April 19, 2013

A Family Tale....

Meadows sisters
My mother's oldest brother was much older than his two other siblings.
He was married long before my mother was even in high school.
He married a woman who didn't much like children.
 They had a dog who fit my aunt perfectly as he also  didn't have much use for kids.  But they were an interesting couple and made for a never ending supply of stories and adventures for a little girl.

 My elderly aunt was a great fan of the Meadows sisters, Audrey and Jayne. Audrey Meadows had played the part of Alice Cramden on the show The Honeymooners but both ladies were movie stars.
Jayne Meadows was in many movies and starred on I've Got a Secret for many years. She was  married to composer Steve Allen.
The girls were the children of Episcopalian missionaries who served in China and Audrey was born in Wu'chang China. 

On one visit, my mother decided to take my aunt to Stengl Glass and Pottery which was out in the Jersey countryside at the time.     I loved going there as a child.
They had real glass marbles after all--bins full of them.

They were just one of several pottery factories in the US.    My mother loved their dishes.

The  trips were thrilling because they might include lunch out and maybe, if I was lucky, ice cream on the way home.    It was a great day for a little kid.


We had just about completed a day of  long distance trekking through the factory and my mother was loaded down with stuff she was buying.  She was  trying to corral  me as I was  probably all over the place with my hands on everything.
  I was a third grader who marched to my own drummer.
"Stay put" she said, "we're leaving as soon as your aunt is done here."
"And whatever you do,  don't tell your aunt that the Meadows sisters are here, she'll  embarrass us all."
The Meadows were not people I would have recognized   by any means but my mother had seen them on the floor and was desperate to get my aunt out of there before a scene ensued.

My mother should have known better than to include me in the drama because as soon she turned her back I was off and running to my aunt to inform her that the Meadows sisters were  right there in the store.
 I really don't know why I did that except that maybe I considered it a good deed of some sort.  I didnt know them from a hole in the ground but, for some reason it seemed the thing to do at the time.
I regretted telling her the moment the words had left my big mouth.    
 It wasn't just the horrified look on my mothers face as she got a grand view of the entire scene.. no.    It was my aunt who made me regret it.

"JANE AND AUDREY MEADOWS!"  She was screeching now like some kind of horrible big barn owl.
 She was almost hyperventilating from excitement and she kept yelling their names over and over. I was afraid she would pass out.
I can  vividly remember   thinking "I guess those are the Meadows sisters alright," as I crawled under the display table until things blew over.
My aunt was just building up steam for the final assault, however. After bellowing out their names a few more times , she barreled over to them and nearly knocked them to the floor.  Now my aunt was a tiny woman and the Meadows sisters were tall and model-like but she barreled into them like a mini locomotive.
My mother was muttering beneath her breath, "Oh no, oh no, oh no. We'll never make it out of here alive."
 I just stared  from under the display table my mouth and eyes wide open in shock.  I'd  never seen anything like that.
We did make it out alive probably due to the Meadows sisters who, despite being accosted by a wild woman were absolutely lovely and handled the situation like seasoned diplomats.

Have a wonderful weekend.



  1. Hi Annie, that was a funny story! I remember seeing the sisters on tv with my mom. That is how I remember my mom dressing up when I was little. My mom had furs, a silver stole and a med coat and a longer coat. I could have gotten one of them but I opted out since I knew my daughter would not like it. So I let my sister in law get one. I did get the fake coat that my mom actually wore a lot on cold days. I hope you are doing ok. Have a nice week. Hugs

  2. Hi Annie; What an absolute wonderful memory of your past. I used to love watching both Jayne in the movies & on I've Got A Secret and Audrey Meadows on the Honeymooners. They both were fabulous. It's so true about telling a kid not to say anything as it's almost like saying "go ahead and spill the beans" LOL! Thank you for a most enjoyable start to my day after the tragedies of this past week. Have a lovely weekend my friend. Hugs

  3. Hi Annie,
    What a great story! I was a big fan of the sisters especially Audrey we were big Honeymooner fans in my house. I still get such a laugh out of the show that I have the DVD's of. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Hugs, Dru

  4. That's funny! I think you were just trying to share the excitement! :) I remember going to the Steve Allen show when I was a teenager. He filmed in Hollywood. He was a clever man and they were married a very long time, especially measured in Hollywood years! My girlfriend's dad once did something similar to Debbie Reynolds who was shopping in a store! He ran up screaming, "Debbie!" like they were old pals! :D

  5. What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing. xo

  6. Hi Annie! What a funny and charming story! I enjoyed it and it really put a smile on my face. I hope you're doing well. Hugs


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