Category Archives: Memories

What’s in Your Wallet?

Another Mom post. These are mostly for me, helping me sort through some things belonging to my mother that I just can’t throw away. I won’t throw them away, but will send them to my brother — he’s better at throwing things away than I am.

Today’s post features several of Mom’s IDs — things she carried in her wallet at some point — except for the school badge — that would probably have been on a lanyard around her neck.

Jewel-Osco Preferred Customer Card

Jewel-Osco card

Here’s her Jewel-Osco card. Jewel was her grocery store of choice. (Osco is the pharmacy within Jewel stores, at least the stores I am familiar with). In the Jewel-Osco on the west side of Elgin, half the store (left as you look at it) is Osco and the other half (right side) is Jewel. The Osco side has a few aisles dedicated to booze.

Women of the Moose Membership Card

Mom (and her mother before her) belonged to the Women of the Moose. Women could not (and still can’t as far as I know) be actual members of the Moose but they could belong to the Women of the Moose. From what I recall, the women did the cooking and, according to their official web page:

The Women of the Moose provides social, educational and community service opportunities to its members, as well as sporting events and activities geared toward the entire family. Our members are enthusiastic; they bring a special passion and commitment to the Moose fraternity. But don’t think the Women of the Moose are all work and no play – they also bring a unique brand of fun and energy to their meetings and functions.

Women of the Moose Web Page

I don’t remember much about her involvement with the organization — I remember my Grandma Green’s more — but I do know that when my mom was in her decline the next door neighbor (another member) said that the members paid for Mom’s membership.

Metra Reduced Fare Permit Card

Reduced rate for transit card

It’s highly likely that Mom never used this card. I don’t remember he using public transportation ever, except with someone else (like me). I guess this card could get her on the train to Chicago and local buses at a reduced rate. It expired a little less than 2 years after her death.

Club Victoria Card

Club Victoria Card

I’m sure Mom used her Club Victoria card. The Grand Victoria is a casino on a boat in the Fox River in Elgin. I don’t know that Mom gambled, but she definitely used her senior discount at a buffet at the casino. I never accompanied her — although I think she asked once or twice if I wanted to go. I hated the casino and she knew it.

This card is probably very old — it has no scanner, but does have those punch outs instead. There does not seem to be a Club Victoria any more, but there is a Grand Victoria Club that seems to be only for gambling.

Larkin High School Work ID

U46 ID

From sometime in the 1970s through at least 1995 Mom worked for the Elgin school district’s lunch program. For most of the time she worked at Larkin High School.


Looking back at this post I probably should have put the cards in chronological order, but I cannot be bothered to change it.

BillyWhiskers’ Twins

When my mom told me that my favorite book as a kid was called BillyWhiskers’ Twins and showed me the book, I was surprised because I didn’t remember anything about it. I guess I asked for it to be read to me more than any other book at the time.

Looking at it now, the story seems too long and complicated for a toddler, although I apparently had it when I could write since I wrote my name it the book (so did my brother, Kevin, so maybe he liked it too?). I guess these were the kinds of books written for kids in the 1950s.

I’m only putting this here now because the book itself is falling apart.

World of Wonders: Peacock

I didn’t think I would have a reply to Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s essay on the peacock because I have little experience with the bird. Once I saw one on the roof of a farmhouse in northern Illinois, another time I saw and heard them at a public garden somewhere and then there were the few at that alligator tourist attraction near Orlando, Florida.

Nezhukumatathil doesn’t necessarily focus on peacocks, but on her relationship with them — how she loved them, seeing they all over the place on a trip to India, and how she drew one for an animal drawing contest in grade school, only to be told that the assignment was to draw an American animal. That’s something I can sort of identify with, a teacher calling me out on my artwork involving a bird.

In my case the bird in question was a turkey and in my case I only had to color it, not draw it. We were told to color our turkeys and bring them to the teacher so she could write our names on them for name tags for our desks. When I brought my finished turkey to my fourth grade teacher, made fun of the way I colored it and refused to write my name on it. This is the same teacher that told me I couldn’t sing. To this day I don’t even try to do artwork, even coloring in those grown-up coloring books. Nor do I sing out loud within hearing distance of anyone other than family (and that only rarely).

Aimee Nezhukumatathil finally got over her self-professed hatred of the color blue and finally admitted that peacock blue is her favorite color. In my case — I have not gotten over the stings of criticism from Mrs. Tidwell.

Peacock at Jungle Adventures in Florida