excerpt from "Memories of My Father":
The Lipstick Story: To Father, makeup was connected to being
a fast, loose woman. So he would not allow me to wear lipstick. A lot
of things he wouldn't allow me to do, but of course I used lipstick
whenever he was not around and was careful to wipe it off... So when I
went away to college, I came back for Thanksgiving and some of my
friends were giving a big party... So I said to Father, "Do you mind if
I wear lipstick?" and he said, "No you can't wear lipstick." And I went
to get some nail polish, and he objected to that because it was colored
nail polish. So, in disgust, I came out with cigarettes and said, "Do
you mind if I smoke?" and that he did not object to."
Sometimes Kids Get Funny Ideas: When I was just out of
college, the boy I was going with came up to stay with us for a couple
of weeks. And it was "moon in June", and even though we hadn't been
serious, we decided that we should get married. Of course this was my
idea... He had another year of college and then he was going on to law
school. So we had to tell my father about our
plans, and we waited till just before he was going to bed that night
because he always went to bed at nine o'clock. We broached the idea to
my father who pretended at first not to understand... I can see him
still sitting there in the big chair in his pajamas and his robe,
chewing on his last cigar.
We had every answer ready for him as he just sat there for awhile.
And finally he said, "June, do you remember the other night when you and
Russ and I went to the softball game?" And I said, "Yes." He said, "Do
you remember that during the game the arc light went out?" Which I did,
because we had to wait while they went and got a ladder to climb up the
pole to change the light. And he said, "Do you remember asking Russ why
he thought they made the first rung so high? And Russ' answer was, 'So
kids can't climb up, because sometimes kids get funny ideas.'"
And that was the end of that. My father really knew how to get to