So, Bluwatermom just had a milestone birthday, and we surprised her with a party. Like TOTALLY surprised her! There’ll be more on that in a later post, because today I wanted to share some photos from the younger years.
Our extended family is from the upstate of South Carolina ~ where both Bluwatermom and Bluwaterdad grew up, went to high school and college. At the time there were several colleges that were either for men or women. Dad went to Clemson, which at the time was all men. Mom went to Winthrop, which was all women. Yes, there were a lot of mixers and dances between the various colleges. 🙂
I love these photos from Mom’s high school and college days. She loved spending time at the beach and the lake, so it’s perfect to call her Bluwatermom! This photo is from a high school beach trip and that’s her best friend “Sis” ~ don’t you love those caps!
During college years at Winthrop, Mom worked two summers as a counselor at Camp Robindel on Lake Winnipesauke in New Hampshire ~ summers 1954 and 1955 ~ which was quite a departure from her life in South Carolina. She was part of the waterfront staff and taught swimming to campers. Here’s the whole group ~ and I love Mom’s swimsuit. 🙂 We tease her that she was working at Kellerman’s from the movie Dirty Dancing!
The ladies from Winthrop traveled by train to New Hampshire, stopping in NYC along the way. The first year when they stopped in NYC, they got off the train and sat on their suitcases in Grand Central, because they had no reservations and did not know where to go. Mom said they did eventually find a place to stay. The next year they were more experienced travelers. A friend from camp lived on Long Island, and had invited them to visit. The ladies even had lunch at the Waldorf-Astoria that year!
The counselors got one day a week as their own, and usually went exploring. Mom says she and her friends hitchhiked all around New Hampshire and into Maine. Hitchhiked!! My grandmother had NO idea what was going on, I guarantee you. Of course things were very different then vs. now, but it’s still hard for me to imaging my mom hitching her way around anywhere! Oh, and that was the summer that she added “blonde highlights” to her naturally dark brown hair ~ with a shoe polish applicator. Mom says it looked like polka-dotted hair. When my grandparents picked her up at the train station on the return home, my grandmother said, “your hair looks good, you should keep it that way”. I think this was grandmother’s attempt at reverse psychology (you know, say you like it in hopes that gets them to change it). You can see the lighter hair in this camp photo below, especially compared to her dark hair in the photo above. I can only I’m imagine what those “highlights” looked like in color!
This photo is a group of the 1956 seniors at Winthrop. Mom’s best friend “Sis” from the first photo at the top of the post, is also in this photo. Can you spot her? After graduation there was a year at Vanderbilt and other things, then she and my Dad bumped into each other at the dentist office and a bit later eloped to get married. Yes, eloped to Georgia! And there are many more stories ~ the Justice of the Peace wedding, trying to check in to a motel that first night, not knowing you had to contact the power company to turn on the electricity in their first apartment, and the first meal in the apartment ~ tomato sandwiches and cold beanie-weenies! Later on there were the years at Lake Hartwell, one of Bluwaterdad’s favorite places. There are so many stories in my southern family, I really could write a book!
We had a great time at mom’s birthday. There were friends and family from across the years. And yes, her friend “Sis” was there too. Looking at them now, and knowing about these photos and stories, was priceless.
Winthrop, Camp Robindel and Lake Winnipesauke have changed over the years, but all are still strong and chugging along ~ and that applies to Bluwatermom too! I’ll share a bit more on the birthday in a later post. Bluwatermom ~ she’s 80 years young!!