Daddy's sister, Zoie (1913-1994) was as pampered as I suppose one might have been during that time and in those circumstances, but was by no means what one would consider a great beauty. Lord love her, she was tall and more than a little awkward, with very prominent features, size 11 feet, and QUITE a personality. When Mother gets upset with me, she tends to state emphatically, "I'm sorry but you are JUST like Zoie." I love it when she says that, because Aunt Zoie will go down in history as one of my absolute favorite people in the whole wide world. Quirky to be sure, but with a big heart and generous spirit.
Everybody thought that Zoie was destined to be an old maid, but she surprised them all when she met and became engaged to her future husband, Frank Berry Padgett (1917-1984) in 1959, when she was 46. Zoie had been planning her wedding for 25 years and meant to do it up right. They had a full church wedding and reception with every bell and whistle. She registered two china patterns and one sterling silver pattern and got 12 place settings of each. She wore a traditional wedding dress and veil and most of her bridesmaids were her age or older.
Zoie was smart as a whip, opinionated, and boy howdy could she put on airs. When I was 13, I wanted to go to Washington, DC, worse than anything, so Zoie offered to take my 16 year old cousin Nancy (Mother's niece) and me up for a few days. That suited our parents just fine and they footed the bill for plane tickets and a hotel room at the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue. We thought we were SOMETHING and had a glorious time. Zoie was a BIG believer that public officials should do whatever they could for their constituents. I'm sure that the offices of Senators Thurmond and Hollings of South Carolina were happy when we'd come and gone. (Remember this also...constituent services will come up again 20 years later.)
Speaking of putting on airs...I particularly remember a cab ride from our hotel to The White House. I don't really think the driver meant to be sarcastic, but their conversation has stuck with me for all of these years.
Zoie: So and So Gate at The White House please. (I can't remember the gate specifically)
Driver: Well hello ladies...are you going to tea at The White House this afternoon?
Zoie: Not THIS trip!! We just couldn't find the time.
He didn't say anything else. Yep...Zoie could be uppity.