Friday, March 04, 2016
The Legacy of a Pair of Scissors
Recently, while traveling from place to place for three months, I misplaced these scissors. I've never taken them with me before and have no idea what caused me to take them this time.
When I could not find them amongst stuff that was left at my son's house or what had traveled with me and been stored in the back of the car until I could get back in my house, I panicked.
To the naked eye they don't look like much - a pair of scissors? Ah, but these scissors are more then special, they are a link to the past, namely my Grandmother Markley. These scissors belonged to her.
She died in the mid 50's when I was a preteen or had just become a teen. She lived with us for many years.
Her story is quite fascinating and these scissors played a big part in her life.
Nana Markley was born in Joplin, Mo. but migrated to Colorado, Durango to be specific where my mother was born. There are many Markley's in Colorado which surprised me when I visited there totally not knowing anything about the extended family. But, that is another story.
My grandmother married a Markley and had two daughters. The marriage did not last and they divorced.
Can you imagine back in the 1920's being a divorced woman trying to raise two daughters? She relocated to Chicago and became a pattern designer for a company called Blums/Vogue which later became Vogue Patterns. Her daughters, my mother and aunt, went to boarding school and she lived in a teeny tiny room in a boarding house that I will never forget. I think I was younger then 10 when I saw that room. It is permanently embedded in my mind's eye.
She sewed all the time. The most beautiful tiny, meticulous hand stitching in all the clothes she made for me and my Toni doll. With bits of fur or glitz, she took me on journeys of mystery and elegance with the wardrobes that she made for that doll.
A quiet woman, until you sat and watched her sew. Then she opened up with magnificent stories about life on the Frontiers of Colorado and New Mexico plus stories of her designing days with Vogue.
When we left Chicago and moved to Shreveport, she came to live with us. My dad remodeled our house to create a private living space for her in what had been an attached garage. She always had her treadle Singer Sewing machine along with bits and pieces of exquisite fabrics. Along with that, it seemed these little scissors were always nearby.
How I got them, I have no idea. Truly, none. But I treasure them. Their value to me is not in the actual scissors but what they remind me of and that sweet woman who always looked old to me, even when she wasn't.
They are a legacy of what persistence and hard work can do for one person with only a pair of scissors.