Monday, February 1, 2010

Miss Ann Kielman

Tonight I’m sharing with you a photograph of Miss Ann Kielman, whose delicious Cucumber Mold recipe I presented to you in my previous post.

Mom stopped by the other day with a copy of the 1972 Pictorial Directory of Jefferson City’s Faith Lutheran Church, which had belonged to Mom’s Aunt Lydia Meyer, who, as I also mentioned in my previous post, had been Ann Kielman’s best-friend-forever (BFF).

That 1972 church directory! I couldn’t help hooting and pointing at some of the hairdos. There were some real doozies—beehives, wing-to-one-sides, swooping Kon-Tiki Hawaiian do’s. One lady looked like she had a Drip-O-Lator coffeepot on her head. And the men weren’t immune, either: Comb-overs and slicked-down hair galore. And everyone was wearing polyester and looked, well, permanently pressed.

I could indeed share some of the more entertaining pictures with you; other bloggers would jump on the chance to provide such hilarious pictures to which they could add witty put-downs, but you know what? I’m too classy to do that. These were and are real people, with feelings; sincere Lutherans just trying to look nice for their church directory portrait.

Face it, the fashions reached their lowest point ever in the history of humankind in the seventies, and these folks, like all the rest of us, were victims of the trends. Unlike James Lileks et al., I just don’t feel like “poking fun at the defenseless past” this time.

Back to Miss Kielman for a second. Remember, it’s pronounced “kilmun,” not “keel-man.” I remember Aunt Lyd talking about her and pronouncing it “kilmun.” And no, I don’t know why the directory spells it “Anne” while the cookbooks spells it “Ann.” I don’t know about you, but my money’s on the cookbook spelling. (If you’re reading this and you can correct me, please leave a comment!)

She’s dead. Why does any of this matter? It just does. I didn’t know her (though I’m sure I met her; she had to have been at cousin Dennis’s wedding and funeral, and at many other occasions) . . . but like Mildred Sippel, the thread of her life has interconnected with mine, and the fact that she left behind no progeny, no one to leave flowers on her grave or point at her picture in an album compels me to put her name and picture on the Internet, for people maybe even a world away to see and sort of know, a memorial of sorts, even if we’re recognizing her for her cucumber Jell-O mold and for the fact that she and my great aunt were dear, dear friends.

It has to count for something.

No comments: