My theme for the A to Z April Challenge is “In-Laws and Out-Laws – Friends of the Family.” I will be researching friends, colleagues, neighbors - those people who came and went touching my family’s lives in both small and large ways.
is for Nancy. Nancy Christine Danielson Taylor.
Momma and Nancy were friends from high school, probably because they were cheerleaders together. How close they were, I’m not sure. There are no photos of them goofing off and hanging out together although there are such photos of Momma with some of their other girlfriends.
Except for cheerleading, their interests went in opposite directions. While Momma was active with the newspaper staff and Spanish Club, Nancy gravitated to basketball and the Hi-Y Club, a service organization.
|Nancy #6 Forward|
scanned from the
|Cradock Hi-Y Club 1946|
Nancy is 5th from the left on the front row kneeling
scanned from 1946 Admiral
Nancy was the second daughter born to Gus and Peggy Danielson when they were living in Redford, Michigan. Gus was a tool maker for a car factory, likely in Detroit as it was about a 20-minute commute to the automobile capital of the world. Sometime between 1935 and 1940, the Danielsons moved to Portsmouth, Virginia, and settled in the community of Cradock. Gus worked as a machinist for the shipyard. This was about the same time that my grandparents moved to Cradock. With the war, there were lots of job opportunities at the shipyard.
As adults Momma and Nancy were very close friends. We lived around the corner from Nancy and Skeeter, so we grew up with the Taylor kids. Sometimes Nancy was our afternoon babysitter until Momma could get home from school (she was a teacher – she wasn’t IN school).
I vaguely recall some of those moments, especially when Nancy would scurry around picking up Mary Jollette’s and Rusty’s toys before Momma got home, but my strongest memories are “Hair Night.” Nancy had very thick naturally curly hair. When I was in high school, I used to be her “between haircuts” hair dresser. Seriously. I had a table-top salon-style hair dryer, brush rollers and a teasing comb. The kitchen became a make-shift salon where I worked my amateur magic on both my mom and Nancy. The house would be full of chatter and laughter because Nancy always had something funny going on. When Nancy laughed, she snorted, and that would make us laugh all the more.
|The Taylors' cotton tree.|
|Skeeter, Nancy, Rusty 1971 or 1972|
|Nancy, Mary Jollette, Wendy|
|Skeeter, Nancy, Rusty at my parents' house|
|Skeeter and Nancy|
The funniest memory of Nancy was the time she talked Momma into going with her to the beauty school at the shopping center to get their hair washed and curled cheap. She thought it would be great fun to let budding hairdressers practice on them, not to mention a bargain. Fortunately for Momma, she ended up looking rather good after that $5 investment. Nancy, on the other hand, was disappointed in her own, to put it mildly. In fact, the two of them couldn’t wait to get out of the salon because they couldn’t contain their laughter much longer. What was so bad about that hairdo? Was it the tight curl? Or that black velvet bow above her bangs? Sure wish I had a picture!
My parents had wonderful friends that I miss as if they were my own. Skeeter and Nancy are buried in the Olive Branch Cemetery in Portsmouth, Virginia.
|photo courtesy of Steve Poole, Findagrave.com|
Lest I neglect the niceties, all neophytes, newcomers and novices are welcome to navigate the numerous news, narratives, novels and notes at the A to Z April Challenge.