Happy birthday to my Grandmother!!
Fervent Bridge Master, Frequent cocktail maker and Faithful Irish Catholic
If there were a trophy for having the most fun in life, my grandmother, Patricia Ann Shaughnessy Stricklin would win! She was like a magnet…people loved to be in her company and she was always the life of the party.
My grandmother (who liked to be called Pat, I called her Mema) simply had what it took to be très chic and glamorous without even thinking about it. Even after five children she managed to keep her girlish figure and ALWAYS wore red lipstick. She had many friends…some were life-long like the girls above that she shared most of her school days with.
Pat was the baby of eight siblings, the mother of five children, grandmother of ten grandchildren AND great-grandmother of three!
As a young girl, one of her favorite subjects was French. She went to a Catholic boarding school in New Orleans for a short time and St Matthews in Monroe. She also studied French at the University of Louisiana in Monroe.
grandmother always had music playing in the kitchen. She worked at a music
store when she was in high school and became familiar with many genres. Louis Prima, Johnny Mathis, Billy Joel, and
Madonna were some of what I remember her listening to (among many others).
She was a Gold Life Master Bridge player (not many points away from Diamond Life Master Bridge player). She also played scrabble, backgammon and poker. She was quick and witty on top of that.
I remember her taking me to the fancy casino boats in Shreveport to gamble and being so impressed at how she made friends with the whole blackjack table…calling people by their first names, having the table in stitches, and teaching them how the game should be played…the fun way!
My grandmother had a “sweep the kitchen” attitude with cooking. If you’ve got it, use it! She taught me how to add things to my pasta for flavor and now I can’t put steak in my spaghetti without thinking of her! If she were to order a pizza, she’d really say “sweep the kitchen!”
She was of the generation of cocktails at five and her favorite drink was W.L. Weller bourbon with Tab. My mom remembers my grandmother cooking when she was a child. Mom says, “She’d have a cocktail and cigarette in one hand, a novel in the other and be cooking at the same time.” Being full of energy and quick to move from one thing to the next, that was just the kind of thing she could do.
My grandmother would have celebrated her eighty-first birthday today. She passed away last week. She will be missed every day. I love you Mema!
Four generations together
Her favorite Madonna song:
Take a bow, the night is over
This masquerade is getting older
Lights are low, the curtains down
There’s no one here…