A Lady and a Flapper
By Aisha Marie
Photos Courtesy of Aisha Marie
When I was very young, my mother would sometimes drop me off to spend a night at Grandma Bailey’s house in Lane, which is on Highway 3 to the east of Coeur d’Alene Lake. Although she was my mother’s mother, they were nothing alike. Mom was spontaneous and a bit messy. Grandma, whose first name was Frances, seemed more formal. Not exactly cold, but decidedly not warm and fuzzy like some grandmas, except for those moments in the afternoons when she would call me over to snuggle up next to her on the sofa to take a nap.
Grandma Bailey was a mix of proper lady and Roaring Twenties fashion icon. She sported the archetypal flapper’s bobbed haircut, lost the corset, and bared her shoulders. She smoked cigarettes and no doubt danced the Charleston like nobody’s business. I would have liked to know the young woman she was, but by the time I, the youngest of her seven grandchildren, knew her she had settled into someone much more mature and, well, grandmotherly.
She had little tolerance of noisy or boisterous behavior. Just as well, because I was a quiet child. The two of us got along pretty well. Content with pencil and paper, I could sit on the linoleum floor near her chair in the living room for hours, busily drawing stick figure portraits or houses with lots of flowers and a tree in the yard while Grandma watched her game shows. I seem to remember her enjoying What’s My Line and Match Game the most.