Happy birthday to the Outlaw Mary Jane and the In-Law Donna

We’ve noticed that the sweetest candy and the shiniest shoes are called Mary Janes.

And, though both have been around much longer than our beloved Outlaw Mary Jane, we think the three Mary Janes share a number of attributes including eternal style, reliability, grace, comfort and kindness.

Today, we’re chewing a little sweet candy, and kicking up our patent leather flats to celebrate the birthday of our favorite Mary Jane.

It won’t be her most memorable birthday, not by a long shot.

That honor might belong to her third birthday, sweetly noted by her mother in an intimidatingly well-kept baby book. That year, she “Made a trip to radio station KYW, said her name over the radio. After the first time, she went to the end of the line, to repeat same again.”

The story confirms the lifelong paradox of Mary Jane, an introverted ham.

Her most memorable birthday might have been her 80th, when the family gathered in Naperville for a champagne toast and party.

It might have been the years her husband Vince took her to Arlington Racetrack to bet on lucky No. 8 and steal a couple of hours away from their growing family.

Or the years her mother decorated the dining room table with blue and white streamers, flowers and a store bought cake from Widens Bakery. Those were good birthdays too.

By far, though, Mary Jane’s best birthday happened in 1957, when she gave birth to her daughter Donna, the second of Vince and Mary Jane’s nine children.

In honor of that birthday, we’d like to take a moment to say Happy Birthday Grandma Mary Jane! and Happy birthday Donna, too!

We hope both of you celebrate all weekend long to kick off one of your best years yet.

3 year old birthday details
Here’s a 1934 entry in the well-kept Mary Jane Baby Book.
Mary Jane Candy
I used to say I was eating these in honor of my mother in-law, but, really I just like the sticky, peanut-buttery goodness. Still, I think of her every time I buy them.
Elaine's  wedding 087
The Outlaw Mary Jane loves to hang out with her family.
Grandma MJ pyramid
She’s a fun-loving mother in-law too.
Here is most of the family at her 80th birthday party.
Donna, Vince, Laura and Molly
We’re saluting the in-law Donna as well. Happy birthday to the family adventurer.
And Happy Birthday to the Outlaw Mary Jane!

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