Monday, June 04, 2012

"Smile Girls"

The day is sunny and I am so excited to get up!  (Especially after sleeping in those pink sponge curlers!) It's Parade day!  The air is crackling with excitement!  Mom makes sure that my uniform is crisp and perfect.  Majorette boots have been cleaned and polished.   Pom-Poms's neatly tied on..the rubber ends on my baton cleaned and ready....just a little bit of lipstick and a very tiny bit of blush and I am ready to go.

(This is my very first parade.  I was six years old.  Check out that bouffant hair!)

The excitement intensifies as we drive to the parade's starting lineup.  My beloved baton teacher, Donna, seems to be everywhere at once.  So many girls to keep in line.  She blows her whistle.  "Girls!!!  Let's get in two straight lines, you know where you are supposed to go"!

(This was my very favorite costume, even though I seem to have my hat a little low!)

Girls are lined up and someone yells "head out!" my heart is racing!!  It's time to go!
Donna calls to us " Chin up, shoulders back, remember to pick those legs up!!!  Remember girls you are the Stars of Dixie Majorettes!! and most of all Smile Girls".  Down past the high school we go.  Turning right onto the main street in town.  So many from my school yell my name, I smile, but look straight ahead just like my teacher had told me to.  Routines performed, legs lifted high!

(1971, I was 10 years old)

Two and a half miles completed!  Totally worn out from twirling and marching, we finally march into the grounds of the war memorial building..  Parents are waiting with drinks and snacks!  What a wonderful day!

More memories of majorette competitions...  Was I going to be good enough??  More nights spent in pink curlers.  Excitement of heading to the Woodmen of the World building for competition.. Oh my, look how many girls there are here.
No Way!  I won!  Miss Roanoke Valley Majorette in 1973.  How long ago that seems, yet I can still remember the shock of winning and the sight of my Dad running to me backstage and picking me up and swinging me around while kissing me.  He was more excited than I was!

More Competitions... for several years.  I amassed over 200 trophies, how I loved twirling. 

The Miss Dixieland Competition.... The last one I would be in....
I couldn't fix this picture.  It's so dark.  But that's me on the end, the tallest one (as usual). 

I won again!  See all the pretty dresses?  Mine was the most plain, but my mom had made my dress and I loved it!  I was so happy!  That happiness was short lived as the found out about a month later that my mother had leukemia.  Parades and pageants were to be no more.  After she passed away I was much too busy trying to take care of my Dad and sister, a house and also attend high school that I no longer had time to be a majorette.  But I remember it as being one of the most special times in my life.  

So.... this weekend I created a little shelf to document that special time in my life.
John Phillip Sousa's Marches...  I can still hear them.... Sequined majorette hat with plume...Special tag garland with vintage majorette images...

Little ceramic majorettes.  The green one was on a Birthday cake I had when I was little.

A vintage majorette costume pattern, snagged from Ebay.

Just a little trip back into my past...
Hope everyone has a great Monday and remember....




Shirley Hatfield said...

Oh, bless your heart! I absolutely loved this post. I love this way of writing our personal histories, with every post a chapter. You were the most adorable little majorette, tho' I had to chuckle when they didn't put the whole word "Roanoke" on the ribbon. It didn't matter...everyone knew the abbreviation...just like we say "AF" here instead of American Fork. Thank you so much for sharing the pictures...I wish I had more from my own childhood. What a blessing to have had your mom at that time to support you and make you special dresses.

Nicki said...

Great post - the details of your memories - so sweet.

Tammy's in Love said...

I can hear the Sousa march now! Mmy hubby played the tuba in marching band, he still does his part by singing bump-bump at crucial points! Loved the story and the tags! Really cute with the little details and sheet music!


Chenille Cottage said...

Sweet sweet Linda!
What a delightful post...and, what a darling majorette you were in your precious sparkling outfits! Thank you for sharing your trip down Memory Lane.
Have a wonderful week!

Ann said...

Neat post of your childhood accomplishments. Isn't is great that your Mom had a vital part and you have these memories of her to remember. You just know how proud she was of her majorette!!!You look so adorable in all of the outfits and I love the vignette you created to honor those memories.

Nan said...

Oh that is such a sweet story of your childhood thanks for sharing. Did you see the sweet little majorette that Elizabeth created over on Creative Breathing? It's so darling and not that hard to make.

craftyles said...

Loved looking back at your wonderful photos. You must have been really talented. Love that you did a little vintage tribute to that time in your life. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Dear Linda,

Sweet lady living a wonderful life. You are a beautiful picture for us to follow.

Thank you fort the lovely story.

Sincerely,Robert Winters