Yesterday afternoon I got the pleasure to meet Ms. Maria "Mickey" Lorera. I had an assignment for my mass media class and Mickey was gracious enough to lend her time. This woman is amazing!
I walked into the retirement home expecting to meet someone a lot different. As I sat and waited for Mickey, I pondered what gems of knowledge this 92 year old woman would have to share. I was given plenty of insight.
A woman walked up to me who looked not a day over 65 and introduced herself as Maria Lorera and stated she was the one I was waiting for. I thought for sure there was a mistake, the woman I was looking for was over 90. Mickey just laughed. She asked me how old I thought she was, and as I kept adding ten years on she stopped me at 92. I was dumbfounded. How could this woman be 92 and so full of life?
Mickey gave me insight on what it was like in the 1920's and 30's growing up in El Paso without media entertainment. She said she was part of the "lamplighter's" generation. They use to sit under the lamp lights and play dominoes or cards at night. When I began asking her about her history with sound recordings and such she gave me a whole new perspective.
Her family did not have a record player, but one of her girlfriends would lend them her phonograph and as the President for the Girls Scout alternative group called the Girls Reserves, they would host parties all the time. Mickey loves to dance, she said she would take dance lessons for 30 cents a piece. One time she got to perform on stage at The Plaza Theatre as an understudy. It was great! She loved it.
As we chatted on I found out that she was able to see Al Jolson live at The Rex Theater, and with that she broke into song! She started singing "Mame I love you" followed swiftly by "Swanee River". A born entertainer. Her favorite movie was Gone With The Wind and she said they all cheered as Clark Cable gave his infamous, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." line. She had a crush on Mr. Gable and an ever bigger one on Mickey Rooney! Her favorite actress was Shirley Temple, with that she busted out singing "Animal crackers in my soup." Her eyes lit up as she recounted stories of her youth.
She began telling me how her "guts were bigger than her brain". She lived in a sheltered home with an slightly overbearing mother. In Mickey's words, she said, "She would tell me no, so I found another way." Goes to show teenage rebellion is nothing new.
Over all what I learned from Mickey was that no matter what life brings you, let the monkey off your back and you will thrive! She said she was in a marriage for 44yrs to a man she was "forced" to marry. Once her kids were gone and thriving on their own, she was able to free herself. She said she has been happy ever since.
It just makes me think about what luggage each one of us carries as part of obligations and if we truly let go and pursue happier courses how different our lives may be.
I by no means am saying drop your "luggage" and leave. I am just simply stating that analyzing what truly makes us miserable may be a start in lightening our load, so if the time show's itself to let go, we are able to do so. All major steps in life take courage, heart, and brains. Much like my beloved Wizard of Oz states. I say let's get happy!