RDP Friday: POINTY SHOES
When Grier Fortini was a little girl her family took her to have her Christmas picture taken with Santa at Frederick and Nelson’s at the Aurora Village.
Back in those days the Aurora Village and outdoor shopping center ( it would be almost 20 years later that it would be covered ). Not quite in the center of the ‘street ‘ that ran down the center of the shopping square there was a gold fish pond with a little bridge arching across the pond that people used to stand from and toss pennies into and that was fine because in those days wishing wells and ponds were a thing.
In this case it stopped when people started to throw in popcorn that the hardware store sold and it made the fish sick and most of them died.
So before the fish died and the Aurora Village became a ” Mall ” kids from all over the County would go to Frederick’s at Christmas time to see Santa and get a free candy cane
For this yearly event, Grier’s hair was curled her dress was new ( and always cut from velvet ) and sometimes her Mom let her put a dab of perfume on her wrist.
Standing patiently in line ( so as to not mess up her hair ) Grier would wait her turn to visit. When it was her turn and Santa asked what she wanted she would look at him and ask for ‘ a doll ‘ .
With the pleasantries set aside, Grier would turn to the camera, she would smile and once the flash went off she would remember to tell Santa thank you as he handed her the little candy cane and off she went- her Christmas duty now fulfilled until next Christmas.
Years later when Grier Fortini had grown up and married and the Aurora Village was now a Mall and the Fish Pond had been filled in and standing over it now was a Kiosk that sold Caramel Corn ( which in my opinion was like dancing on the graves of those poor murdered gold fish ) Grier carried on the ” pictures with Santa ” tradition with her own two daughters.
Now of course you didn’t go to Fredericks ( which had closed ) for holiday pictures.
Everyone went to a ‘studio’ called Bisson Mills and not only could you have your pictures taken with Santa, you could go back and your portraits taken with the Easter Bunny, Cupid , Baby New Year and The Great Pumpkin- the costumes the holiday characters wore wear always plush and all of the holiday representatives were seated on the same bone white throne.
Grier’s daughters were a little more enthusiastic then their Mother had been about having their holiday portraits done.
Bisson didn’t hand out Candy- not even at Christmas. At one point they did hand out holiday themed stickers that most of the kids would peel and stick to the studios outside windows after they left the studio and eventually the staff at Mills just gave you a big smile and told you to have a great day.
However Bisson did let you choose out props that you could wear or hold in your pictures and Grier’s daughters, Pamela and Abbey preferred being able to dress up in costumes as opposed to getting stickers or candy.
Last Halloween they went in to have their pictures taken with a Giant Pumpkin and black cat with a purple sash that read ” Happy Halloween ” across her chest and both girls ran to the prop room and then minutes later they slowly walked out wearing pointy black witch’s hats and little brooms.
” You girls look festive. ” Grier told her daughters.
Pamela thanked her and Abbey pointed down to her feet. ” Look Mom, Witch’s shoes. Arent’ they great?”
Grier looked down. ” They look painful.”
” They are ” Pamela told her, ” but they’re perfect. Don’t you think?”
” I have to admit, they do work.”
The line was long, but it moved along at a clip and a few minutes later Grier heard a Mother who had joined the line trying to keep her own children in check. They were arguing and Grier was trying to not listen.
Eves dropping was a bad habit you know.
” I don’t care. It’s just a costume. Now just leave it alone. ”
“Mother, it’s fake. It’s not even a good fake. ”
The Mother behind Grier dropped her voice and said, ” Stop it this minute. ”
” But MOTHER everyone knows Witch’s don’t have feet so how can they wear shoes?”
” This is just for fun. Now settle down this second.”
Grier heard a rustling sound behind her and someone bumped a little shoulder into her backside.
” I am sorry. ” the Mother said from behind her. ” My little devils just refuse to stand still for more then five minutes. Averil, apologize to this lady this second.”
Grier turned around to accept the apology and when she did she looked down into the face of a little girl with improbably dark eyes and then her gaze shifted to the Mother’s long skirt .
It was cinched at the waist and the bottom edges of her skirt were embroidered with heavy gold thread.
The little girl looked up at Grier and then she reached for her Mother’s skirt, and tugged it to one side. ” I’m sorry I bumped into you Ma’am. But I’m right, Witches don’t have feet so they don’t wear shoes. Look for yourself.”