It has probably been sixty years since this event. It was just one day but it stands out as a very special memory that I cherish for many reasons.
Glass Wax is a window glass cleaner that came in a metal can. During the holiday season in the 1950s, a sample stencil wasaffixed to the front and back of the can with directions for use. (Then you bought a book of more stencils.) It was a pink liquid that when it dried, turned white. It was economical and cleaned windows well even if it was messy.
I lived in a neighborhood that was called "The Plat" because all of the houses were built within a few years in the post World War II boom. Many people wanted to move away from the city, out into the suburbs and because they owned a car, they could drive to work. Before this many people used public buses and trolley cars or walked to work. Driving to work was a new idea then and many returning servicemen (like my father) could buy an affordable house maybe 15 or 20 minutes from their place of employment.
Some of the houses in my neighborhood were occupied by older people who had been living with parents until the parents died, and then they inherited the family home in the city, which they sold and moved to this growing area of shopping plazas and small industries. It was a multi-ethnic neighborhood. The city directories for my home state confirm that my memory is correct.
I had a girl friend, about my own age, an only child like me, living on an adjacent street. Our fathers took the cars to work and the mothers stayed home and were housewives. Both families had a telephone, which was not all that common, because it was a new area. Our mothers called each other to set up a time for us to play at one of the houses.
My mother walked with me to the intersection of the two streets and waited for Linda's mother to come out of her house and walk to the bottom of the driveway where my mother could see her.
Mom would watch me walk all the way down the street until I reached the safety of Linda's driveway. She'd wave and turn and walk back to our house. This process was reversed or our fathers would take us home when they returned from work while the women made supper.
One day, in December, Linda's mom told us that we could use the Glass Wax stencils. Linda's dad was a printer and they was always a lot of scrap paper in her house for us to color on or cut up. I assumed that's what we were going to do. But, no, Linda's mother was going to let us put the stencil on a window pane and dab on the glass wax as it showed on TV.
I was so surprised because Linda's living room had a WHITE rug! I couldn't believe it! Adults can be so mystifying!
But, there it was, the rug was turned back, the furniture moved and the curtains held back from the windowpanes. It was surreal.
I looked at my friend to see if I was dreaming. Linda was known to be able to talk her parents into anything she wanted to do. So, into the formal living room we went with Linda's dad's big chef aprons tied around us. I was actually terrified. What if we spilled the Glass Wax on the floor?