Some people never meet their great-grandparents. My great-grandmother lived until she was 97 years old. I was a teenager when she passed away. She had been an important part of my life, and she continues to influence me. Myrtle Pearl Munsell was born in 1906. I believe her parents had immigrated to America from France (it may have been her grandparents.) Not much is known about her early life – she was a mild, quiet woman. When trying to research my ancestry, I came across evidence that she may have been married briefly at 18, long before she married my great-grandfather. She lived through World War I, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, then World War II. She saw the world change at an ever-quickening pace. She saw it all through her crystal blue eyes. She wore lipstick every day. She wore dresses with sweet floral patterns. She always had tissues and Ricola cough drops in her purse. I loved her so, so dearly.
As a little girl, I visited her often. She and my grandmother lived together. I would spend weekends at their house, and these are my dearest and sweetest memories.
I’ve always loved vintage things in general, even as a young girl. Now as I grow older, and see my third decade blinking at me from across the horizon, I find myself sweeping away the extraneous, and gathering to my bosom all that I hold to be Most Important. Myrtle was important. Anything that reminds me of her home, her little bedroom with a closet full of treasures, her kitchen, her gentle smile – those things are important. I want to be reminded.
She is one of many reasons I love the past, but she is the most important. More than any other era, I adore the 1930s, and it’s probably because I mostly saw photos of her during that period.
So, there you have it. That’s why I am completely obsessed with accurate vintage hairstyling, clothing, even the exact way they wore their makeup. I’m also slowly building my collection of vintage home items. My favorite find so far is the exact same perpetual desk calendar that she had in her living room. I turn the little knob every night, take a glance at her photo resting beside it…and go off to sleep dreaming of polka dots.