How Minny Came to Be

How Minny Came to Be

I can hear the phone ringing.  Hands full of pansy plants, dirty feet, should I run for it?  It is just about six PM…maybe Ron?  Mad dash.  “Hello?”

“Drop everything, get over here to the Ocean Club before 6:30 and we can get the buffet:  all you can eat for $9.95.”

“Betty, Ron isn’t even home yet and I’m up to my knees in…”

“Just do it!  We’ll save you a place at the table.”  The phone hums in my ear.

I shake my head and start back to the garden.  No way.  “Hi.”  Ron is closing the door and starting up the drive.

“You won’t believe that Betty.  She wants us to drop everything and run over to the Ocean Club for the early buffet.”

Ron pauses, “Well, why not?”

“Look at me!  We have to be there by 6:30, I won’t have time to change.”

“Don’t bother, who’s going to notice?”

Men are that way.  I am still at the age where I think people are looking at me.  “Well, at least let me wash the dirt off my hands!” I look down at my outfit:  black faded sweats, mussed and smudged tee shirt, sneaks that are well broken in, once white now garden brown.

“Just put on your vest and let’s go.”  This is rather unlike Ron and I catch the ‘why-not‘ urge.

We head toward the door of the newest disco in town.  There is a doorman even at this early hour.  I am filled with the time frame and check my watch:  6:15, we’d just make it.

“Ahhm…”  I hesitate as I enter, Ron right behind me.  “I’m sorry,  Mam,” I pause to see who the doorman is talking to.  “You see,” he hesitates, “well, we have a dress code and I’m sorry, but we just don’t allow,”  he looks me up and down taking in the whole outfit including the rather tattered fur vest I have thrown on, “sneaks” he finally settles on and I follow his eyes downward to my garden sneaks.  They are even muddier than I thought.

Ron stops.  “Come on you guys, hurry up.”  I can see Betty beckoning us frantically, pointing at her watch.

“Look, you go on in.  Give me the keys to the car, I’ll be right back.”  He looks a bit hesitant, but being used to my rather questionable antics, shrugs and hands me the keys.

SALE   I whip into Cohos, one of Rochester’s more upscale ladies shop.  Once inside I head straight to the ladies wear.  Of course, everyone ignores me after one sidelong glance except this pleasant lady.  “Guess what… ” I announce brightly.  “The Ocean Club doesn’t think this is ‘proper attire‘ ” and I hold one hand in the air and spin around.  “What can we do to spruce it up a bit?”  The woman looks a bit startled and then a sly smile plays across her face and she gets a devilish look in her eye.

“You come right over here,  I got just the ticket.”

I’m looking at myself in the mirror: large purple hat tilted rakishly to one side, sweats pulled up above the knees, pinned with silver ribbons, stretched out sweat socks hanging loosely around the silver lame shoes, size 10 to fit over the bulk of the socks.  By this time all the clerks are gathering around to add suggestions.  Stepping back they nod in unison.  “The fur vest is perfect,”  they all agree.  “Here, let me cut off the tag on the hat,” one volunteers.

“No!” The others insist.  Just like Minny Pearl.  Love it.  Leave it.”  I wobble out all of them waving and chuckling.

“Ta Da!”  I pose before the doorman.  “OK now?”

He can’t control the smile that spreads across his face.  Opening the door,  he sweeps his hand in a grand gesture.  Bowing slightly, he ushers me in.  I wobble through the bar with exaggerated steps.  A time warp of disbelief and stopped conversations accompany me to Betty’s table to a round of applause.  Dinner proceeds.  Near the end of the meal I am approached by the waiter carrying a drink on a silver platter.  “For me?”  He bows.

“On the house for being such a good sport.”

A friend of a friend heard the story and painted her version of my Minny Pearl outfit, one of my most prized possessions.

Check out Pat’s Web Site at:


READ AT YOUR OWN RISK:  Minny has NO social filters.  She muses about all sorts of things:

politics, rlightning-double-rainbow-550eligions, social mores.  She claims no authority,  has no degree, her education gleaned from life’s  lightning strikes and rainbows.  Her question on life?  What’s the point?


Selected from the Writings of
Favorite Authors
Ladies of Fabiola Hospital Association

I found this tattered, leather-bound book among my mother-in-law’s treasures.  It was published by the Dodge Publishing Company in New York with a copyright dating 1901.  The back binding is broken, tape has been added to help hold it together.  The pages are cinnamon color.  It opens with the following:


To get peace, if you want it, make yourselves nests of pleasant thoughts. 

None of us yet knows, for none of us has been taught in early youth,
what fairy palaces we may build of beautiful thoughts–proof against all adversity.
Bright fancies, satisfied memories, noble histories, faithful sayings, treasure-
houses of precious and restful thoughts, which care cannot disturb, nor pain make
gloomy, nor poverty take away from us–houses built without hands for our souls
to live in.


I tell my grandchildren to “guard” their thoughts for they are creating their lives with the three tools of creation:  Thought–Word–Deed.
From time to time I shall share these thoughts with my readers.  PE

Key words:  memories,  free drink,, good sport, Minny Pearl, sneaks, time warp, disbelief, Sale, Rochester, applause

Thoughts, deeds, fairy palaces,  poverty, souls, politics, religion


  • By Pat Engebrecht, March 29, 2014 @ 6:10 PM

    Checking to see if “comments” work. Pat E

  • By wendy, April 28, 2014 @ 11:08 PM

    Was reading some of your stories. You are so talented. So… when Charie finishes her book will you give her a few hints about how to get published? Loves Wendy

  • By Pat Engebrecht, April 29, 2014 @ 8:50 PM

    Free advice is what you pay for it. I self published (costs $’s) for Chronicles because the audience was so limited. This is the new wave because so few books are purchased through mainstream publishing agencies. The thing I’m learning is that you have to have the time to be dedicated to the marketing of it (computer knowledge) to use the social media. There’s thousands of self published books out there but few get off of square one.

  • By Sue Treash, April 29, 2014 @ 2:24 PM

    Facinating idea. Love the way you write. But haven’t found out who Minny is – maybe your (grandma) name?

  • By Sue Treash, April 29, 2014 @ 2:28 PM

    Now I see it and it fits you perfectly… All your friends love the “Minny” side of you.. See you in NY and have a good summer.

  • By Pat Engebrecht, December 28, 2014 @ 9:12 PM

    Thanks, Sue and for supporting LJ’s scholarship fund. I am just now getting back to my blog after six months absence…A little rusty. Hope you are enjoying this amazing weather. Happy 2015…

  • By Rachel, May 7, 2016 @ 12:48 PM

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  • By Pat Engebrecht, July 27, 2016 @ 3:33 PM

    Tried it got no comments!

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