Friday, September 3, 2010

Do YOU Remember?

If someone
were to ask you

What was the
best summer of
your life?

Could you unlock 
that memory?

Was it this summer

last summer

ten summers before

or longer....?

Perhaps your best
summer is

This summer I
read the delightful
memoir by
Marjorie Hart,
Summer At Tiffany.

Summer At Tiffany
tells the story
of two Iowa sorority
sisters and best friends,
 Marjorie and Marty, 
who jump on a 
 train with dreams
of living and working in
New York City.....
during the WWII summer
of 1945.

M and M
Although they
plan to land jobs
at one of the big
department stores,
through a twist of events,
 they are hired by
Tiffany and Company
as pages and
become the first
women ~ ever ~
to work on the
sales floor at this
venerable retail

They have adventures...
From night clubs
to the Automat ~

celebrity sightings
at Tiffany to
dating dashing

Celebrating V-J
Day in Times Square

to the sheer magic
of being young
and single and
full of energy in
the Big Apple.

Marjorie Hart 1945
At the very 
very end of the book,
 after the
epilogue and interview,
Harper Collins
{the publisher}
asks readers to
 to share memories
of the best summer
of their lives via e-mail.

I did.

Imagine my
surprise when
the author,
Marjorie Hart
herself, wrote me
back.  Little old me!
She liked my story
and wanted to send
me a signed copy 
of this lovely book.

she did.

The uber-talented
Marjorie Hart wrote
SAT over a period
of ten years, taking
writing breaks along
the way.  Originally
written for her
grandchildren, the story
 was discovered by an
editor in 2005 and
 published in 2007.

Marjorie today
But, writing was not
Ms. Hart's first love ~
it was music.  An accomplished 
cellist, she played professionally
with operas, symphonies and
 classic musicians of the 1950's,
like Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole,
Liberace and Sammy Davis Jr.

As a young mother of
four, she earned her masters in 
music in 1965 from San Diego State 
University, joining the music faculty.
Marjorie retired on her
birthday in 1993 as professor 
emerita after serving 15
years as the Department of 
Fine Arts chairperson.

Although retired from
professional cello performing
in 2004 she still plays
 three to four times a week 
with several string quartets.

Marjorie and family after her retirement birthday concert
Widowed in 1981, Marjorie
married again in 1986.
With her second husband,
Peter, she is a grandmother to
nine and step-grandmother
to five.  

Did I mention that she
has a MySpace page?
Did I mention that 
she is
Which means she
had her first book published
at age 83 : )

The July day I 
found my own copy
in the mailbox,
wrapped and addressed
by Marjorie herself,
I nearly floated back
into the house.

Inside, this is
what she'd written.....

To Suzanne:  Treasure all of your summers!
do you remember
the best summer
of your life?

It would be
such a gift
if you'd share

[images: 1, 8 google
2-7, 9-11,12-14 my space
13, 16 flickr {click for attribution}
15 P&H]


Zaira said...

Oh my!! What an amazing story!!! I didn't know about this writer....I guess it never came out in Italy, I shall search for it in English! How lovely from thi lady to send you her book.....
My best summer was 10 years ago: me and my best friend very young, no problems, no thoughts, all alone for a whole month in London, I shall never forget how much fun the two of us in a gorgeous place like that!! And that year we met our actual amazing friends we still travel with each summer..... A memorable summer indeed!!

Wish you a happy weekend my friend
Zaira xx

My Grama's Soul said...

Good morning friend....I loved reading this story you shared today. It even makes it more special that she contacted you with a signed copy. favorite truly....every my age you never know if it will be your last summer. I recently had a very good friend who suffered a heart attack and it has given me great pause to reevaluate every aspect of life.



paige said...

i'm not familiar with that book & would love to add it to my "to read" list!
since marrying dan our family has vacationed along the gulf. our first year we went for our honeymoon and stayed in a gorgeous b&b. we went back later that summer & took our girls. we stayed with dan's parents...i loved that time together. sweet memories of both of them wiht our little ones

beth said...

Oj I will get this book for sure! Looks great! Love memoirs and NYC too! For my best summer? Well childhood summers on the Jersey shore, when could be carefree and yet no parents had to worry about being safe! They were great. But I also want to savor each one and keep looking forward, too. So sad when summers end.

Jo said...

I think this summer is one I'll mark down as most enjoyed along with a few from my childhood at our lake house and those I've spent splashing around at the beach with my son.

What a beautiful memory you've made this summer. I'm adding this book to my reading list.

Have a lovely long weekend ~

cityfarmer said...

I have no business blogging today ...what with home projects unfinished and all ... but I can't stay away ...

thanks for the beautiful little history lesson ...
I always learn a thing or two with you ....❤

Acanthus and Acorn said...

This is such a great example of how books can change your life!

In a nutshell, my favorite summers were the one I met Peter Frampton and the one I met my husband!

I will definately pick up a copy to read. Thanks for sharing this!!!

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

Thanks for sharing this amazing story, Suzanne. She is inspirational no doubt - especially knowing she had her first book published at 83!! Amazing. I can't say that I've had one summer in particular that stood out against all the others, but luckily they have all been good! Have a great Labor Day weekend!!

Lisa said...

Suzanne, this book sounds wonderful; I look forward to reading it. How inspiring that Marjorie published her first book in her eighties! There are many summers I have happy memories from but this past one with my kids was really a joy....they are at great ages to go on adventures with! Thanks for sharing this book with us.

hometown girl said...

oh my gosh this is the sweetest story! the book sounds wonderful and she sounds like a pretty amazing woman! how lovely that she wrote back to you and sent you a copy of the book, i'm not surprised though you have such a talent for writing yourself!! hugs, have a wonderful weekend! susan

Sweet as June said...

what a great story... I am going to read that book.:) as for the best summer of my life... I will have to put alot of thought into that one... when I don't have to get the kids on the school bus in
5 minutes! Happy weekend to you!

Olive Cooper said...

I am not surprised she recoginized the special writing of yours Suzanne. My favorite summmer was in the North Carolina mountains. I spent the entire summer with cousins. They lived on food they grew. It was lush and green. My Aunt was eccentric but warm. Nothing stupendous occured it was the simple life. Have a lovely holiday weekend♥olive

Farmgirl Paints said...

That is soooo cool. Do you own that Summer at Tiffany book?? Can I borrow it? I'm looking for a few good books to get lost in now that the kids will be in school soon:)

Remember that article about the woman telling her husband she "didn't buy it". The author of that essay left me a comment on my blog. I about fell off my chair. I know you get that:)

My best summer hmmm....not sure if I remember the BEST summer. I have memories of special seasons...for instance when I was little I remember 8 being the year I learned to blow a bubble, snap my fingers and whistle. It was also the first year I went camping and that was really special. Then when I was 19 and I got married to my Honey in August...that of course topped my memory bank. It's good to reflect...thank you for that sweet girl. Have a wonderful long weekend.

A Vintage Chic said...

Oh, Suzanne! You always write so beautifully and share the loveliest things...I hadn't heard of this book, but it will soon be mine, rest assured!

I love stories like this...what an amazing woman! Thank-you so much for wharing her story with us.

My favorite summer...I really haven't pegged down "a" favorite of all of my lovely summers, but I think one of the greatest certainly is the summer, about 6 years ago, that my husband and I spent a couple of weeks in Italy...

...Capri and the Blue Grotto...walking the spirit-filled streets of Pompeii...the Coloseum...standing inches away from THE David...walking up to the tippy-top of the dome of St. Peters...standing under and gazing up at the roof of the Sistine Chapel...driving through Tuscany, the sheer beauty of which literally brought tears to my eyes...gelato every day--twice a day!...staying with my husband's sister and her family in their home which literally hung over the Mediterranean Sea...

Okay, yes...maybe that WAS my favorite far!

Thanks for helping me think and reflect this morning! I hope your day is beautiful in every way, dear friend!


Shelly said...

What a fun read and experience, I'll have to look for a copy!

Fortunately for me, I had a very happy and fun childhood, we spent summers on Whidbey Island, off the Coast of Washington State,,camping/swimming/fishing/beach combing. Those were all very fun times!

But I'd have to say my best Summer memory is from 10 years ago when I went not only to Europe for the first time but went to meet 2 sisters I didn't know I had had until 1999. I "found" them through the internet and lots of research.

So off I went, first to hook up with a cousin (I did know from my mom's side) to Holland, and after a weeks stay there they drove me to Germany to meet one sister. I stayed with her and my two (New!) Nephews for about 10 days,,,,,cried tears of joy and loss till I boarded the plane to Ireland to meet sister #2......and spent a week with her!

New Countries, new family and new memories! Planning a trip back soon!

Thanks for sharing your story and asking about ours!

Have a great weeken!
Hugs and love,

Nanniepannie said...

It doesn't surprise me at all that she liked your story. You are a great writer. You touch people with you words, how special is that.

bBchronicles said...

WOW, what a GREAT post!

Days at Buttermilk Cottage said...

I was just going to say I'm sure your "best summer" essay stood out from all the rest because of your special writing gift and I see my sister at Nanniepannie's has beat me to it!!! I will add the book to my list. The subject matter is particularly timely for me--my daughter just graduated from college in May and is now attempting to live her dream in NYC. Every summer is good, but this one has been memorable. My daughter, sister and I traveled to Greece to celebrate Kate's graduation and it was a wonderful trip and we made lots of special memories. Then, packing Kate off to NY, was bittersweet. I'll be heading off this weekend to go visit her--so the summer has come full circle.

La Dolfina said...

What a great story on so many levels... thanks for sharing it.
It does not surprise me in the least that you touched her heart. You are also a beautiful writer and have already touched the hearts of countless bloggers. I hope she has inspired you to follow in her footsteps :)
Much love,

Miss Sew & So said...

wow...that is an amazing story!

you always bring soo much thoughtful reflection to your as readers- we can really get a whole picture of the subject...

she is an incredible woman-obviously still going strong and still creating in soo many ways at 86!!

what a gem to not only write back to you but to follow that up with a copy of her novel....

i think you just found me a special present for my mother who was born in sydney in 1945.
she will adore it...

have a wonderful weekend....

sending sunshine and hugs and a glass of rose to you from the picnic rug in my garden this afternoon...

melissa xx

p.s- i actually can't pick a perfect summer- if the sky is blue and i'm with the kids its all perfect to me... xx

Claudia said...

I've been seeing this book around and I thank you for telling me more about it - I will definitely read it. What a fascinating woman Marjorie Hart is!

I don't have a favorite summer but I have 2 kinds of favorite summers: 1. The many summers when a group of us in my hometown spent all summer rehearsing a musical and then put it on under a tent. Magical.
2. The two summers I was a camp counselor at a summer camp in the Northern Michigan woods. Wonderful.


Prudence said...

Hello, I just asked Farmgirl Paints if she was attending Junk Bonanza... she said she was with you! So I came to check you out, and love this story about this book! I just may have to read it! I am flying in for The Creative Connection Event and going to Junk Bonanza on Sunday, sorry I will miss the two of you...maybe another summer!

Morning T said...

What a great story Suzanne!
This summer has been one of my best yet. Meeting new friends, traveling, and the worries of the little one starting school are gone (that was last summer). Everyone is healthy and happy.

Enjoy the holiday weekend my friend!

pollydove said...

What a fabulous post! And it is so ironic that I just finished reading a memoir last night called "The Glass Castle." It was a little unsettling in parts but the girl who wrote it overcame such a hard, poverish upbringing and ran off to NYC at 17 and became an accomplished author and contributor at today!

I will definitely read this story now. Thanks for the wonderful review!

The first "best summer" memory that popped into my head was the summer I was 20. I was home from college and fell in love (really in love) for the first time. That boy made me feel beautiful and special and wanted. My self esteem really needed that - he was perfect for me, that summer. :)

lisaroyhandbags said...

What a great story! I can't wait to read her book. It just goes to show that you're never too old to do the things you love and live your life to the fullest! I'm not surprised your writing touched her heart - it does the same to me every time I visit your blog.

I have many favourite summers but they all share the same similarity - a special trip with my man somewhere exploring new places and meeting new people - I treasure every one of those trips.

have a great weekend and be sure to stop by and enter my HANDBAG GIVEAWAY!! xo

Ms. Bake-it said...

What a wonderful story! Marjorie Hart sounds like an incredible woman. I am going to add this book to my reading list.

As for my summers, I honestly cannot pick just one. Each of my summers thus far (with the exception of two) have been so very special in their own way. I treasure the carefree summers of my youth and I treasure the summers I spent with my sons as they were growing up. Now I am looking forward to summers spent with my first grandchild and any future grandchildren.

I hope you have a glorious Labor Day weekend!

~ Tracy

Olive Cooper said...

Sweetie, I cannot find your e-mail address. It is probably right here in my face. Here is mine:
we will talk photography...olive

Sue Murphy@ life as a house said...

What a great story and what an honor for her to contact you.......

My favorite Summer......Well maybe not my favorite but the biggest turning point in my life......A few years back, struggling with being single again after 30 years of marriage, I packed up the house and took off for Europe for a month. What a wonderful way to get my head back on straight and experience other lives and cultures. It really helped to take my eyes off of myself and see that the world is so vast as well as the opportunities it holds for us. Since then I am remarried to the love o my life and everyday holds a new promise.

Ticking and Toile said...

Hello my dear Suzanne!
What a wonderful post of course! What a great story. I need to read that book!

OK....favorite summer has got to be the summer I turned 16.... at Pend O'rielle lake in northern Idaho, at my grandparents lake cottage. Perfect clear blue water, hot summer days, tons of swimming, boating, water skiing, bon fires, and story telling. All with my family & best friend from high school. Never forget it.


p.s. camera?

Tamarah said...

Oh Suzanne what an AMAZING AWESOME experience for you....THANK YOU for sharing this INSPIRATIONAL story with us....Marjorie has certainly lived a WONDERFUL & PURPOSEFUL life....CONGRATULATIONS to you for catching her attention....!!

Will you share with us what you wrote....??

Cheers from Oz,
Tamarah :o)

Fearless Nester said...

Suzanne, You simply must tell us the best summer that YOU ever had that led to this amazing gift you received! Honestly, I can't even begin to say I remember a summer that stood out above the rest, unless it was the summer that I got married. But even compared to then, the summers just kept getting better and better! What an inspirational story that you shared with us about Marjorie Hart, I am going to tell my soon to be 83 year old Mother about this one! xoxo ~Lili

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Wow. I usually do not lack words, for I can be extremely verbose. But this is a wonderous post, an enchanting realtale, and an opportunity of a life-time to make such a connection. You have really hit home with me dearest. My best memory of the summer is rolled into many. My time in California meeting Penny from Angelsdoor, and the numerous evenings blogging, creating, staying at home to relax and make our plans to build a reality by talking turkey with the builder. Most of all, the quiet time of resurrecting my drawing skills. Oh so much to tell! Have a splendid weekend, Anita

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

You have to travel back in time when the ice cream man still made daily runs down the street in front of my childhood home. Where a bright orange electrical cord would be plugged in just inside the front door of the house. At the other end it was hooked up to a portable stereo turntable which sat on an old quilt. My best friend Tracy and I played THE album of the time over and over. Summer lovin' had me a blast.
I am lucky. Tracy will arrive at my house tomorrow. I better drag out that turntable. Yes, I still have it. It yellow and plastic. :)

Indie.Tea said...

She sounds like a truly inspirational person. And what a wonderful life she has led!
I know it sounds a little odd, but I really like talking to older people, because it seems that they really LIVED compared to us today, full of spontaneity like hers.
I hope you are having a delightful holiday weekend :)

Blooming Rose Musings said...

I am not at all surprised that she wrote back to you. You are a very talented and gifted writer. I am curious which of YOUR summer memories you sent to her. What was the best summer of your life?
Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend.

sherry said...

I LOVE a good memoir. I am at the beach and a few pages away from finishing a book, so I guess I will have to make a trip to the book store and get that one! Thank you so much for the beautiful review.

koralee said...

Oh I have heard of this is on my Summer reading list but just did not get to it...hmmmm..may have to bump it to the top of my list for Thanksgiving is too busy with back to school to even think about picking up another book right now...but I promise myself this will be the one I pick up...sounds amazing.

Thanks you and have a great loooooong weekend my friend. xoxoxo

pretty pink tulips said...

Suzanne...I had not heard of this book but am ordering it stat! What an amazing story - both the one in the book and the inspirational story that continues off the pages. I'm so delighted that you received that special gift! That is a best summer moment for sure!

I'm actually at a loss for the best summer ever --- I just keep thinking that this one was the best -- our trip to Paris with the boys. But, since I'm a first day of summer birthday, June 21st, I'm pretty sure, every summer has been the best of my life.

Big hugs!!!!
xoxo Elizabeth

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

SUZANNE!!!! THANK YOU for you lovely always dearest, your shining face of beauty and wisdom always makes me smile when I open my comments page! Thank you for your positive encouragement. Fifty students this year is going to be a challenge,but I guess I can do it....I have had interesting situations in the past...Hey, I got two coupons to the Creative Connection event.....are you still going? Koralee from Bluebird Notes up in Vancouver will be here!!!! Have a fine Sunday, Anita

Jeanneoli said...

The books sounds so interesting and I LOVE that she contacted you. I will look this book up.

Amanda said...

What an amazing story all around, from Marjories story to your involvement with her via the book. She doesn't look anything like 86. How great to be so young at heart and vital and still so involved at this age. I'd love to read the book. Must look for it. Amanda xx

The Zhush said...

Wow! I must read this book ASAP! Loved this story, she is so inspirational!!! My best summer ever was the summer of 1993, I met my husband on July 4th weekend, at the beach. Regardless of the best, I truly love each and every summer...happy Labor Day!xx

Anne - Fiona and Twig said...

I'm not the least bit surprised that she was impressed with what you had written, Suzanne! I'd like to see what you said, too.

My best Summer?
Three years ago when I married my husband. :-)

Hugs and love to you, sweet friend!