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Tuesday, 04 October 2011

My Mom, the Star

By Terry Hamburg of boomer to you

Jane Russell

I didn’t want her to come. Mom was a dead-ringer for Jane Russell and dressed the part. She embarrassed me at school functions. Heads would turn.

This was supposed to be my day. I wrote the Pershing school song and was given the honor of leading the 5th grade in the first public rendition.

Mom, without meaning to (I think), upstaged me, sauntering in with a stunning halter top, sequined form-fitting dress, raven hair cascading to her shoulders, four-inch pumps, and pouty lips. She even imitated the little mole on the star’s left cheek. The word spread that Jane Russell was here.

Parents, teachers, students, counselors, janitors surrounded her. A few asked for autographs which she gracefully delivered. Frances Hamburg? Who’s that? Is it Jane Russell’s real name?

The males didn’t care. They just wanted to see her walk. Mom did a lot of walking. It wasn’t her fault, I thought, that she was gorgeous.

I got all “Superior” on my report card for the first time that year and fooled myself into believing that I earned it. In a way, I did. After all, she was my Mom.

Two years earlier, she had taken a glamour head-shot that captured the Jane Russell look perfectly. It was her favorite photograph.

Mom used it for her divorce announcement in 1957, which appeared in the Society section of a local Chicago newspaper. The ritual had gone out of style by the mid-60s but has been making a comeback lately via the Internet, sometimes accompanied by a divorce party.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Funny story; it made me smile.

Did the divorce photo bring about any suitors? She was very beautiful! Great story!

It's hard to live in the shadow of a celebrity (even if the celebrity is a copy) so I can see how you had disadvantages, but there must have been some distinct advantages to all the attention she attracted. She was glamorous and all beautiful people are very aware of their attractiveness.

I'd like to hear the rest of the story. Did your mom remarry and was she happy?

I'll bet you earned the "superior" grades all on your own.

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