Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Bag Lady

I have lived in the same small town all my life.  This is where I met my hubby, which has lived here since he was 2 (except when going away to college).  This is where we chose to raise our family.  It's just a great little town, everyone basically knows everyone else!  

Our town has had it's colorful characters, for sure, throughout my life time.  As far as most of them are concerned, I was never formally introduced to them.  As a child, I remember spotting them out and about in town.  My parents knew some of them by last name, as my Daddy was a mail carrier, and came across many people of our town.  However, some of them would be "gifted" a name by my sister and me.  We would choose their name by their characteristics.  

First, there was "Pink Paulette".  I think her name really is Paulette, but we added the "Pink".  Now, I have seen this woman since she was a teenager, and I was a small child.  She always walked everywhere!  When we made our weekly trip to the Dairy Queen, she was usually there, always nodding a hello to you without muttering a word.  We called her "Pink Paulette" because she always wore pink...ALWAYS!  I can't ever recall to this day seeing her without sporting some kind of pink outfit...many times, a long skirt.

Then there was Mr. "Stick" Finney.  I'm not quite sure how he got that name but everyone called him that.  I just remember seeing him outside of Small World (a local boutique) when we would go uptown to shop.  I always wanted to ride the big spotted pony outside.  This pony, which cost a dime to ride, wasn't like the horsey/ponies outside of K-Mart now-a-days.  Perhaps it is just because it was a treat that this pony seemed so different.  Anyway, while I would ride the pony, either my Daddy or Papa would talk to this man.  He always look quite disheveled and dirty but it was said he was worth some cash!  
As a child, I thought, "If I was rich, I sure wouldn't be dressed like that!"

Next was Mr. Beck.  Oh how I loved him!  We called him "The Candy Man".  He lived a couple of blocks from my home, and he would walk each day for exercise, I suppose.  He always had sticks of the old-fashioned peppermint stick candy--you know, the kind that melts in your mouth.  When I saw him out the window coming our way, I would ask my Mom if I could go outside and play in the front yard.  Soon, she caught on and knew just when Mr. Beck was coming, from my reaction.  She would tell me not to beg for a piece of candy from him.  "Oh, I won't momma!"  and I didn't...didn't have to...Mr. Beck always offered me a piece of that sweet treat.  One day to my surprise, he had something else to give me...it was the cutest little doggy.  You would wind him up and he would walk and bark.  
That man and that doggy were soooo special to me!!

And then, there was "The Bag Lady".  I can remember seeing this little fragile-looking, tanned woman pushing an old shopping cart down the street.  Her matted silver hair hung way past her shoulders.  Sometimes the cart was empty...on her way to gather some "treasures', I suppose.  Other times, her cart was full.  As our car would pass her by, I always wondered what she had in that cart, and more so, where was she going with it?
I would watch out the car window for as long as I could see her.
It always made me so sad!

Yes, we have had some colorful characters indeed, in our quaint little town.  Most of them are a thing of the past, however, I do still see "Pink Paulette" from time to time...a much older tired-looking woman now, but still walking wherever she needs to go...
and still dressed in pink.

The little "Bag Lady" picture above is what sparked these memories that I just shared.  My best friend gave this to me.  It was one of the treasures she had put in my Christmas bag.  
It really is a "bag" lady.  She holds your plastic bags inside her dress.  Isn't she precious?!!?  Thanks Lisa!

Do you have some colorful small town characters?  
If you do, I'd love to hear all about them!


Inspired Tokens said...

What cute and wonderful stories! What a treat to live in a small town! I love the 'bag lady'. She seems so appropriate!

Happy New Year!

Lorma said...

Hi Rebecca,,
I'm so new at this,,,Your site looks beautiful. I love your house. We use alot of the same colors in our house as you. I've always known we have similar taste... Thanks so much for posting on my bloc..Lorma

Melissa said...


You brought back a lot of memories for me! Mr. Beck was such a precious person. He always smelled of pipe tobacco and peppermint, a curious but wonderful smell that, to this day, reminds me of him. And Pink Paulette...how she loved hamburgers! She was either at Dairy Queen or McDonald's...every single day (or at least every single time we passed by there near lunchtime!) And I remember the bag lady. The most curious thing about her (beside the ever-present shopping cart) was that she wore men's tube socks in the warmer months...no shoes, just tube socks! And I, too, always wondered where she was going and where she had been. Mr. "Stick" Finney was a character. As a little girl I tried to figure out why everyone called him "Stick" because I never heard anyone mention the reason why. I decided it was either a) because he was as thin as a stick or b) after mowing (which he always seemed to be doing SOMEWHERE during the day in the summer) or while just standing on the street corner, he would have a cigarette and talk to it just like it was a person...I thought perhaps that the cigarette was the "stick" to which everyone was referring. Isn't it wonderful how our imaginations are such wonderful "places" when we are children? Just thought I would add my memories to yours. Thanks sis! Love ya! Melissa


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