Most people who love vintage clothing and antiques dream about going back in time to the decade they love the most or I hear people talk allot about “The Good Ole Days”. From my experience the 1940’s and 50’s are the most popular. After watching the nightly news many nights I’ve also thought about going back to a simpler time in life, less crime, less corruption, less responsibilities. That was until I saw an interview of Maya Angelou by Oprah Winfrey last Sunday on her Super Soul Sunday show. My new favorite show!
I’m a huge fan of Maya Angelou. There was no one like her, ever. Her hypnotic voice, her intelligence and wisdom. She reminds me of an owl. When I was 13 I used to pretend there was a wonderful big old wise owl named Maya that lived in the woods and I could go there and talk to her, sit with her and get advice & share a meal. It was based on Maya Angelou. I had left home at age 13 and lived on the street for just about 1 year. I slept in the bushes at my school at night, & hung out in the various public libraries during the day. That’s where I learned about reading and Maya Angelou. One day I sat down at a big brown table with open scattered magazines and papers all over it. By chance, right in front of where I sat down was an open magazine with her poem, Alone. It was the 1st time I had heard of Maya Angelou. I read it over and over trying not to cry in public. How would that look, a tough punk rock brat with a mohawk crying in public over a poem. I really connected to it, especially in my situation. I was totally alone at the time. I started looking up other things she wrote and fell under her spell ever since. I also used to pretend & wish she was my relative. How lucky her son is to have had her as a mother.
Anyway, in this interview with Oprah she was talking about getting her first job as a trolley car conductor. I think she said she was 16 years old at the time. She was persistent and sat in the office waiting to apply for this job. Up on the TV screen pops an old black and white photo of about 3 or 4 white women in these adorable 1940’s military inspired uniforms with their garrison caps on standing in front of a trolley car. They looked so pretty, dependable, and friendly. The main reason she wanted the job was to wear that uniform. Maya went on to say while she sat there waiting the women who worked in this office would tease her and push out their lips at her. As soon as I heard this my heart just sank! I was so shocked I felt my throat choking up. I could not believe what I was hearing. Whenever I hear of such blatant cruelty I usually think of young teenage boys, but the thought of these adult women, who looked so similar to me & my friends, being so disgusting made me sick. I then began to think about the fact that, that was normal behavior back then & despite all of the crime and horrible problems we have now I don’t want to go back in time if that’s what people, other so called ladies, did to innocent young girls. We may have our problems now but I’m grateful we’ve come along way in other areas. This would not be tolerated now. Thank God. She did get the job becoming the first black operator in San Fransisco. Amazing!
Below, I took my favorite photos of Dr. Maya Angelou and added my favorite quotes of hers that have inspired me and given me hope over the years. I had to include the vintage photos of course because I still love the vintage clothing!