A True WWII Love Story Part 6 - The New Look

After the shortages of the war, the New Look celebrated the end of rationing with full skirts and long lengths using lots and lots of fabric!

Mom decided not to have a traditional wedding dress but that didn’t mean she wasn’t going all out on her wedding outfit. She ordered a pink felt hat with a pink ostrich feather and had kid gloves dyed to match. A blue crepe dress was being custom made along with a black wool coat with a flared skirt, both in the new mid-calf length. She would be quite the fashion plate at her wedding! Her sister Ruthie was also getting a new outfit including a pink crepe dress, a pink hat with a feather, pink gloves and a string of pearls Mom had given her as a Maid of Honor gift.

There was one significant person who wasn't ordering new clothes for the wedding. Mom’s mother, Madeline, was unhappy with the thought of her new son-in-law and his desire to be married in the Catholic Church. At first, she tried to convince Mom to get married at the Church of England, but Dad was a staunch Catholic and insisted on Saint Mary’s Cathedral. When grandma saw that Dad wouldn’t budge she suggested getting married twice - once at the St. Mary’s and once at the Church of England, but Mom said that she wasn’t going to do everything two times. The couple decided that they would be married at Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, regardless of her mother’s wishes. Because Mom hadn’t converted to Catholicism, they would have to be married in the Cardinal’s Chapel, which was still quite large and beautiful, instead of at the main altar. In addition, Mom had to promise that all of their children would be raised in the Catholic faith.

Finally, everything was settled and the wedding day was approaching quickly.

Next: Guess who's not coming to the wedding...


A True WWII Love Story - Part 5 - Together Again

On the day the ship arrived in Sydney Dad was met by the entire Smart family. Mom was wearing a turquoise coat and when dad saw her, he let out a loud whistle. He had a very distinctive whistle. Mom recognized it right away and spotted him leaning against the railing while the ship docked. This photo is the Marine Phoenix, in service as a Liberty Ship in 1947, the ship my Dad bought passage on to go to Australia. It was later recommisioned as a USN ship. From what I have learned it was a very no frills trip!
After such a long absence between my mom and dad, it was like meeting for the first time all over again. Dressed in his civilian clothes Dad even looked different to Mom because she had only ever seen him in uniform. Dad stayed with the Smarts for a few days, sleeping on an outdoor balcony with only a blind between the outside world and him. It was a little awkward for everyone and he soon he found a job and a room in a boarding house. Taking advantage of the GI bill he also enrolled in school. During this time, Mom and Dad spent a lot of time talking, getting to know each other better and falling more in love. But there were a lot of fights too and the engagement ring was passed back and forth more than once. It seemed that all kinds of romantic notions had developed during a two-year courtship via love letters! Eventually they managed to come to terms and soon plans were being made for the wedding.

My goodness, what a terrible photograph! I think he needed a haircut, lol. Look back at the first post in this story, I added a photo which is much better.

Next: Our fashion forward bride-to-be


A True WWII Love Story Part 4

The war is over and the engaged couple are on opposite sides of the world. Neil has been discharged from the US Navy and is back home in Amsterdam, NY while Pamsy is still in the Land Down Under.

As mom was still underage, she needed her parents’ permission to leave the country and despite her repeated requests to join her fiancé in the United States, the answer was always the same. “You’re too young” and “You barely know him.” The last part was fairly true as it had been over two years since they had seen each other.

Dad, who if you remember always went after what he wanted, decided the only thing to do was to go back to Australia and marry her there. He had some money saved so he bought a bus ticket to San Francisco, California where he planned on getting a job on a ship and working his way across the ocean. What could be easier? He had just gotten out of the Navy and he knew his way around a ship, plus he was a hard worker and not fussy about what job he would be willing to take. However, he hadn’t counted on the Stevedores’ Union. Without a union card there was to be no work on a ship.
Not giving up on his plan to go after his bride-to-be, he found a room and a job and started saving up to buy passage. In just a few months, he had saved enough for the trip partly because he shared a room with another man and got free meals at the restaurant where he worked. Dad always knew how to pinch a penny and get a nickel.

This is a photo dad sent to mom while he was in San Francisco, ever the romantic he drew a heart with an arrow and their initials on the side by his shoulder.

Coming next - Together again


And the winner is..............


Please post a comment with the name of the item and (assuming that you're correct) please email me at charmingsllc@aol.com so I can arrange for shipping the necklace to you.

Thanks to all who entered!


Happy Valentine's Day!

Welcome to Charmings Collectibles Blog Party!
There is an item from my store in the following story's photographs, find it and you will be entered in a drawing to win this oh-so-romantic faux cameo necklace!

Cassandra is preparing for her part in the progressive "All Dolled Up" Valentine's Day Party. Her guests should be arriving any minute and she wants to be sure everything is just perfect!

The table is set with rosehip tea and heart shaped cookies.

With a cake stand as a table and Wexford goblets as chairs, the tea party is ready to begin!

Fuzzy Wuzzy arrives with a valentine. Was it for Miss Cassandra?Oh no, not this one. This was the first valentine Fuzzy had every received. It made him so happy that he had been carrying it around all day.

Barney Bear, looking very cute in his honey bee shirt with valentine antennae asks
"Will there beee honey in the tea?"

"Of course Barney, I would never forget your honey!"said Cassandra, giving him a generous dallop in his cup.

"Miss Cassandra," asked Noel Squirrel very politely,"what exactly might be under that pretty glass cover?" All the while hoping very sincerely that it was something sweet. Cookies perhaps? Maybe even with pink frosting?

"Well Noel," said Cassandra, " we will just have to take off the cover and have a look."

Cassandra removes the cover. "COOKIES!"; exclaim the guests with Noel shouting the loudest of all! Pink frosted cookies just as she had hoped for all along!

Cassandra loves entertaining and making sure that all of her guests are having fun. Fuzzy has managed to have a cookie while holding on to his valentine...

...and Barney loves his tea, sweetened with lots of honey of course!

But why does Noel look so upset?

Little Noel can't decide. Which cookie should she eat first? They both look so delicious! Cassandra suggests "Perhaps a little nibble off of one and then the other "Mmmm, good idea! Noel mumbles with a mouth full of cookie.

A good time was had by all! But no need to say goodbye
- everyone is heading to the next party!
Did you find it? Here's a hint, it's only in 2 of the photos! Please leave a comment on this post to enter the drawing!


Vintage Perfume Bottle - could be yours - free!

As part of the Very Vintage Valentine's Celebration on The Vintage Village I am giving away this vintage perfume holder.

To win this lovely perfume bottle please send an email to VintageVillageCupid@gmail.com with the subject PERFUME and your name and email address. A drawing will be held at noon on February 12th from all of the emails received and the winners name will be posted on this blog and on the Vintage Village front page. And check out all the other Give-Aways on the Vintage Village site!


A True WWII Love Story Part 3

My dad, Neil, was a man who knew what he wanted and that was for Pamsy Smart to marry him. During the time he was in Sydney he asked her many times, but she being five years younger, had only just begun to date and wasn’t at all sure she wanted to be tied down to this US sailor. He was shipping out, and with all of the active fighting going on in the Pacific, who knew if she would ever see him again?

Thus, the letter writing began.

Mom would send photographs to Dad along with her letters with a sweet note on the back like this one, “To dearest Neil with love from the Smart family. PS I hope you like it darling. Love Pam”

Dad would send letters, photographs and love poems to Mom. Ever the romantic, one of his poems started with “My rainbows dear all end with you” and he had made a card with a sailor looking up at a rainbow with a girl at the top. When I was a teen-ager I thought it was terribly silly but now I think it’s very sweet and terribly romantic.

Through the course of the letter writing Dad somehow managed to convince Mom to marry him – maybe it was the poem? – and they became engaged through the mail. As it didn’t seem likely that Dad would be visiting Sydney again he sent Mom some money and she bought her beautiful engagement ring with it.

Coming next..
The war is over, Neil's back in the USA, Pam’s in Australia, what now?


Valentine's Party with Vintage Goodies!

Valentine's are popping up all over! I'm very excited to sponser a week-long celebration at The Vintage Village Our theme is:

The party starts on Feb 7th and continues until Feb 14th at midnight. There will be a number of great vintage items given away at Vintage Village Cupid's page and members of The Vintage Village are putting Cupid's Choice vintage items on sale in their shops!

Hope to see you there!


And the winner is...

Drum roll please!
jeni@pnkgeeni! She will be receiving the china poodles she suggested.
That way I know she'll like it. :)

Today's All Dolled Up Valentine's Party guest introduction is Fuzzy Wuzzy Puppy. He fits his name for obvious reasons but I love this name because of a poem my mom used to tell me when I was little. If anyone remembers the author please tell me!

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a Bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair,
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy was he?

I thought this was hysterical as a kid. Try this on your local 3 yr old, a 5 yr old is probably too sophisticated now-a-days!