This is from one of Mom’s notebooks.
“My father always bought Fords and kept them in good shape. Always cars, no pickups. Black was his favorite color or Mother’s.
Mother never learned to drive which was the way it was during the 30s and 40s. Melba and I did learn from Daddy’s teaching.”
They were very fortunate that her father, Clarence McGhee, stayed employed all through the Great Depression.
Gail and her school friends standing by her daddy’s new car.
You’ll enjoy this brief memory piece by Mom. The McGhees lived in Phillips Petroleum camps during her childhood.
“Living in the Greenwood County Flint Hills as a girl, I always envied the boys and their bikes.
They even would let me try to ride. I think they wanted to laugh at me when I’d fall. Well, I fooled them. When they weren’t watching, I had been practicing.
My folks gave me a boys bike for Christmas when I was in the eighth grade in 1937. Loved those oiled country roads.”
Kids at the oil camp in Greenwood County, KS
When my siblings wanted to tease me, they called me Vinegar Gin. My usual nickname was Ginger, so that was fairly creative of them. Mom and Dad had named me Virginia but always called me Ginger.
Mom told us the source of her name, Gail Lee, was from a book her mother was reading. It was The Enchanted Hill by Peter B. Kyne. Lee was the hero and he fell in love with a woman named Gail. Mom’s name was a combination of the two characters.
Here’s what Mom wrote about her nicknames:
“I was teased in school about my freckles until I read the story Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter. Then I was proud to be called that.
When I worked at Boeing in Wichita, I was called Fibber because of my last name McGhee. This was from the radio show Fibber McGhee and Molly.”
Here’s a short memory piece that Mom wrote in 1998.
“One time, Mother showed me how to make beautiful flower dolls from the plentiful hollyhocks in our yard. So every summer, I would make the flower dolls and have fancy dance parties with them.
Such wonderful make-believe. We didn’t have Barbies or My Little Ponies.”
Old-Fashioned Hollyhock by vallain
Browse more Hollyhocks Cards at Zazzle