Archive for the ‘Diana Ross’ Tag

What Would Diana Wear   10 comments

I am referring to Diana Ross of The Supremes, not the late Princess Diana. These days people comment on how “skinny” I am. Whether it’s a compliment or not is up to interpretation but, if it is, I have to give Ms Ross some of the credit – or blame – depending on how you look at it; and also to the 60s British supermodel Twiggy, although I don’t think there was such a thing back as a supermodel back in 1966 which is when this journey began. I know there is much concern these days about the detrimental effect ultra-thin models have on young girls’ body images and self-esteem. I don’t know if that was true in my case, nor if at age 18, I could be considered a young girl.

I had gone through the typical weight gain that is widely attributed to freshman year dorm living. I’m not sure what the catch term is – Freshman 15? I also am not sure that I gained 15 pounds, but what got me started, I guess, was my mother’s comment when I arrived home for the summer. “You’ve put on some weight,”coming from someone who always told me I looked fine just the way I was, definitely got my attention. So did the episode in the Alexander’s dressing room a few days later. I don’t remember what the garment was, but it  was a size 13, my usual size at the time, and it was too tight.

I watched my weight all summer, but really got into it when I went back to school, a place I really did not want to be. The college was Ladycliff,  a small Catholic women’s school that is no more, but when it was, was located on the banks of the Hudson in a small town named Highland Falls. By day two of Freshman year I’d realized that it was not my cup of tea,  as did many of the young women who became my friends. Some of them were able to persuade their parents to let them transfer at the end of Freshman year. Others like me, weren’t as lucky. The former waved goodby and went to school with a more 60s vibe the rest of us bonded and forged deep friendships commiserating. But eventually we accepted our lot and concentrated on fun, and oh yes, our education.

Meanwhile I know, you’re wondering what does this have to do with  Diana Ross?

Technically, I don’t know if I became anorexic, it was more a cycle of bingeing and starving, so I guess it was a bulimia anorexia hybrid, although I never forced my self to throw up.  Since then, I’ve read that eating disorders stem from a feeling of having no control over one’s life. And that’s how I felt back at Ladycliff for sophomore year.

I’d always loved the Supremes, and they were at the peak of their popularity, and since it was also the time of Ed Sullivan Show and weekly shows like  Hullabaloo that showcased all the popular groups of the times, I had many chances to admire how thin Ms Ross was with the result that she became my poster girl for thin.

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Speaking of poster girls, it was about this time, Twiggy hit the big time, appearing on the covers of Seventeen and Bazaar……..

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………..and it all came together………

 

There’s no one here to make me eat. Ha ha.

It is my belief that as in the case of alcoholics, food disorders are never cured, but merely overcome, and then only by a hair. What happened in my case was I transferred my dependency to exercise. I started running in 1978 and when I moved to California ran in 10K races for years. I still run occasionally, but attend the gym religiously. Knowing I’m a gym rat, my niece gives me workout clothes each Christmas and truth be told she has better taste in that department than me. The pants she gave me this year were especially nice and I love that they have a long comfortable waistband so I don’t have to worry about plumber’s crack.gy

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But what really caught my eye was this size comparison chart on the inside of the waist band.

 

Small here in the USA is LARGE in Japan? Oh my goodness, is Diana a large? How about Twiggy?  Like I said – I’m recovering.

 

 

 

 

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A Summer Ritual: The Car Show   1 comment

I don’t k now about you but I can’t think of anything that transports me back to my teen summers quicker than old-time rock and roll. Throw in a lot full of classic 50’s cars,  ’60’s era muscle cars, a 70’s coupe or two and I’m  back there before you can say bell bottoms!

That’s why I make it one of my summer rituals to wander through the McDonald’s parking lot at Cortlandt Town Centre when the classic car lover faithful gather on Saturday evenings every summer to set up chairs no one ever sits on, and  show off their babies.

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Since the shopping center is  home to Home Depot, A&P, Marshalls, Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, a ten theater movieplex, and three  – oh glory,yes three – shoe outlets including my all-time favorite , DSW, chances are I’m there on Saturdays although I only visit t he car show once a summer – when the music speaks to me.

You can hear it from near and far, Some times it’s The Rolling Stones, getting no satisfaction, other times it’s The Monkees, enjoying a Pleasant Valley Sunday, or Smokey Robinson and the Miracles Going to a go-go, or of course, The Beach Boys getting around, or Jan and Dean serenading  their Little GTO (just googled that  and found it’s not Jan & Dean but Ronnie & the Daytonas whom I never heard of –  guess that shows it wasn’t one of my favorites!)

On this particular evening it was Diana Ross and The Supremes pleading Stop in the Name of Love. It had the opposite effect in me. I went – in search of a memory or two

And I found them.

DSCN1547My best friend in eighth grade, Gail Wilson’s father’s car a ’60 Buick (’59?)

DSCN1544My fifth grade teacher, Miss Brook’s ’56 Chevrolet (gray and white)

.DSCN1541The ’66 Dodge (1st car on the left) my Dad trusted me with to ferry my mother and brother back and forth to the beach all summer in  Cape Cod while he stayed in NY to work. Obviously we weren’t a two car family – yet

DSCN1545My brother Jim’s ’73 Dodge when we had become a three car family. It’s the brown car right next to the McDonald’s entrance which is quite appropriate as Jim kept McDonald’s in business!

DSCN1543The ’70’s era Dodge Dart my father bought when we were a four car family and there was no danger of my brothers or I driving his car. Except he didn’t race it so the engine didn’t have all that “stuff”

As Archie & Edith Bunker used to sing, “Those were the Days.”  Cars had their own distinctive look and you didn’t have to look for the name on the front to know what it was. Do you think that 40 years from now, today’s youth will be gathering to show off their Mazdas & Mitsubishis?

I won’t be around to find out, but you know what? I hope they will.