Letter: Memories of local moms
As a year comes to an end, I routinely think of the people who have had an influence on my life. In 2011, two very special ladies from my childhood departed this life. Charlotte Starr and Molly Kaiser were the last of the Third Street Moms of my childhood. The two of them along with Dorothy Casanova, Eleanor Penman, and my own mom, Ruby Asp Lane, saw to it that the kids who lived between Division and River Streets enjoyed their youth.
The five ladies donned costumes for neighborhood parades, cheered for the games of work-up played in the street, laughed with us as we ran through the sprinklers, provided snacks for the simple plays we produced, chauffeured us to beaches for swimming, warmed us on winter nights with hot cocoa after sledding, encouraged us to support one another with an "all for one, one for all" solidarity, and treated us as family. They were "Mom" to all.
As youngsters, we all knew that in an emergency we could go to any Third Street Mom for help. We listened with wide-open eyes to advice from each of them. We accepted mild rebuff from any of the moms, knowing it was probably deserved. The joys of the kids were shared by all the moms and the pride in all of us was evident by the smiles and affection lavished upon us.
I like to think that my own children and my grandchildren benefitted from the contributions Char, Molly, Dorothy, Eleanor and Ruby made in teaching me to be flexible and to make childhood a fun time. I have worn ridiculous costumes, baked thousands of cookies for neighbor kids, driven teams to sporting events, and opened my home and my heart to the youngsters. I wanted my family to share my memories and I have told Third Street stories over and over. I know I will tell those same tales to great-grandchildren someday. The Third Street Moms of the '40s and '50s were special ladies. Those of us that were lucky enough to experience their love and caring are truly blessed.