Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, Maria Nunes Taylor--Part One, By Diana Taylor McCarty

Today my mom - Maria Taylor turns 93. I doubt if any of you have seen some of these (except I would bet that I have Uncle Jack to thank for the copies and restoration of the OLD photo). The oldest picture is one of the earliest pictures of my mom her parents and her sister taken in America. My mother is standing on a chair (with her stockings sliding down) and if she looks like she is mad or pouting - she is. She remembers being not very compliant in that picture although maybe more what her mom told her about the photo because my mom is around 3. (Joseph Nunes, Maria Nunes, Florence Nunes, Alzira Nunes) For anyone who was at my wedding in 1973 my aunt and grandmother were both there. They emigrated from Portugal around 1918 during some periods of government upheaval.

The next picture is one that shows our parents and grandparents were once young and flirty too. I don't know the year but it's one of my favorites.

The next is a picture of Mom and Dad with Me (headband) Jim and Carol. (guessing at our ages I think 12, 15, 18 months) so probably about 1962-63.

Many may remember my mother had several beauty salons - including one in her home. For her professional license she had this portrait taken. As she got closer to retirement she also worked for the State of NY as an examiner for aspiring hairdressers and was for many years part of the International Hair Designers Guild. I remember that when Aunt Doris came for a perm - she would stay for a week - not much work got done but a lot of laughing, stories, and shopping. I used to joke with mom and tell her I thought perms only took 3 hours - but she did enjoy her family and friends.

Who are all those people and why are they dressed so funny? Every year in Minnesota they have a festival of nations with dancers, and food and exhibits of a variety of cultures and countries. The Portuguese Dancers from Winnipeg don't come every year - but the year that Dad died, they were on the program. So I thought I would cheer mom up and take her to see them and hoped for a picture. I had asked them if after they were done if I could get a picture with a nice couple that was part of the group. When they were done they grabbed the entire group and pulled her up on stage with them - wrapped a shawl around her and someone gave up his hat. They were talking Portuguese to her and she was telling them about her and where she was from and that she had recently lost her husband - lots of tears and laughter and hugs and blessings. It is a picture that she treasures. They have not come back since so was glad that I took her down for that experience.

The last picture I snapped on a visit to the Como Park Zoo and conservatory the beginning of August - we took our time and she made a very wide pass around the zoo docents with the snakes to avoid them but she enjoyed looking at the animals and flowers.

Happy Birthday Mom!


Pat said...

Thank you, Diana!!

Great work!! I did not know much of this about Aunt Maria, and very touching with the Portugese Dancers and your mom.

Diana also told me via emails that her Mom was a frequest contributor to the Adirondack Anthology with poems.

Also, last week, Maria fell and fractured her pelvis, but, Diana writes: "It is a stable break so she is back walking and back at her assisted living."

Aunt Maria, hope your 93rd Birthday is a GREAT one!

Much Love,

Sue Kinsella said...

Happy Birthday, Maria! Love the flirty picture!

Thanks, Diana, for writing this up and all the pictures. I hadn't realized your Mom was from Portugal. Great to learn a little bit of her story.

Kathryn said...

Hi Maria!!
I love you!!!
I hope your birthday was great!!
I can totally understand your Zoo trip's route. I try to avoid the 'legless wonders' that my Grandchildren seem to like so well.
Diana and Carol, Hug your mom and cherish her, she is a treasure!