Mae Kuntz was the envy of sister Fanny. Norma was beautiful, tall and dressed in
the most elegant clothes a girl could ever imagine. Norma was the daughter of
Max Kuntz. He idolized his two girls, Florence and his oldest. He wanted to give
them everything that money could buy. He could well afford it since he owned a
grocery store in the town of Weirton. People liked Max so they bought their
weekly food from him. The customers too would enjoy seeing the man’s beautiful
children. Norma Mae would often be there and at times she would help serve
customers as they came in to make their purchases.
was friendly with Norma Mae. They would sometimes walk to school together. They
would share little secrets about the boys in class and who was the most
cold winter days Norma Mae would carry a white fur muff into which her hands
were cozily tucked. She had a little fur hat which called attention to the
golden highlights in her light brown hair.
often daydreamed that she too would someday have pretty dresses and matching
accessories and that the boys would notice her also. She wondered why some
children had so much luck and why she didn’t.
and Droozy had arrived in England each with one slightly torn blue velvet dress
embroidered with colorful grapes. They
wore these until a very kind generous British lady had taken them to a
department store and bought them each a very attractive, comfortable cotton
dress. With those two dresses the Abner girls arrived in the United States.
did not much care about clothes when she first arrived. She was just happy to be
here, away from the persecutions, out of Hitler’s clutches, in America the
land of freedom and opportunity. Fanny, on the other hand, being thirteen years
old, was very concerned with her appearance, how she looked, what her clothes
were like and how the other girls dressed. She wanted to be like all the other
American girls, especially like the beautiful Norma Mae.
day a large box of used clothing arrived from some kindly people who wanted to
do something for the new immigrants. Fanny and Droozy unpacked the clothes. They
smelled strongly of mothballs. There were large dresses and coats that dragged
to the floor and were so oversized that they were meant for someone three times
the weight and height of Fanny and her sister. They were mostly faded and well
worn. Mama not being a seamstress, nothing could be done with anything in that
folded the worn out garments and replaced them not so neatly into the box in
which they had arrived. At that very moment she was determined that some day she
would be just as well dressed as her friend Norma Mae.