September 13, 2019

Pat Brown was my Dad’s secretary. She took care my grandfather’s affairs before him. She worked with my family for over twenty five years. Her hair was always in a low bun, and she wore plaid skirts that fell just below the knee. She held her own in an office of demanding men. Every year at Christmastime, Pat Brown would give my brother and I a 25 pound gift voucher for Fortnum and Mason. It was such a generous gift from a woman of modest means. We’d get on the bus up to Piccadilly and make our way around the grand department store in search of something special. Most years, I’d end up in the cosmetics department on the top floor, where I’d spend my money on two luxurious soaps or a fancy bubble bath. One year, I bought myself one of those magnifying mirrors. I can’t think why we never splurged on tea for two. It was such a lovely gesture, likely too thoughtful for two teenagers. But I appreciate it now.


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