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.

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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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