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A Sixties Mom’s “True Love Ways”

by Eva Pasco



sixties momThe refrain from Buddy Holly‘s “True Love Ways” (recorded October 29, 1958) -- Throughout the day our true love ways will bring us joys to share with those who really care—epitomizes that special breed of mothers—“A Sixties Mom”…Back in the early sixties when most moms were career housewives, my mom got up at five every morning to make my father’s lunch.  This did not entail slapping a slice of bologna between two pieces of Wonder bread glued together with mustard. A true love way to the nth degree, she’d either whip up a frittata; peppers and eggs; sausage, peppers, and mushrooms.  Then she’d generously stuff the contents inside two sandwiches made from thickly sliced Italian bread.  Next, she’d dole whatever he was having into torpedo rolls for our school lunches while my sister and I set the table for breakfast.


Once my mother sent the three of us on our merry way, she washed and dried all the pots n’ pans and dishes before tackling housework and doing the laundry. Those of you who read the trilogy, “The Wringer,” “Towing the Line,” and “The End of the Line” know this was a task only a sixties mom would undertake as a true love way.  Since my mom didn’t drive at this juncture in her life, she had plenty of time before my father came home to lounge on the couch to suck up a soap—Guiding Light, As the World Turns, or The Edge of Night—but always found something to keep busy instead.  This could have run the gamut of raking the entire yard, mowing the lawn with our manual mower, or perchance standing on a ladder to wash windows that required her to remove or reinstate the storm windows.


Another one of my sixties mom’s true love ways was to surprise us by baking a cake from scratch or out of a Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines box mix.  One of my favorites was “coconut surprise”—not so much for the coconut, but the little bits of rainbow candies that melted in your mouth. I also liked when she surprised us with Pillsbury rolls fresh out of the oven to accompany our dinner.


On an off day, my mother’s true love way took to her Singer sewing machine where she designed doll clothes for Barbie without needing any patterns. During the change of seasons I couldn’t wait to get home from school to see how she decorated my bedroom with its coordinating bedspread and curtains.


A sixties mom’s “true love ways” were unique to a decade where housewives ruled the roost while fathers were the sole providers who brought home the bacon. Oftentimes, these gals succumbed to the latest gizmos and gadgets peddled by door-to-door salesmen like the Fuller Brush man or Avon lady when it was generally safe to allow doorbell ringers into your home.  Occasionally they visited neighbors and enjoyed conversation over a cup of coffee during the early afternoon. Mostly, a sixties mom’s true love ways manifested themselves in the attention she lavished on her family.


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Underlying Notes by Eva Pasco  An E. Quiche by Eva Pasco



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