As well as using the abo word today when she visited for afternoon tea yesterday, my mother also said, referring to an old frock shop called Debbie Ann, next to the fishmonger in Portman Street, Oakleigh, that it was owned and run by a lovely lady called Mrs Silver. She was Jewish, but so nice and so smart. Even step father picked her up on this one, pointing out a few of the Jewish people they know and adding that he has an antecedent with the name of Solomon.
She then went on to defend herself by saying she knew Jewish people many years ago and liked them a lot. She worked for some. This was a very big, never told revelation to me and to my step father. Why has she never mentioned this?
So far as I knew, she only ever worked in a plant nursery potting up seedlings for a few weeks and that was all the paid work she had ever done.
Oh no. Not true, it would seem. For some reason after all this time, she told us that she had been a telephonist, for a week, a sales lass in a haberdashery shop for a couple of days and a cleaner and child carer for a Jewish doctor whose practice was in the city. She worked this job for six months before she got bored. They lived in a new two storey apartment (1940's) at the corner of Murrumbeena Road and Dandenong Road and Mum used to do some general cleaning and walk the doctor's child down Murrumbeena Road to and from kindergarten, times of duty, 8.00 am to 3.30. Mum loved the apartment, furnished with beautiful antique furniture, which I suppose tells me why when she furnished my grandmother's new house in North Road, South Oakleigh with reproduction Queen Anne furniture.
Mater has told me/us quite a few interesting things over the last couple of years that we did not know. She must be feeling mortal and a need to pass on information.