Mary and Ida in Montreal – a Snapshot

Almost 78 years ago, these two ladies spent a fun day out on the town. My town: Montreal.

This is a short homage to them, and to my city.

For in 1938, a woman would dress up to go downtown, as you see in these photos of my mother, Ida, on the right, and her best friend Mary, left.You would wear a hat and gloves, a sweater or coat if it was cool, and probably some jewellery.

Note my mother’s flowery brooch at the bottom of her ‘V’ neck! She probably wore it there specifically so that not too much skin would show, heaven forfend! Note her spiffy belt… the hat at its jaunty angle. I don’t recall any of these accessories, as this was years before I was born – however, I do remember that dress. She had it for a long time, maybe even a couple of decades. Very thrifty, was my mother. I remember that those little overlapping circles on the dress were brown – different shades of brown. The material was satin.

Note that Ida’s carrying a parcel, it looks like it might be a shoebox! I can imagine her shopping at Morgan’s, Simpson’s, or Eaton’s with Mary, and then they would have gone into Honey Dew for their heavenly nectar.

Mary Maislin was no less a lovely lady. You can see from the picture that she wore her stylish going-out clothes with aplomb, including her very fashionable straw hat.

When these two gal pals got all ‘dolled up’ for a downtown shopping expedition, I’m sure heads would have turned.

I wish I could have known Mary better. But not long after she married Carl Franklin and had a baby during the 1950s, she got very sick. Her life turned out to be short but sweet – TB during her early years, and sadly, breast cancer at the end. But a lot of love and friendship in the middle.

My mom, Ida Merovitz Rosenburg, was heartbroken, losing her.

Let us cherish what we have while we have it. That’s all we can do.


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