June 27, 1951, was a busy day in Burbank, CA, and not just
because Walt Disney was making animated movies at Disney Studios, but across
the street at the hospital, Kathleen Patricia Nichols, my good old mom, was
Yes, today is my mom’s 60th birthday! Happy Birthday, mA! In
celebration of her birthday––and Quilting Arts wouldn't have happened
if she didn’t give life to me (which, by the way, thank you, Mom)––I had some
questions for her. Little did she know I was going to be posting them on my blog
(and sharing her real age with the greater world).
Pokey: You look very young for your age, you know. And we’re about 20 years
apart, which meant growing up I had the young, fun mom. I’m practically your
age in this picture (below) at my college graduation, which freaks me out every time I look at it!
You were 40 and
I can’t fathom having a college graduate as a kid right now. What’s your secret
to staying young? Wine? Chocolate? What?
Kathy: Never let anybody get a good close look at you.
Pokey: We have some talented relatives in the family, some musical.
Your second cousin (I think) was jazz pioneer Red Nichols of "Red Nichols and
the Five Pennies." Did you ever meet him?
Kathy: He was second cousin to my father. No I never met him. Mom and Dad
took us to see the movie made about him staring Danny Kaye.
Pokey: Speaking of movies, we both love “The Graduate.” Hands down
one of my very favorite movies ever. You can’t beat Simon and Garfunkel and
that closing scene on the bus with Benjamin and Elaine sitting so calmly and
agreeably together. What are some of your other favorite movies? Any favorite
Kathy: Actually my very favorite all time movie is “Born
Yesterday” with Billie Holiday. Favorite line in that movie is "...you
just ain't couth!"
Pokey: I remember once seeing a home movie of you when you were a
teenager, dancing like a maniac in your living room, not a care in the world.
You looked so cute. What was it like being a teenager in the 60's growing up in
Northern California? Who were some of your favorite bands?
Kathy: It was kind of a mixed-up time.... remember we were
involved in Vietnam. Peace symbols were on everything from t-shirts to jewelry, even had a kid at school
spray paint one on his truck. “Jesus Christ Super Star” was a big
musical. The Rolling Stones were my favorite group, and of course adored
Elvis in his white jumpsuit.
Pokey: As a kid you I always saw
you with a nose in a book, a pen in your hand, or you were crafting. What do
you like to do these days?
Kathy: If not reading or writing a short story myself, I like
anything to do with my hands. I used to love gardening and starting plants from
seed or grafting. Way, way back I used to sew, and used to do a lot of needlepoint and knitting. Now I’m
painting and doing pencil art.
Pokey: I have no spatial sense at all and it’s one of the reasons
why I can’t draw. Ah well. Do you work on multiple painting projects at once?
Kathy: When doing painting I do one thing at a time. Pencil art I
worked on a few projects at a time––that way you don't get bored from the same
color you have to work.
Pokey: Ten years ago you moved from a home on the Pacific Ocean in Northern
California to Las Vegas. Are you used to the desert? If I came for a surprise
visit, would I find you in arrears at a blackjack table?
Kathy: That's one thing I don't have in common with my friends––gambling is
boring. If I'm going to spend money I better be able to either wear the
proceeds out of the store or eat it. I'm not throwing it on a table or in a
Pokey: What books are you reading
Kathy: I have a fondness for mysteries or anything written about the middle
ages. Right now I'm reading Dark Fire by C.J. Sansom. It's
Pokey: I have a secret wish: to get you to quilt, and since you are so much
more artistic than me and can draw, to get you to make art quilts. Do you think
we’ll be able to get you quilting again?
Kathy: I haven't done any sewing since my old machine broke. It was an Elna and
great while it lasted. That kind of put me out of business, but I like
working with fabrics; so many endless combinations! My grandmother, your
great grandmother, had stacks and stacks and bolts of fabrics....wish I had
Pokey: Well, I’m glad I have one of her flower garden quilts
shelved in my studio. Thanks, mA, for taking the time to answer my questions!
Oh…by the way, you knew I was asking you questions, but I
didn’t tell you that I’m planning on coming July 22 for a
mother-daughter Vegas spa weekend before I go to Long Beach. Hope you’re
Birthday Blog Giveaway: 60 Party Favors for 60 Years
Help me celebrate my mom’s birthday by leaving a birthday
note for her in the comments area. On Wednesday I’ll choose six people to give
an assortment of 10 goodies (fabrics, embellishments, etc.) each.
Happy Birthday, mA!