Buttoned up

Where did Mom get her buttons?

Years after her passing, it’s no mystery to my two brothers and me about their systemic storage: 59 bags organized by color, size, value. She did likewise with vegetable cans, kid-art, Dad’s handkerchiefs.

No mystery about WHY Mom saved buttons. She knew scarcity. She was 6 years old when the stock market bellied up and the not-so-great Depression commenced. She was 18 years old when almost all young men went away to war, and 33 years old when her three children scoured Sears Roebuck & Co.’s Christmas Wish Book, developing inflated expectations.

But where did thousands of buttons come from? Family clothing was a dwindling resource. Mom was too proud to beg, too frugal to buy, too busy to scavenge, too Roman Catholic to steal.

Mystery remains.

Any unexplained mysteries among your family memorabilia?

About Mrs. Fitz

Hello! I'm Michele Fitzpatrick, a Chicago writer. Like our town, a work in progress. As a journalist, teacher and writing coach I think all of us live our stories and sharing them creates moments that remind us we're connected. And that is enough.
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