August 24, 2012

the help?

I found this picture recently and am so excited to have it.  This is Mary Julia Gaines who started working for our family when I was 12 after our first maid Dora died. This is a lovely shot of her. No uniform., she is all dressed up and looking beautiful.  Mary was a Mom to us and a Mom to 2 boys at home.  She took the bus 5-6 days a week to come cook and clean.  She loved us and we loved her.  She was a part of the family -- and not.  In those times she was still the help and although we might share a sandwich in the kitchen, she was not going to be invited to dinner.  

These pictures were on my wedding day.  Mary fixed a luncheon for me and my bridesmaids.   The first place we were going to have our reception did not allow blacks.  I changed the location.  How could I have not had Mary there?  
It seems so strange now looking back to think that in 1967 there were places that did not allow blacks. It was not that long ago, was it?   2 years later in Baltimore when my sister was getting married there were riots in MD.   Mary's neighbor was badly burned.  
Thank the good lord that this has changed.  It never should have been in the first place.