Tag Archive | Mary Jane Reed

Dear Santa, Please Pause Here

This special post doesn’t have anything to do with Reed Brothers Dodge history, but it does have a lot to do with the founder’s daughter, Mary Jane (Reed) Gartner. In her younger years, Lewis Reed’s daughter (my mother) was a very talented ceramic and china painter. She painted the ceramic tray of Santa (below) for me Christmas of 2000 and entered it in the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair. Seventy-eight years old at the time, she won First Premium Prize. The tray is currently displayed in my dining room china cabinet and evokes memories of my childhood and makes me happy every time I look at it. I hope you enjoy this special post.

“Dear Santa, Please Pause Here” 2000 oil painting on ceramic tile by Mary Jane (Reed) Gartner.

Some background about the image

Have you ever heard of an artist named Haddon Sundblom? No? Well you’ve seen his work. You could say he’s one of the most famous character designers ever. He created the iconic Santa we all know and love. The image, “Santa, Please Pause Here” was originally created by Haddon Sundblom who was commissioned by Coca-Cola company to develop advertising images using Santa Claus. He may have been paid as much as $1,000 per painting—a lot of money at that time (you could buy a car for $700). Based on Clement Clark Moore’s descriptions of St. Nick in “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” Sundblom’s Santa Claus emphasized the rosy cheeks and snow white beard along with the now familiar suit and hat. A wide leather belt and brown boots completed the look.

From 1931 to 1964, Sundblom’s creations for Coca-Cola had Santa pictured as doing everything from delivering toys (and playing with them!), pausing to read letters, visiting with children who had waited up to meet him on Christmas Eve, raiding the refrigerators of several homes, warming his feet by the fire, and other activities — always with a bottle of Coke in hand or nearby. The Sundblom Santa became so popular that the images spread from print ads onto billboards, posters, calendars, plush dolls, and more.

Below, is the original Coca-Cola Santa Claus painting and sketches by Haddon Sundblom.

In 2001, Haddon Sundblom’s Santa Claus was creatively brought to life in a Coca-Cola ad video tribute, animated by the Academy Award-winning animator Alexandre Petrov.

So the next time you envision Santa Claus and maybe even have a simultaneous unexplained craving for a Coca-Cola, please give a wink and nod to the artist Haddon Sundblom. He was instrumental in defining the image of Santa Claus for us all.

Wishing the very best of the holiday season to everyone, and of course, Merry Christmas!

Reference: Coca-Cola.com

Remembering My Mother on the First Anniversary of Her Passing

Today is a very special post in remembrance of my mother, Mary Jane (Reed) Gartner, who passed away one year ago on September 10, 2019. Her father, Lewis Reed, was the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge of Rockville – a family business that would be carried out for 97 years and three generations. It’s hard for me not to reflect on what an amazing person she was. As with most people, I have a few people in my life who really inspire me, and my mom is one of them.

In some ways, it seems like more than a year has passed since she passed. Her absence is part of my daily life now. At some point every day, I think I should call her and have to remind myself I can no longer do this. But I can keep her memory alive by sharing a few recent stories about her.

Apple Cider Time!

In the autumn months, a weekly visit with mom to Lewis Orchard Farm Market in Dickerson, Maryland for some apples and cider was a weekly ritual. Then over to Bassett’s in Poolesville for dinner. She was always happy to get out and enjoy the beautiful fall days and the sights outside.

Did Someone Say “Happy Hour?”

We celebrated mom’s 93rd birthday at Bassett’s Fine Food & Spirits in Poolesville, one of her favorite restaurants.

Mary Jane Gartner

Rosemary Pasek and mom enjoying a happy 93rd birthday toast

Celebrating mom’s 94th birthday at Arties in Fairfax. Baby back ribs and cheesecake dessert for the birthday girl!Mom's 94th birthday at Arties

The Saturday Lunch Bunch

Saturday lunches were something that my mom and her friends at Asbury Methodist Village always looked forward to. They had a lot of fun taking turns choosing which restaurant they would go to each Saturday. I always tried to have an annual summer cookout for them down at my place. Simple pleasures mean so much more these days, and grilling out was always a big hit.

Below, we are enjoying a cookout on my back porch with mom and three of her friends. Burgers, beer brats, baked beans, potato salad, marinated asparagus, and homemade key lime pie were on the menu. Three of them in their 90s, doing with gusto whatever it is that gives them joy. I miss these small, but very meaningful times. Hard to believe that this was only 5 years ago.

Mary Jane Reed Gartner

Left to Right: Jane Sween, Mary Jane Gartner, Polly Conners and Rosemary Pasek.

“What’s Your Excuse?”

The photo gallery below could be titled, “what’s your excuse?” This is my mom at 94 years of age going through her exercise routine at the Asbury Village Wellness Center. Great job mom!

My #1 Fan

My mom has always been my #1 fan. I was so very proud to have had her in the audience on November 18, 2016 when I was recognized with the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication by Peerless Rockville for my blog and book documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge. The ceremony was held at Glenview Mansion, one of Rockville’s most beautiful historic properties. It was a tremendous honor for me to receive this award, but more importantly, share this special occasion with my mother. I saw my mom in the audience. I saw her smile and I felt her joy.

Never Too Late to Learn Something New

My mom has always been an active person and had the heart and mind of someone 20 years younger. She was 90 years old when she joined Facebook! She was not only a Facebook friend, but a Skyper, a Texter and could navigate an iPhone and Windows 8! I could have not possibly been more proud of her.

Mom's Facebook Page

Recalling a Wonderful Life

I have been fortunate to have spent the last 10+ years experiencing the best friendship ever with my mother. One of my greatest joys was looking through all of my grandfather’s photographs along with my mother. On many afternoon visits with her, we went through hundreds of photographs and wrote down names, dates, and locations to the best of her recollection. We were able to relive the highlights of her life together; it was a very special time. This weekly activity, working together with her sharing memories and photos about previous generations, has been one of the greatest joys of my adult life.

Mary Jane Gartner

Watching my mom’s eyes light up when I gave her the first proof book of her father’s entire photograph collection — 350 pages and 2500+ photographs — was a beautiful thing to see. True magic happened when she opened that book and started looking through the pictures. The book was a monumental task, and almost 10 years in the making, but it had a monumental reward at the end. Bringing out all those cherished memories for my mother was truly a celebration of her life.

Near the end of her life, I came to understand what a strong person my mother was. My mother had grit, warmth, a positive outlook on life, and an independent streak that served her well during the last years of her life.

Grateful for Beautiful Memories

When it comes right down to it, all we have are memories. You don’t have to travel or go far away to make memories; it can be as simple as a trip to the orchard or a Saturday afternoon brunch. I miss my mother, but I am forever grateful for the beautiful memories she left me. I find it helps to take the perspective that I didn’t really lose her. I know exactly where she is and where she’ll always be. She is alive in my memories and the link to all the history I share on this blog.

A Tribute to My Mom on This Mother’s Day

Mary Jane Gartner

Mary Jane (Reed) Gartner

In honor of Mother’s Day, I would like to dedicate this blog to the memory of my mother, Mary Jane (Reed) Gartner who passed away eight months ago on September 10, 2019. Her father was Lewis Reed, founder of Reed Brothers Dodge. It’s hard for me not to reflect on what an amazing person she was. As with most people, I have a few people in my life who really inspire me, and my mom is one of them.

One of the most important things that I ever adopted to help me in achieving my goals were those I learned from my mother. My mother taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to, and that anything worth doing, is worth doing well. With her as my inspiration, I have been able to fearlessly reinvent myself as my life and times have changed. I cannot express my gratitude for her in words, whose unconditional love has been my greatest strength. My mother has always motivated me to be successful, encouraged me in all of my pursuits, and instilled in me the belief that I can achieve whatever it is that I desire. Her motto is one that I still live by to this day, “There is no such thing as can’t.” Instead of giving myself reasons why I can’t, I always give myself reasons why I can.

I am an author of two self-published books: “Portrait of an Automobile Dealer, Third Edition” and “Lewis Reed Photograph Collection (1898-1960)”. My mother was my primary source for information in both books. There was little documentation that accompanied the photographs, leading me to research through mostly her accounts of where the photos might have been taken, or who was in them. She assisted me with family information, photographs, and photo identification. Throughout this, my mother’s stories have influenced my interest in local history in general, and my interest in the history of our family business in particular.

One of my greatest joys was looking through all of my grandfather’s photographs along with my mother. On many afternoon visits with her, we went through hundreds of photographs and wrote down names, dates, and locations to the best of her recollection. This weekly activity, working together with her sharing memories and photos about previous generations, has been one of the greatest joys of my adult life.

Watching my mom’s eyes light up when I gave her the first proof book of her father’s entire photograph collection — 350 pages and 2500+ photographs — was a beautiful thing to see. True magic happened when she opened that book and started looking through the pictures. The book was a monumental task, and almost 10 years in the making, but it had a monumental reward at the end. Bringing out all those cherished memories for my mom was truly a celebration of her life.

Mary Jane GartnerIf your mother is still living, don’t forget to say “thank you” to her often, especially on Mother’s Day. And if she’s gone, thank God often for the memories you have, and the life and legacy she gave to you. I lost my mom eight months ago. And I still miss her every day. But I find it helps to take the perspective that I didn’t really lose her. I know exactly where she is and where she’ll always be. She is alive in my memories and the link to all of the history I share on this blog. Mom, this is for you… Happy Mother’s Day!

Tribute to My Mother

tribute to mom

Me and my mom December 2014

Today is a very special post in honor of my mother, Mary Jane (Reed) Gartner. Today was also one of the hardest days of my life, when I answered my phone in the early hours of the morning to the news my mom had died. She was 96 years old. The nurse of Wilson Health Care Center at Asbury Methodist Village waited patiently as I tried to process the information. I was at a loss for words. Knowing I was about to devastate each member of my family with just three words — “Mom passed away” — was not a responsibility I wanted, but it was the one I had. With every number I dialed, my mom’s death became more real.

Losing the person who has literally been there for you your whole life is shocking. It’s heartbreaking. It’s life changing. But I find it helps to take the perspective that I didn’t really lose her. I know exactly where she is and where she’ll always be. She is alive in my memories and the link to all the history I share on this blog.

While it is hard to loose her, I know she is in a better place. She was never in pain and we all got to spend time with her before she went to sleep. Thanks mom, for the 69 years of love and support you have given me. May your soul rest in perfect peace.

I love you … your eldest.

Here is the link to her Obituary for friends and family who follow this blog: https://www.pumphreyfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Mary-Jane-Gartner?obId=7173479#/celebrationWall

Happy 96th Birthday, Mom!

happy birthday mom

Mary Jane (Reed) Gartner

Today is a very special post in honor of my mother, Mary Jane (Reed) Gartner – 96 years young today! Not everyone lives long enough to celebrate their 96th birthday, so I’m thrilled to report that my mother is marking this momentous occasion today.

One of the most important things that I ever adopted to help me in achieving my goals were those I learned from my mother (Lewis Reed’s daughter). My mom taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to and that anything worth doing is worth doing well. With her as my inspiration, I have been able to fearlessly reinvent myself as my life and times have changed. I cannot express my gratitude for her in words, whose unconditional love has been my greatest strength. My mom has always motivated me to be successful, encouraged me in all of my pursuits, and instilled in me the belief that I can achieve whatever it is that I desire. Her motto is one that I still live by to this day, “There is no such thing as can’t.” Instead of giving myself reasons why I can’t, I give myself reasons why I can.

Thanks mom, for showing me that anything is possible through hard work and perseverance, and for the 68 years of love and support you have given me.

Happy Birthday Wishes from your eldest! I love you!!!

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