Gertrude, Bellzona’s oldest child, had
days filled with endless play. Her two younger brothers loved their
sister but, as boys are prone to do, they sometimes tormented her,
Dennis simpered along on tip toes and
pretend tiny steps, while he swung an imaginary skirt around him. “Ain’t
I so purty?” Dennis smiled a close lipped grimace to mock his sister.
“No, I’m the most gorjusss, cain’t you
see. Why I even got a boyfriend and Dan-el is his name.” Lee chimed in
with Dennis’s teasing.
“Mama! Mama! Dennis and Lee are just
terrible. They are teasing me again!” Gertrude couldn’t cope with the
boys when they both ganged up on her.
Bell was never far from her children’s
side and she knew the total goings on with the boys, and their harassing
of their sister. The mother was shrewd in her ways with children though.
A lot of the time she simply ignored their orneryness.
“Gertrude, come, sit thee down here
beside me, at my sewing machine.” Bell was catching her attention.
The girl slid in onto the bench
like-seat, beside her mother. The machine was the thing to catch her
attention. Ordinarily her mother did not let the children get close to
“Open that top drawer and get my pin
cushion out.” Bell knew just how to intrigue, and catch the girl up into
her world of seemingly mystical whimsy.
The girl was immediately fascinated
with her mother’s plot to pull her into learning a craft. Oh, the
satisfaction of finally being allowed to hold the little porcelain shoe
that had a piece of silk covering a cotton stuffing, which was
Take the edges of this square piece of
soft fabric I’ve saved from the old worn out sheets for the bed. With
your fingers turn the edges and press them into a narrow hem. Take the
pins and pin just in a few
places, so the hem will stay. You will need to thread a needle and put
on this thimble. We will hem these towels for the tea cups. So began the
girl’s training at her mother’s knee. Many of the lovely dresses she
sewed later, made her truly a hauntingly, beautiful girl and even later,
a charming woman.
Click on photo to enlarge and then
again to enlarge for details of Gertrudes sewing. Some of Gertrudes
writing are in my first published book, but not the pictures.
Gertrude as a girl before she married:
Gertrude with her husband and child
Gertrude a little older here: