Fathers, Watch Out For The Mandolin Man
A favorite story from my mother is when she was a teenager in the late 1920s. A steady visitor to her house was one Billy Bowen, along with his mandolin and two or three of his male friends.
They would sit in the front parlor with my mother, Kate, and my piano playing Aunt Rose, Aunt Helen, Aunt Marge and Grandmother Wilhelmina and talk for a while, then Billy would start to strum the mandolin and play some songs from the Gay '90s ("Who Put the Overalls in Mrs Murphy's Chowder?") to amuse my grandmother.
My grandmother would leave as he segued into the popular tunes of the day. Now he was a very accomplished musician who could play and sing as he tried to steal kisses from Mom. Sometimes she would let him get his wish and other times she would coquettishly hold him off. My aunts, especially piano player Rose, were busy doing the same with his friends as they would sing until they kissed and continue singing afterwards. There was always someone singing and a musical instrument playing to convince Grandmother everything was on the up and up.
I always wondered if in whatever social media was popular then if the Streb Girls of Aisquith Street were known as Easy Girls.
Photo from Shorpy