Wednesday, March 9, 2011

thank you, peppermint club

It's March--the month of my birth. I was born March 20th, the vernal equinox, and on the Pisces/Aries cusp, if you follow astrology (I don't). I share a birthday with such interesting people as Ovid (!), Henrik Ibsen, B.F. Skinner, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mr. Rogers, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Spike Lee, David Thewlis, and Mookie Blaylock. I was born in 1969 and my mom remembers watching the first moon landing with four-month-old me.

This is where it all started.

[photo is from the University City Public Library, via the Missouri Digital Heritage Archives]

My parents met in 1965 in St. Louis. They used to go dancing here at the Peppermint Club. My mom told me Ike and Tina Turner used to play there.

This is my lovely mom circa 1964. I love the giant Peter Pan collar.

Here's my handsome dad, circa 1963 or 1964, at college. I know I'll get this story all wrong, but I don't think my parents clicked immediately after their first date. Apparently there was a little dating of other people in between, but then they found each other again. I have a made-up scene in my head of my mom dancing with some other fella at the Peppermint Club and my dad getting jealous and realizing he'd better bust a move if he wanted to date my mom.

It turned out all right in the end. Here's Mom on her honeymoon with my dad. It is 1967 and they are at Big Spring State Park. It's the state park, so naturally she has teased her hair and is putting on lipstick. (I mock, but I would totally be doing the same.)

More honeymoon photos. Gosh, I wonder where my love of plaid came from?

Mom in a sweet plaid blouse.

A plaid jacket. (I love this look.)

Dad in plaid!

Heck, even Paw Paw (dad's dad) wore plaid. This photo is a couple months later, post-honeymoon.

Grandma Edna and my mom. I would totally wear my mom's outfit--print blouse, ankle-skimming jeans, pointy flats. I think I did wear this outfit all last summer! I am liking Mom's hair here, too. (Someday I'll have to do a post on Grandma Edna's amazing style.)

My favorite photo of my parents. How mod are these crazy kids?

Mom in their cherry red Volkswagen Bug.

Dad and Mom in Fort Campbell, Kentucky in 1967. Dad ran the bakery and mortuary on the base. An interesting combination. I'm loving my mom's maroon coat here. I feel like it might be corduroy, but that's because in the 1990s I wore a nearly identical one that was black corduroy.

And there's that sweet Bug, which would crash a couple years later (with infant me in it!). No casualties or major injuries except the Bug itself.

Special thanks to my mom who inspired this post by sending me a link to the Peppermint Club photo, and who dug up these amazing photos for me.



  1. What a lovely post, bakery and mortuary wow!

  2. Oh, I LOVE old photos and hearing about the history of the people in them! These are fantastic, Karen! I like your "bust a move" sentence! heehe Those pics at the park are way cool, and I think they're even inspiring an outfit post for me once Mitten weather gets better. Thanks for sharing these, birthday girl!

  3. Love it! Your mom is of the age to have been a teenager when I was a little girl. I loved how all those big girls dressed and teased their hair. I'm jealous of her just by looking at your fabulous photos!

  4. Love posts like this that include old family photos. And I agree - the bakery and mortuary combo is an interesting one. I see a short story in there somewhere.

  5. i love the photos! i fondly remember looking at images of my parents and mentally setting the scene, on some occasions i created vivid fantasies of what drama had transpired moments before the picture was taken!
    your Paw Paw is awful cute too! ;)

  6. I adore this post. I'm going to support the "bust a move" theory as well.

  7. OMG, thanks Karen, from my earliest memory I idolized your mom...being in their wedding and being devastated every time they moved out of 'em to bits! you too! Peg


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