I grew up in the projects on Philadelphia’s west side, and I know what rough living is all about. My mom worked long hours as a waitress and Pop was not around much. Most of the time, my brother and I had to stay with Grandmommy while Mom was at work. Mom worked hard to make sure we had our needs met and she always said that we kids were going to get a good education and good-paying jobs. She kept track of all our report cards and was adamant that we get our homework done before play at Grandmommy’s place.
Grandmommy was our maternal grandmother and she lived on the first floor of our apartment building. Even though she had very little formal education, she was one of the smartest women I knew. For years, she and Grandpoppy owned a little restaurant in our neighborhood. Unlike a lot of other area restaurants, they still believed that making food from scratch was the best. Folks loved her homemade rolls and pies and stood in line for steaming hot bowls of Grandpoppy’s chili.
Economic times were rough around the time that Grandpoppy passed away, and Grandmommy had to close the restaurant. She was able to leave on a meager Social Security check and Grandpoppy’s veteran pension. As my mom always told us, Grandmommy believed that we could be anything we wanted if we worked hard enough. I can remember sitting on her couch and looking at all the beautiful movie stars in her old Look magazines and daydreamed of being a model.
Sundays were always special days for us, because Mom was usually off half a day. I remember watching Grandmommy sitting at her little vanity and fixing herself up for church. Although she was in her late 70s, she was still a beautiful lady. I enjoyed watching her put on her makeup just right and then she picked out the perfect hat for her outfit. We were by no means rich; however, I always felt like a million dollars when we were all sitting together at church.
After I got out of school, I decided to go to culinary school. I came from a long line of excellent cooks and wanted to continue the tradition. It was a lot of hard work; but it all paid off in the end. I worked for several top-notch chefs in the Philadelphia area and saved up my earnings. Five years ago, I opened my own restaurant and named it after my Grandmommy. Mom is my managing partner and has never been happier.
I did not give up my ideas of being a model. Sure, it is not my profession; however, I do love pretty clothes and makeup. One of my patrons introduced me to Doe Deere’s Lime Crime website. I was absolutely thrilled with all the brilliant colors of eyeshadows, lipsticks, glitters, and nail polishes available to order. Like me, Doe Deere worked hard and developed her own business on storyexchange.com. My regulars at the restaurant always admire the opulent nail shades that I wear from Lime Crime. I know that I am making my Grandmommy proud!