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Mixed Bag Monday presents "MAMA-RABILIA" with Nora Brooks Blakely

Several people have asked me if I plan to write a biography about my mother. My answer has been a terrified “Nooooooooooo!“ But if I DID write one, it wouldn’t be a long drawn-out narrative. No, it would be a collection of memories. 

And, Mama-rabilia, is the name I would give it. 

In between now and the probably never-to-be-published book I’m happy to share some of these memories from time to time here in The Gwendolyn Connection blog. 

Some of you will be familiar with this first entry. I’ve shared the story as part of some of my presentations. So, whether you’re hearing it for the 1st time or the 10th, enjoy! 

-- Nora Brooks Blakely 



Some people believe a writer should take all of life very seriously. 

Some people believe soap operas are frivolous and a waste of time.


Mama didn’t see life that way. She was serious when she needed to be serious and was meticulous at a microscopic level regarding her work but she laughed, played music and danced (yes, she did!). And she looooved soap operas. When I was a little girl she watched several soap operas a day including As The World Turns and The Guiding Light. As I grew into adulthood she watched fewer soaps but she was a loyal fan of the ones that remained like All My Children and Days of Our Lives

I remember a phone call. We were chatting about friends, neighbors and relatives. She told me about something horrible that had happened: Jesse had been arrested! We knew a ‘Jesse’ who lived down the street so we were several minutes further into the conversation before I realized she was talking about a soap opera character. 

One day I wasn’t paying attention to the time when I called her. She picked up the phone (she didn’t have caller ID) and said, “All My Children”, and hung up. 

I wasn’t surprised. Like I said she took her soaps verrryyy seriously. 

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