Who Wears Short Shorts?

Marie Brooks might not have been wearing literal short shorts, (a song by The Royal Teens in 1957 and featured in Nair commercials in the 1970s and 80s), but I say her outfit counts which makes her a woman ahead of her time. Here she is in the late 1940s at 523 N. Franklin, Marshall, Texas. Also living at the residence were Jerry and Olive Todd; Mrs. Mattie Cherry, a widow; and Ludie Freeman, a shoe store saleslady. Marie worked as a draftsman for the State Highway Department.

With such a common name, Marie would have been impossible to pin down without the address. And even then I almost chalked this one up as a dead end. Then I came across a snapshot in a Brooks family tree on ancestry that allowed me to put the puzzle pieces together.

Essie, Gradie, and Ludie Freeman ~ found on ancestry.com

The above photo features siblings Essie, Gradie, and Ludie Freeman. Tada! Ludie, the shoe store saleslady, was the link I needed. Her sister, Essie (Freeman) Brooks, had a daughter named Lula Marie Brooks.

Aug. 8, 1948 ~ The Marshall News Messenger (TX)

Marie was a graduate of Henderson High School and attended Kilgore College. She wed Robert Leo Sullivan, Jr. in 1948. The couple settled in Marshall where Robert worked at various packing companies. They had no children.

Apr. 4, 1951 ~ The Marshall News Messenger (TX)

Marie and Ludie must have been quite close as she merited a high mention in Ludie’s wedding announcement. “…Mrs. Sullivan being a niece of the bride. She chose a navy-blue suit with pink accessories.”

It seems that Marie may still be living. Her husband died in 1995. Her brother, Louin, passed in 2019 and according to his obituary, she was a surviving sibling. I find no current death notices for her. If this is true she will be 99 years old on October 12, 2022. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if she got to see this post!

Census records
Marshall, Texas City Directories (1946)
The Marshall News Messenger

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