Pecans and Patent Leather Go-Go Boots

Pecans and Patent Leather Go-Go Boots

Like her cigarettes, Granny was unfiltered.  A Catholic school girl who married a red-headed tattooed sailor in the back of a bar in New Orleans.  Her lips were always painted crimson, earlobes decorated with clusters of pearls and a purple hand-knitted beret topped her silver strands.  She wore patent leather Go-Go boots well into her 70’s. She was a force that more often than not, left heartache in her wake.  But with me, she was gentle.

In October Granny would drive me out to a piece of land on the bayou. There were remnants of what used to be her family’s estate.  She said in her youth it was big and beautiful. On those fall days when I held her gloved hand, I only saw a skeleton of neglect.  The one sign of life were the beautiful pecan trees sprinkled throughout the property, which is why we were there.  If the wind blew just right, it rained pecans. I can still recall our last visit, seeing her panic as she looked at her wristwatch, ” Oh, dear! Judy Rae, we’ve got to go or you’ll miss Trick-or-Treating!”  Time was lost, but we weren’t.

The last time I saw Granny was a year before she died. Her nursing home was having a luau.  She asked me to rummage through her closest and look for a grass skirt (Like Go-Go boots, she had several!).  We ate cake and she danced with her great-granddaughters.  She was 89.


3 thoughts on “Pecans and Patent Leather Go-Go Boots”

  • I wrote once about my maternal great-grandmother, who had been a notorious home-brew maker and bootlegger in the Canadian prairies. I have such a distinct memory of her shoes, too, only hers were brown, lace-up, and wildly sensible — which makes me rather partial to your grandmother’s go-go boots! You describe her here so that I can see her, and here those pecans thudding to the ground. I always feel comforted knowing that through the power of words, moments like this live forever.

    • Jodi,

      Thank you for the kind words. Your great-grandmother sounds amazing! I love the confidence these women had…I’m thinking it’s time I buy some boots.

      Best to You,
      P.S. I really liked your post about Père Lachaise. I visited a few years ago and felt nothing but beauty, and peace.

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