Posts Tagged ‘June Rodgers’

Time out for a Girl Scout

March 13, 2012

A 100th birthday party is pretty special, and yesterday my 83-year-old mother, June Rodgers, was a participant in Austin’s observance of the Girl Scouts’ centennial celebration. I’m sharing her email to her daughters and granddaughters about the event here, in honor of the gracious and welcoming way she was treated by her sister Scouts, and just because I’m completely thrilled that she was feted for her lifetime of service to the Girl Scouts — as a Brownie and beyond, all the way to troop leader, camp counselor, trainer and volunteer.

June attended 25th Anniversary

Who knew when little June became a Brownie, just as Scouting celebrated its 25th anniversary, that she would proudly attend their 100th birthday?

Here’s her version of Austin’s 100th celebration

Today I wish I was a blogger, because I really have something to blog about. I got late publicity by email about the celebration being held on the Austin capitol steps today. I was afraid the publicity was inadequate, but even if it was a flop, I wanted to be there. I had no one to go with and I didn’t expect to know anyone, but for my personal interest, I decided to brave the downtown traffic and find a parking space and go alone.

I wore green slacks (what else?) and my old badge sash over a white blouse. As soon as I walked in the back door of the capitol, I was swarmed by two senior Scouts who wanted to know about my badges. When I told them I came because I had gone to the 25th birthday as a Brownie, they pulled out cell phones and took me to meet the dignitaries.

Introduced to 3,000 Girl Scouts

I was placed in the front row and introduced to the crowd of 3,000 Girl Scouts. We sang Girl Scout songs and after a huge closing friendship circle that covered the acres in front of the capitol, I had dozens of girls who wanted to have their picture taken with me! I felt like a real celebrity. I wish I hadn’t forgotten my camera.

I was totally surprised and was so glad I had taken time to wash my hair the night before and wear my Girl Scout earrings. What fun!

Your ultimate Girl Scout Mother, Grandmother and Girl Scout Brownie buddy!

June Rodgers

Local video of the 100th Observance

Austin’s KXAN covered the event. You can see the video here.

Who will cover the 125th birthday party?

The disappointing post script to this story is that – despite their presence at the event – Mom’s local newspaper didn’t have coverage of the event this morning. She saw a glimpse of her white hair on the TV news last night, and was hopeful that some notice of the gathering would run in The Austin American-Statesman.

It was not to be. After 30 years as a journalist, I know all the reasons why there was no coverage of the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of the USA, especially in this era of downsizing. How many times did I personally deliver my stock response to readers asking why we didn’t print more “good news”?

Mom and I are looking toward 2037

Yes. I know the reasons, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

And I have to wonder, with newspapers slipping away, who will cover the Girl Scouts’ 125th birthday party?

With or without the media, I’m planning to attend any festivities the Girl Scouts see fit to arrange come 2037. I’ll be 82 that year, just one year shy of Mom’s current age.

She’ll be 108 then and I’m sure she’ll insist on accompanying me to pay her respects once again to the organization she’s loved all her life.

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Less hair

January 21, 2012

I have much to say about the agony of professional indecision I’ve wrestled with for 3 weeks (brought on by knowledgeable friends advising me that self-publishing is the way to go in 2012), but I’m going to save all that for next week, when sanity is restored and I can write about it coherently.

Today, instead, I propose a short detour into long hair, or more accurately, former long hair.

Over Christmas break in Texas, seemingly on a whim, I cut a foot of my hair off. And now you must immediately ask if I gave it to Locks of Love or some such organization because everyone does, and I shall respond by telling you they decline to accept gray hair. Perhaps because the texture changes and it becomes more stiff? I don’t know. Such groups also won’t accept color treated hair, and since I’ve put temporary color on my hair from time to time (which washes out), I am a two-time loser. I have as much hair as just about anyone you’ll meet, but apparently even sick, bald people don’t need my hair. Sort of boggles the mind.

Anyhoo, it did seem like I cut it on a whim, but I had actually been contemplating a cut. A couple of months ago, when I was filmed by WPBF for a TV segment on our Kiss And Tell book, the segment showed an angle of me from the side and behind. I was staggered by how much hair filled the picture. Of course I know I have long hair, it’s part of who I am, but seeing it from the back like that made me feel like it was all there was to me, that it defined me.

And so I began to wonder if it wasn’t time to make a change.

Ever since 7th grade, when Mom first let me make my own decisions about my hair, I’ve been growing it out. It’s always long, it’s just that sometimes it’s super long. Super-long hair brings its own set of irritants (for instance, when you’re tucking your shirt into your pants, your hair gets caught up in that process), so if those things become too bothersome,  I just cut off 8 inches or so. Sometimes I’m happy with my hair being to the middle of my back; sometimes I like it at my waist.

Lately, my hair has been super-long. I haven’t been annoyed with the care it requires, and besides, I’m in a period of cost-cutting, and salon trips are expensive. As a result, it’s been several years since I’ve had a serious cut.

While I’m mulling my hair options, my Mom visits from Texas and I mention to her how overwhelmed I felt by the mass of  hair in the TV segment. Without missing a beat she offers to pay for a haircut as an early Christmas present. I demur, keeping in mind this is the woman who thinks I look best in a pixie haircut and have since I was 5.

Not that Mom would make a short cut a condition of payment; I don’t mean that. In fact, she has acquiesced to my long hair with good grace, going so far as to braid it for me in special ways and occasionally buying ornamental clips. But I just wasn’t ready to say yes, even though I had visions of a long, layered cut dancing in my head.

A month later, just off the plane for Christmas break and getting a glimpse of my sister, I remark on her great haircut. It’s not very long, but all layered and stuff … pretty cool.

A young hairstylist recommended by her daughter had done the cut and since my niece steadfastly assured me of his shearing prowess, I decided to take the leap. I made an appointment for Christmas Eve, left a foot of my hair on the floor of that Austin salon and never looked back.

Which is kind of interesting, because I can remember a More or Oprah magazine article a while back featuring mid-life makeovers for women willing to cut their long hair and I knew if they’d asked me, I’d have refused. Not ready.

It’s true that every 4 or 5 days, I have a tiny moment of panic, when I remember I have no distinguishing characteristic, that I blend into the scenery now in a way I find impossible when my hair is long. (For one thing, almost every single day, people used to talk to me about my hair. And that’s over.) So — every so often — there are these odd moments of regret, but in between, I am tossing my shoulder length hair around like it’s a miracle, unable to believe how practically non-existent it is, not to mention how quick it is to wash it, dry it, brush it.

Yes, it’s still past my shoulders. And yes, that’s short to me. It’s all relative, people.

Last time I had hair this short I was walking to school at North Junior High, agonizing over the shame of changing into a gym suit for P.E. and wondering if I’d ever have a boyfriend.

That’s a long, long time ago.