Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Maybe I Could Write a Vintage Romanc....

**Our first car was a 1956 Baby Blue Chevy with standard fins.**
With publishers asking for “vintage romances,” I believe I qualify to write one. First, though, vintage? The fifties? Not what I had in mind. Vintage to me means the Victorian Era, the Deep South before the Civil War, the Roaring Twenties, perhaps. But yes, the 1950 decade does fit the guidelines. It’s just that I remember the time so well—how can it truly be vintage? Oh, well, I will ignore my distress over this revelation and try to write a story. Now, let me see…what do I remember?
**Me in fourth grade--my smart-aleck period. Check out the saddle oxfords.**
I grew up on the South Plains, in the northwest portion of Texas. Often, I relive and reminisce about the place I called home, where the sand blew in the spring so hard that we wore headscarves to keep our hair down. We ran to the car with the sand stinging the backs of our legs because Mother didn’t allow us to wear jeans to school. A few of my classmates and I have kept in touch all these years, and we believe there, on the flat table-top Caprock, where the sky looked like a big blue bowl turned upside down on a sea of green cotton or brown plowed dirt, our roots run deep and strong and firm. There’s something sacred about it, holding the clean, pure air and sky and land in our hearts.
It was the best of times, “the Nifty Fifties”, labeled conservative, a classic American era, in which all was right in our country. But we, as well as the entire population, were in the throes of dying innocence.
**Ahhh, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. Lived too fast, too hard, died too young**
We might attribute the rumble of the approaching social revolution, which culminated in the sixties, to Elvis, the hydrogen bomb, the McCarthy hearings, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe.
America would never be the same.

**I was in high school before we could afford a television set.**
The fifties decade remains permanently imbedded in my heart and mind. With vivid clarity, I remember those years as a time of forming values and beliefs and a way of life. Our family was typical—a father who worked, a mother who kept house and tended to us girls, and we lived in a house built by our own Daddy’s hands. We lived the life we later watched on television, then in the form of sitcoms. Father Knows Best, Leave it to Beaver, Happy Days—weekly episodes of a family who ate dinner together every night—called supper in Texas—with the father in charge of the household, and the mother teaching the children to wash hands before eating and mind their manners.

**I swear! I had a dress just like this one!**
I just know I could write a romance novel set in the fifties. Now, to find the time.
Thank you! 
Celia Yeary
Romance…and a little bit o' Texas

TEXAS BLUE-eBook and Print


  1. Great post, Celia!
    Love the pic of you. What an attitude :-).

    James Dean, now there's a brooding hero. I loved him in Giant with Liz Taylor. And who could forget Rebel Without a Cause?

  2. What a fun blog, Celia! Love those saddle oxfords--they go well with your expression. :)


  3. Of course you can write a vintage romance. I think you can write anything you set your mind to, Celia.

    I love the pic of you with your saddle oxfords and dungarees. I'd love to see that dress!

  4. Go for it, Celia! You should definitely write a vintage romance. I had a blast writing my Christmas book because it takes place in 1957. It isn't a romance but has a romance in it.

    Love the attitude of your 4th grade picture! LOL Great blog post - have an awesome weekend!

  5. Celia, you are more than qualified! Thanks so much for sharing your photos. The first one is so cute! You could always start slow and write a short story first, see how that goes. Thanks so much for sharing with us. hehe

    The photos are vintage!

  6. Celia, you described my life growing up in Lubbock. Sand stinging the legs, you bet. Once the wind was so strong it blew my scarf loose and sent it sailing to who knows where. You left out drive-in movies. Mind-reeling that this is now "vintage." Guess I AM officially old. LOL

  7. Ah yes, the fifties. Fall out shelters and poodle skirts, and hamberger joints going up everywhere. Coke was something I discovered, and at the time it was made with real sugar, and I Love Lucy. Mrs. Baird's bread, the best in Texas. And Ike our president who played golf all the time. Hey, I read an article about Ike and his golfing the other day, it said Ike and this is very true, played golf so much to make it look as though running America was easy as a game. And do you know, he's the only president that could do it and make it look that way. Mr. Rogers was coming into his time wiht his sweaters and shoes. Remember Hody Doody and Captain Kangaroo. It's true.

    The serious side of the fifties was the fact that some things were not discuss in front of the children. Divorce was a scandal not only for the parents but the kids. Sex was something whispered by the parents. Remember, I Love Lucy, two beds, one was a no-no.

    It was a great time in most ways.
    Kids weren't doing dope, that was for grownups and it wasn't talked about. Mothers did stay home and take care of their kids, while fathers worked to put the food on the table. Kids trick or treated and you got home made food, like candied apples and cookies, special treats.

    Day care was not yet a booming business.

    Kids rode bikes and roller skated on the sidewalks, played hop scotch.

    We ate at the table, and talked about our day.

    Girls were encouraged if they did go to work to be executive secretaries. Or even airline hostesses. Something more domesticated than ladies of today.

    There were also greasers, hoods and gangs. The tougher side of teenagers were black leather jackets and greasey hair. In school or a lot of them girls could not wear pants of any kind, girls wore dresses. Boys wore pants or jeans and usually regular shirts, not t-shirts.

    Bobbys socks, poodle skirts, black leather jackets. If a girl was pinned, she was in. Girls didn't wear make-up till high school. High school dances were just that, a dance and the kids danced. Remember the sock hops.
    Hula hoops were big.

    So many wonderful things during that time. It's a good time to go back to. It was a good time to live.

    Ahh yes...I remember it well.

  8. ANNE--James Dean was the first movie star I fell in love with. My cousin--a boy--took me to the movies to see Rebel Without a Cause. My cousin was a little older and had to explain who JD was--I'd never heard of him. the movie actually scared me a little. Remember the car race? Still gives me goose bumps. Celia

  9. JACQUIE--I only acted smart-aleck when I knew I could get away with it--which wasn't often. Celia

  10. Ahhh, thank you Evie. Yes, the dress. We also word backless heels and the sandal toe made of clear plastic. Mine had rhinestones imbedded in the plastic. Lord I loved those shoes--I felt like Cinderella. Celia

  11. DIANE--thanks! Writing on is only in the back of my mind. I read Fleeta Cummingham's "Don't Call Me Darling"--actually she and I met for lunch and exchanged books--and hers was set about 1950-1960. By then, little hippie language had slipped in.It was very good.

  12. STEPH--That's a good idea--write a short and see how it feels. But when???????? Celia

  13. CAROLINE--Yes! I grew up in Levelland. All my old photos are from there--my school years.Celia

  14. HI, RITA!! We could collaborate. Or I could use you for a reference. You have a great list there--maybe I'll copy it and hit SAVE. If I need facts, I can ask you and Caroline. Celia

  15. Celia, the fifties, from first hand experience, would be a great time period to write in... if you can, GO FOR IT!

    There were some GREAT things, like getting to run the neighborhoods with some sense of real freedom.
    There was REAL FOOD instead of all the pretend packaged food we have today.

    Even with many of the repressive attitudes, as a society, we were less controlled and much freer than we are now.

    One thing I ABSOLUTELY HATED about growing up then, I wasn't allowed to play sports as a girl. Oh, I did, where I could get away with it. However, it's not the same.

    Plus, the idea you could only be a secretary or a stewardess or a teacher, or maybe a counselor... it was terrible.

    However, on the flip side, the way women have now been manipulated into working slavery is a horrible reality during this time period.

    There were so many thing I loved/enjoyed about the fifties, and so many I loathed! Both.

  16. SAVANNA--I always love your replies. Sports? I did everything I could to get out of playing softball and basketball in PE. I was so horrible--I was the girl no one chose to be on her team. Hated it. I was the "good girl", the one who obeyed and never broke the rules--honestly. Didn't go to college until I was 27 with two kids at home. As I've said before, in the 60's, boys burned their draft cards and girls burned their bras, but since my bra wouldn't have made much of a flame, I chose the other way to rebel--I went to college. Thanks for visiting--Celia

  17. Celia, yours is my favorite blog on the internet. I can relate to almost every experience you've had, every thing you think. And now I've just found another parallel in our twin-tract lives. I was a creeping coed, too. Both kids in school before I started. Are you sure we aren't sisters????
    Could there have been another girl who got mixed up in the hospital? No, wait, I wasn't born in a hospital. Thanks for sharing these photos and memories. Happy weekend,Linda

  18. Celia, yours is my favorite blog on the internet. I can relate to almost every experience you've had, every thing you think. And now I've just found another parallel in our twin-tract lives. I was a creeping coed, too. Both kids in school before I started. Are you sure we aren't sisters????
    Could there have been another girl who got mixed up in the hospital? No, wait, I wasn't born in a hospital. Thanks for sharing these photos and memories. Happy weekend,Linda

  19. ooops, I meant to say twin-track. My bad habit of not proofing till after sending gets me into a lot of trouble. And yes, we have supper in KY, too. Goes back to the farm days when dinner was cooked at noon, the leftovers for supper.

  20. Hi, Linda! I'm always so glad to see you here.Sometimes I wonder what I'm doing. An author is supposed to blog to promote her books, and I'd love to do that, but I get carried away with just doing posts with something I remember from my childhood...something along that line...and sometimes something about writing. I do know I'm having a lot of fun.And I know you are, too! Celia

  21. GREAT POST, Celia! I was born in 1957, so I remember a lot of these things only because I had two older sisters that were wearing the poodle skirts, etc. BUT, because I had to wear corrective shoes (bad arches) my entire life until I was about 12 years old, they were pretty much ONLY in saddle oxford style--I was wearing those after they had gone "out" for everyone else. LOL BTW, you were a darling little girl! VERY CUTE! That was a great picture you posted. Love the post, as always--it was superb, and took me down memory lane--I remember a lot of those things because I was old enough by the time they were giving way to the 60's.

  22. Celia: I bet your mind is buzzing, crafting a "vintage romance" set in the fifties. I've always loved listening to my mother's stories of the fifties in England, loved that fifties atmosphere as recreated in TV shows and movies. And the clothes were so feminine. My grandmother owned a shop in the north of England called "Anne Connolly Fashions", and my mother was always dressed in the latest styles. She recently gave my daughter a beautiful dress she wore back then: it's black lace with a shell pink silk lining; ever so feminine and in perfect condition. And very wearable today!

    Lovely blog :) You're always such a charmer!

  23. CHERYL--So, you're more of a product of the sixties and the early 70s. I'm still wondering if the decade of our growing up years had the most effect on us now as adults. I think there's some differences, so important, some not. I don't know. Someone should do a study. Thanks for coming by, and thanks for the compliment!Love you--Celia

  24. FRANCESCA, SWEETHEART!! I've missed you. I always pay attention to the things you send to Book Spa friends, even though I might not leave a message. I can never pass up your horse stories, especially! The dress you described sounds absolutely fantastic. Black lace with a pink shell lining--stunning, I'm sure. I never owned a store-bought dress until 8th grade. And I remember it so well because it was the ugliest dress in the world. Mother made very pretty things for all three of us, but when she chose these ugly things, I now wonder if she didn't want to show us she could make something better. And she could! Thanks for visiting--Celia

  25. Celia, write the book please. Make sure you include a scene about a James Dean movie or a Marilyn Monroe one. It will be a bestseller for sure.

  26. MONA--oh, thank you for the vote of confidence. I need that from someone else, because sometimes mine goes out the window.
    Yeah, James Dean in my book. That would work.Celia

  27. Love the vintage pics, Celia!

    I don't remember having saddle shoes, but I always had to wear oxfords as a kid because of my bad feet. Their not much better now either! I wear gym shoes a lot now because I have flat feet and a tendency for plantar fascitis.

    Morgan Mandel

  28. MORGAN-I can identify. Not fun when your wardrobe revolves around your feet and shoes and that leaves out dresses and pretty sandals. I am grateful I can walk for miles. Celia

  29. Hi Celia. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I love Joanne's writing style ...

    I enjoyed reading your post. I did have a dress like that as well, and it was way past the fifties. In my defence it was a hand-me-down. But I loved that dressed--white with different colour dots ... I used to wear it with my fav belt (sighs) memories.


  30. Celia, I think you'd do great at a 50's novel! I look forward to reading it. :-)