November 10, 2015

Pan Am and Mom

My mom thought an ideal job would be a travel agent. It was the early seventies, my parents doing a lot of business plus related travel, and what travel wasn't booked through his office, was booked through an agency in our town of Larchmont, in a storefront agency with flowers in the front and a cheerful awning over the wide windows. She had dear friends nearby originally from Texas, and Harry, the husband, worked in the Pan Am building in Manhattan. First thing you saw rising over Grand Central Station was the Pan Am building announcing you had arrived in glamorous New York City where anything was possible.  Back in Larchmont, my mom was trying to paint an image of a perfect life to settle her restless youngest daughter. Have a nice job where you could wear a lovely outfit, stroll about town at lunch, on vacations jet off someplace fun at a discount. She saw things in whole pictures and scenes like a story teller, urging me to write romances instead of my bleak fare, and of course, looking back, all of these things would have been perfect for her. A great storyteller with a deep interest in human nature and the details of daily life, what great romances she would have written!  Her interest in other people and traveling would have made her a terrific travel agent. Fortunately she had family, church, and volunteer interests that benefitted from her talents. One of her other ideas for me prompted a few little sweet but amateurish attempts at art on my part for greeting cards - here is one recently unearthed in an old firebox - 
I think dropping that idea for a career was smart on my end....still, I think in pictures as she did, having inherited many of her intangible gifts such as great pleasure found in small moments, and pulling a Scarlett O'Hara to think about it tomorrow when times get tough, and, of course, always noting that building that was Pan Am and feeling, momentarily, so glamorous to be in New York City.

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