of a gang of moms who moved from apartment to apartment doing the coffee klatch thing and smoking like chimneys. They supported each other because most of the men were in Vietnam, and I swear, those women were a network of spies — because we kids got away with very little in those days.
Mom got to looking around Fallon Circus one day, and decided that she was sick of all the buildings looking the same. The solution: Everyone should paint their door a different color. But this was Navy housing, and you can’t just paint your doors! The housing authorities were aghast!! Well, Mom kept at them for weeks and finally they said, “Fine! Please go away!” After all that, Mom painted our door the god-awfullest green I’d ever seen in my life. Mom!?
At the end of the war, the dads were coming home all around Fallon Circus, and in May 1975, the USS Coral Sea was coming home. My Dad was on that ship, along with a couple other dads from the Circus. Mom got together with the other ladies, and they brewed up a plan…
A large “Yellow Ribbon” was created by the Navy Wives at Alameda Naval Air Station (NAS) and was installed near the top of the Coit Tower late May 1975 for the returning of the U.S.S. Coral Sea (CV-43) from an eight month WestPac tour (1974 – 1975) in the Viet Nam / West Pacific area. The Yellow Ribbon was made from a large chicken wire skeleton with hundreds of small pieces of yellow cloth tied to it to make the large Yellow Ribbon. Several Sailors (including Robert P. Hampton, Radioman, 17 years old, awaiting upon the ship’s return to Alameda NAS) carried the Yellow Ribbon up the Coit Tower inner-stairwell and with the help from a couple of San Francisco City workers draped the large and heavy Yellow Ribbon over the top arch opening, under very windy conditions. It was directed towards the Angel Island direction. A banner “U.S.S. Coral Sea (CVA-43) – San Francisco’s Own” was also [draped] below the Yellow Ribbon (Another similar banner was placed on the Golden Gate Bridge, ocean side for the returning Sailors to see).
It was a sight to see, let me tell you. The men on the ship were thrilled! I’m sure there’s a picture of it out there somewhere, but I sure couldn’t find it.
Anyhoo, that was my Mom. What about your Mom? If you’d like, you can share your Mom stories in the comments section — or whatever else you have on your mind.
This is our daily open thread — Happy Mother’s Day!