Saturday, August 05, 2006

Ma Short


Casey Dorion contacted me this week to ask, since my maiden name is Short, if I was related to "Ma Short" as he called her.

Liza Short - popularly known in her day as Ma Short - was the better half of the husband and wife team Gail and Liza Short, who ran Short's Cafe in St. Vincent. I'm not sure when they started the cafe, nor when it officially stopped, but I do remember Liza still living in the building when I was a child in the 1960s. I still possess, from my parents, an old cafe calendar from 1939, as well as a bottle opener that says "Short and Stranger", which indicates to me that they must have been business partners before marriage, since Liza's maiden name was Stranger.

Anyways, back to Casey's email...I responded to him explaining yes, in a way I was. My Dad was Gordon Short, Gail's nephew. I would be Liza's grand-niece, and she would be my great aunt through marriage. Jean, her daughter, was good friends with my mother Harriet (Fitzpatrick) Short.

I was quite amused by Casey's further comments about his memories (I assume good ones) of his and and friends being able to obtain 3.2 beer from Ma Short when they were in high school. I laughed when I read that, because it triggered a memory of my mother saying if there was a way to make a buck, Liza would find a way! This would have been after February 1933, by the way, because prior to the Blaine Act, all alcohol was illegal due to Prohibition.