Letters Home: A Night To Remember

A Night to Remember by Bobbie Gideon

Letters Home: A Night To Remember

Wow, what an evening!  This quilt draws from our Mother’s letter to the grandparents about an evening of dining, live performances, and dancing, then ending in a boat ride that was not quite as planned! I wonder about the rest of the story that she decided against telling “the parents”! What an adventure and surely a night to remember! The experiences depicted in this quilt are:

  • References to the garden in the flowers
  • An exotic dancer
  • A dozen spinning plates
  • Music notes
  • The river
  • A boat
  • Hugs and kisses (XX00)

The quilt is 18 x 25 and is made with hand dyed, hand painted and commercial fabrics. It is machine and hand embroidered and embellished with seed beads. To create this quilt, I reread the letter, made a list of possible elements, drew a rough sketch, and set about the making! It was fun to play with composition, value, and scale to make a pleasing design. 

A Night to Remember 18″ x 25″ Letters Home Series Hand painted and commercial fabrics Machine quilting, hand embroidery and beading Bobbie Gideon (c) 2020

April 8, 1959

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Dear folks,

Boy, I’ve been a bad girl. It’s been almost two weeks since I wrote the last letter, not too much has happened but every little thing is a big event here – last Thursday night we went to a nightclub for dinner and the evening- we went to Khorramshahr. This is where the American Embassy is. To get there we drove for about 20 minutes then parked the car and went by boat across the river.

Close Up of Boat and River
A Night to Remember DETAIL
Letters Home Series
Hand Painted and commercial fabrics
Machine quilted and hand embroidery
Bobbie Gideon (c) 2020

There were ten of us and we walked on down the street to the hotel, all the tables were set up in the garden and there was a fairly good orchestra.

Close up of flowers
A Night to Remember DETAIL
Letters Home Series
Hand painted and commercial fabrics
Machine quilting, hand embroidery and beading
Bobbie Gideon (c) 2020

We all had a beer and dinner and danced until time for the floor show. At home we would never go out of our way to see any of the acts, but here they really looked good. This was the first time I had seen a man spin twelve plates on top of a stick all at the same time.

Close up of the spinning plates and music
A Night to Remember DETAIL
Letters Home Series
Machine quilted, hand embroidery and beading
Hand painted and commercial fabrics
Bobbie Gideon (c) 2020

There was a female dancer in a brief outfit. She must have been 5:10 or more and weighed about 170 to 180 lbs, most of this was in the hips and legs. Fun and different.

Close up of woman dancing and music
A Night to Remember DETAIL
Letters Home Series
Hand painted and commercial fabrics
Machine quilted, hand embroidery and beading
Bobbie Gideon (c) 2020

The orchestra was pretty good and played mostly American music. They started out with nice slow numbers and as more people came onto the dance floor the music got faster. The music lasted for about 30 to 35 minutes and then a 5 or 10 minute break and then started again. It was really a touch of America. The trip home was really something. We left the hotel about 1 a.m. and walked over to get the company operated boat back to the Abadan side of the river. No boat in sight. Finally one of the men walked back to a native boat with the three men in it and asked them to take us across. They did but I was sure that we would end up in the river as each person got on board the old boat rocked and then we started across. I was right by the motor and oh did it stink! We did make it and it was an evening of a lot of fun.

Closeup of the flowers, spinning plates and river
A Night to Remember DETAIL
Letters Home Series
Hand painted and commercial fabrics
Machine quilting, hand embroidery and beading
Bobbie Gideon (c) 2020

The last two evenings we have played bridge. Monday, with a real nice English couple who live two doors away, the Watsons. They have one child, 18 months, expect another today. Hope she makes it! Then last night we played with the Griffins. Carolyn and Dave, they are a barrel of fun and good bridge players too. They have two little boys ages 5 and 3. Caroline has nicely lent us a few games and books until our shipment arrived. These things have saved the day with entertaining the kids.

Close Up of music, dancing and flowers
A Night to Remember DETAIL
Letters Home Series
Hand painted and commercial fabrics
Machine quilting, hand embroidery and beading
Bobbie Gideon (c) 2020

We have no more broken things to give us all a good laugh but Ruby Draper has one. Last week we were over there using her washing machine. I was helping her do the breakfast dishes when the water spout came off in her hand. I just laughed and thought of the mess of getting it fixed. She did us one better. While they had her sink all apart she asked him to fix her drain. This is a really easy job since the drain pipe goes right out the wall and rests in an open hole. Just poke a wire such from outside and it should be fixed. Too easy! They cut a big hole in the wall about 15 inch in diameter and took the pipe out. Then with a solid lead pipe they started work. First they made the hole through it and slowly bent it to fit and finally put the new pipe in place. All this was done with hand tools and took several hours. We are really telling you true stories but I don’t blame you if you don’t believe them!

Our membership to the golf club has come through so now we will feel free to go out when we like. We were there one Friday for a picnic lunch. After we ate, the men all went out and played golf and the group of the ladies played bridge. We could see the 18th Green from where we were sitting and we watched it being swept even and clean. The greens are desert sand and clay and have to be kept nice so they sweep them. A native sweeps it with a palm branch. His clothes really make the thing complete. He had on stripe pjs (they sleep in these) and then dress on top of them, a long flowing skirt and a man’s sport jacket, bare feet and the rag around his head. It was a windy day and the skirt was blowing in the wind. It was really a show.

Close up of music and spinning plates
A Night to Remember DETAIL Letters Home Series Machine quilting, hand embroidery and beading Hand painted and commercial fabrics Bobbie Gideon (c) 2020

I’ve had four phone calls since I started this letter. The last one was to invite me to coffee Thursday morning. Sounds nice and I will go. Went to coffee on Monday and met all the Gulf Oil wives. There are eight Gulf Oil families here now and they all seem very nice. Our social life is starting to pick up a little and it sure is making life a little nicer. We are trying to get a nanny to work for us who will sleep in. There are only three girls here who babysit and they are dated up way in advance. The paper is about finished I’ll send more soon.

Love from us all,

Weezy 

Close up of the flowers on the quilt
A Night to Remember DETAIL
Letters Home Series
Hand painted and commercial fabrics
Machine quilted, hand embroidery and beading
Bobbie Gideon (c) 2020

Note to Grandmom, Louise’s mother

Gee, Mom. Your letter made good time, mailed April 2nd and arrived on the 7th. We have written Grammy and when we finished and had mailed it we thought we should have sent a carbon to you. Next time. We do have screens at the windows and doors so we’ll make window curtains from the mosquito netting. As for religion here, I don’t know a thing about it, hope to read some and see what I can find.

Love from us all, 

The Four Hands 

PS everytime Lynnie see a plane land and she says maybe that brings a letter from Grammy or Grandmom

A Night to Remember
18″ x 25″
Letters Home Series
Hand painted and commercial fabrics
Machine quilting, hand embroidery and beading
Bobbie Gideon (c) 2020

Letters Home is a collection of letters written by our Mother (mostly) and our Father ( sometimes), that chronicles their life overseas, with two, then three, then four young girls.  The letters were written to their mothers and are full of daily life, unique challenges, and humor. As we live in uncertain and challenging times, it seems fitting to share.


Browse through more Letters Home and the art quilts inspired by our parents adventures.


 


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