Monday, September 27, 2010

Boardwalk Empire and Baba

Melba Foy, my darling (and daring) Grandmother, in the late 1920s
Melba West Foy was my grandmother.  We called her Baba. To most she was Mrs. Foy, during my lifetime - but like most, she had a whole life before she was a mother or grandmother as depicted in these pictures.  She was, well, hugely influential to me.  A dynamic, educated, progressive woman born in 1907, died in 1995. . . Sept 29th 1995.  We are coming up on the anniversary of her death and she has really been on my mind lately.  She is always near to my thoughts, but as I watched the premiere of the genius new HBO series Boardwalk Empire, I couldn't help but think of her.  She would have been a teenager in the midst of the timing of the series. . . the roaring 20s.  Though she was far away from New Jersey and the birth of the mafia, she always played the piano with a bit of ragtime rhythm and edge - she could tear it up!  And she added the spice of that period's music, change (women's rights) and even fashion to all her endeavors from children's programs, poetry, music, education and art, and I can't help but wonder what she must have thought and experienced as a young woman in 1920s West Texas.

I never thought she was old though she was already 70 when I was born.  SHE never thought she was old, and I'm so lucky to have been exposed to such a positive outlook on women and age,  And, oh, how she would love that I'm still inspired by, and writing about, her influence, fashion, art, music, zest for life - she was a spit fire, quick-witted and independent.  I miss her dearly. . .  Check out Boardwalk Empire and be inspired by the 1920s, by the amazing period costumes, and a compelling story and Scorsese's direction. . . or just check out Baba right here for the real deal in 20's fashions, hope and zeal.

Baba and a high school friend in Merkel TX, circa 1924

My Grandmother, Melba West Foy, breaking all the rules in the lat 20s


  1. Wonderful photos. I hope u have all of these digitally archived. Miss y'all and thanks for sharing this

  2. Thanks Charlie! We miss you too!


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