The three sisters: Aunt Helen, Grandma, & Aunt Anne
Lathered in Ban de Soleil Orange Gelee.
Theresa &: I
Sitting 'cheesecake' bejeweled for cocktail hour. Grandpa is peeking over at us on far left.
A summer project checked off the list just in time: My newly organized jewelry drawer with stacked trays. Many pieces I inherited from Aunt Helen and my favorite charm bracelet is from Aunt Anne.
Aunt Anne & Aunt Helen were my Grandmother's unwed sisters from Queens. Their visits to my Grandmother's house, which was next doors to ours, filled my childhood with ideas of what was fancy. Michelle just reminded me that Aunt Anne & Aunt Helen used to travel from NYC up to Lake Sunnyside in the woods with all of their costume jewelry in tow. A few pieces were the real deal- (such as the shamrock charm bracelet in the far right of photo). As they unpacked their suitcases, perfumes filled the air. They would wrap each piece of jewelry in tissue paper or in the original Lord & Taylor boxes closed with rubber bands. My Grandmother would leave the top drawer in their guest room empty. Upon their arrival, the three of us little girls would plop on the bed in our wet bathing suits as they unpacked their stylish boxes.
We were in awe. They would take out each necklace, matching clip-ons and lay them neatly in the drawer. They had no children of their own, so playing with us and sharing all of these fancy things was a highlight of their trip. They would throw us each a set of pop-beads and we would alter them to different lengths and small bracelets. We would try on the dangly clip-on earrings but would take them off since they were quite painful. They would then hang all of their outfits in the spacious empty closet, calling them foreign names like "blouses" and "slacks" and "tunics". This would take hours. They would linger in the bedroom with us laughing, talking and being silly until cocktails were served before dinner.
We would then walk the catwalk out into the living room. Someone would announce us as we entered the living room. We were dressed to hills with gobs of their jewelry hanging from our limbs. The three of us little girls looked silly, but they looked classy. They had teased their hair with a spritz of spray, put on fresh lipstick, matching jewels and a splash of Chanel No. 5. All this just to hang in "the woods" with their dear "country-bumpkin" family for a week or two.