Friday, December 3, 2010

Liba

By the time I met Liba, she was no longer the girl with the huge dimpled smile and dark tangled hair. She was Great-Aunt Libby, teeny-tiny and very very old. Libby had always been a fine seamstress, and in her 90s, nearly blind, she continued to sew, though in the end her creations ran less to fine fitted garments. My sister and I treasured the collection of simple elastic-gathered little skirts she sent us in frequent batches. What she lacked in fine motor coordination and eyesight, she made up for in choice of fabric--wild, busy, bright and sometimes startling. My most favorite Aunt Libby skirt was of improbably plush faux-leopard skin. I study the clothes in these pictures now, see how stylish and whimsical she was once, and I can imagine that she knew, even in extreme old age, just what would bring delight.





No doubt about it, she was a grand girl. I notice now, too, how there is something about her expression: a passing shadow, a quality of secrecy, common to all the Pollack family; though possibly you wouldn't see it, unless you knew to look.





find more links to wonderful Sepia Saturday reminiscences here.

18 comments:

Kristin said...

She looks interesting.

Pearl said...

You have the most wonderful family.

Pearl

Leah said...

Hi Kristin, thanks for visiting!

Hi Pearl! I wish I'd known some of them better...

Marilyn said...

She is simply gorgeous and how lovely that she made you so many skirts. I love her dress style.

Loz said...

My Mum passed away in September and I've been going through her old photos and scanning them so my sisters and I can all have copies. It's wonderful how seeing the old photos makes you realise that the person staring from them had a much fuller and wonderful life than we can ever really know. Your Aunt looks like an amazing lady.

63mago said...

Hey - she shows leg! Good to see you again!

Brian Miller said...

hmmm...intriguing...and it runs through out the fam as well?...smiles.

Leah said...

Marilyn, I'm wondering whether she made those clothes herself! I'd love to know.


Loz, I love to imagine the real lives they all led, the complicated stories that we can never know.

Mago, I love that leg, don't you?

Brian, it does run in the family, for good or ill...

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Oh yes, look at that young face, what thoughts were concealed behind those eyes! Thankfully you did get to meet her. That artistic level of seamstress is almost a lost art today. Both my grandmothers were great seamstresses too & my aunt. One grandma could look at a skirt or dress or coat and make a duplicate without a pattern. I am no where near that talented.

Jinksy said...

Delightful photos of a lady full of character all her own...

MJ said...

I had a faux-leopard print bikini...when I was TEN!

Nancy said...

A grand girl, indeed! What a wonderful remembrance and tribute to her. I like how you introduced her to us as a very old, teeny-tiny lady, and then showed us her photo as a young woman. Fabulous! She looks so happy in the photos.

Leah said...

Pat, that is amazing! I SO wish I had that skill...imagine being able to replicate a dress you liked, just on sight?!

Jinksy, she was. I wish I'd known her better...

MJ, I haf a fabulous orange bikini with orange plastic rings!!

Nancy, she was a doll. And you could still see that young face in the old one.

Pat said...

I've just spent the week in a faux leopard skin dressing gown. Honestly!
Aunt Libby look a great gal - lovely pins and obviously hugely popular with the boys.

tony said...

She Had A Great Smile.Open.Intelligent.She Looks To Face The World Firmly.

Madame DeFarge said...

Lovely to see you back again, with another interesting family backstory. You have such a treasure trove of family to pick.

63mago said...

I am sure she'd apprechiate a foot massage.

TICKLEBEAR said...

gorgeous and fun!! she must have received more than her share of admiration from the male gender...

what is it with leopard print clothing that seems to tickle girls/women so much???
:D~
HUGZ