The Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Before the movies Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes, and certainly before the book, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, there were the women I consider the original Ya-Yas: my mother, Peggy Osborne, her sister, Patsy, and their friend, Stattie Kendall.

And if they were the original Ya-Yas, then we, their children, were the original petite Ya-Yas.

This photo, taken sometime in the 1950s, probably by Aunt Pat, shows (from left) my mother, Peggy, with Mary Blanton, me with Mary June, my brother Win with our younger brother, Richard, and Stattie with Nancy.

Looking at this picture makes me wonder if Peggy, Stattie and Patsy used their daughters as their play dolls as adults. Just look at those frilly little dresses and because the boys were in just shirts, I can assure you it was not Easter. The Taylor boys always had jackets and ties for Easter. And I wore a hat.

There were others the three Ya-Yas spent time with, but my memories focus on those three. They grew up together, laughing, playing tennis, arguing as friends and sisters do. I’m not certain they ever rode around in a convertible, drinking cocktails, as the book and movie versions do, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to learn they had. I can see them pulling up to A. Kellar Dam and toasting, glasses held high, as the South Licking River meandered by.

They got married and had us, the petite Ya-Yas. We played together, we went swimming at the city pool, we had picnics in Gran’s backyard. And to this day, most of us are still close friends. On March 10, Mary Blanton celebrated her birthday. As most of us do nowadays, we posted wishes on her FaceBook page. Mary June’s made me smile: Rain, snow , sleet or hail we always wore our new shorts set for your birthday party!!!♥

That’s one of the heartwarming special reasons to grow up in a close-knit small southern town. I’m still close friends with the people I grew up with. Many of us went to Miss Sarah Lail’s Little Red School House on Pike Street. Our graduation was at the Rohs Theater. The girls all wore white organza. I think the boys wore white shirts and black pants. I played the triangle. Many of us, older and younger than me, went through the same rituals.

Then it was off to Marshall School for Miss Batts’ first grade. We would walk home for lunch, sometimes bringing friends with us. My mother, as any good Ya-Ya would do, served soup and grilled cheese sandwiches on rainy days.

Then, the Taylor family moved to the small town of Berry, in the northern part of the county. Our visits to town became few, but still involved family and other friends we had started to grow up with. Great memories.

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About Cissy Taylor

Cissy is a retired journalist who spent any number of years reporting and writing about crimes in New Hampshire, seeing up close and personally just how much harm one human being can inflict on another. Those are not the things she intends to write about here. A Southern Belle, born and raised in Kentucky, she has lived in the frigid north for nearly 39 years. Her faithful companion, Bebe, is a black rescued greyhound who, enviously, sleeps 20 hours a day.
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7 Responses to The Ya-Ya Sisterhood

  1. Richard says:

    I was such a good looking little boy. Wonder what happened?

    • Mary Blanton says:

      lol! Thanks for bringing back some long ago memories! I’ve gotten to looking forward to the next installment !

  2. Malinda Lawrence says:

    Love the blog Cissy. I read your bio with interest. Bebe sleeps enviously, really? Whom does she envy, whilst sleeping, exactly?

  3. Nancy says:

    I haven’t seen that pictures in years!!! My mother, Stattie, is holding me and I was borned in 1953, so I’m thinking the picture was taken on Mary Blanton’s birthday of 1954, maybe. What wonderful memories we have! When the “Ya-Ya” book came out, I told all my friends that my mother and her friends could have written that book since it was alot of our story!! Thank you Cissy and it’s great to hear from you!!

  4. William says:

    Cissy,
    I wish I could have seen this photo a couple of years ago! It would have been a blast teasing MJ & MB about their cute little dresses.
    I’m really enjoying your blog. Especially the stories about our families past.
    Thank you!
    Keep them coming.

    • Cissy Taylor says:

      William: Thanks for your encouragement. I began writing this blog as a means to share family stories with the younger generations, knowing that when my generation is gone, the stories might die. I’m so glad you are enjoying them. I’ll write on!

      xoxo

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