Tuesday, December 8, 2009

On the QT

As you can imagine my Aunt Kat didn't think outside the box - in fact she rarely got out of the box, bless her heart. But she was happy in her world. She was an amazing woman, given that at 16 she went to work at the telephone company to help her newly widowed mother who would give birth to my Dad in 2 months. I think my father's family was very comfortable financially but lost everything in the stock market crash of 1929, then my grandfather died shortly thereafter.

Aunt Kat stayed with the then Bell Telephone company and watched it grow into Southern Bell then Bell South. All along taking part of every pay check and investing it in her beloved company. She was a Bell women all the way. When she retired after 40 years with the company, she was in charge of 100's of operators and loved by every one of them.

Her dress was always professional, a suit with matching hat and shoes - a proper overcoat and gloves. Her hair was always perfectly in place and she wore little makeup because she had clear porcelain like skin. You get the picture.

When we would go to the beach for a week each summer, she would "let her hair down" and pull out the shorts and a bathing suit (complete with matching swimming cap to protect her "permed" hair.) One afternoon, when we were going the beach to swim I went to her room to see if she was ready. There she was, sitting on the edge of the bed in her pink swimsuit, rubbing in suntan lotion - but not just regular suntan lotion. Aunt Kat was using Coppertone QT. She was actually cheating - a tan in a bottle. I was amazed, she had stepped out of the box. She looked at me and smiled. "Don't you tell anybody," she said. I promised I wouldn't, and haven't until now.

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