Z = Zorro

Today’s Z-word – and the final in this Challenge – was inspired by a photo I stumbled across not long ago.

The Zorro of my story is not the steamy, heart-melting Antonio Banderas from the 1998 Mask of Zorro, but the cheesy TV series made in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Antonio Banderas - 1998

Antonio Banderas – 1998

Guy Williams - 1957

Guy Williams – 1957


zorro 5

The story lines never particularly interested me, but my favourite part of every show was simply the sizzling triple slash of the”Z” to strike fear in the hearts of Zorro’s enemies.



This is where my mom now enters the story.  I know – kind of random, isn’t it?

My mom was an interesting character – a quirky blend of stoic pragmatism and take-no-bullshit, combined with a great sense of humour, vanity in her appearance, a passionate shopper and follower of fashion trends.  I’m sure it was very difficult for her to transition from the ‘civilized’ world of a European city, to the ‘barrens’ of a small town far in Ontario’s north after her marriage to my father.

She came home one day beaming with pride and a new mail-order hat which had just arrived.  This was still a time in the mid-1960s when a well-dressed woman would have an appropriate hat to complete her ensemble and wearing a hat to mass in a Catholic church was a requirement.  This, however, was also still a small isolated community and a universe away from any fashion mecca.  An appropriate hat on most days would have been a woollen toque.

When she pulled the prized hat from its enormous box and positioned it on her head, we were first stunned into silence, and then reduced to uncontrollable giggles.  Our mom looked like Zorro.

Now, we knew it wasn’t EXACTLY like Zorro’s hat, but in our opinion, it was close enough. We were cheeky little brats.  We thought our scorn would entice her to return the offending hat for surely if she wore it in public, she would be mocked.  We feared that the next logical addition would be a cape.  The horror!

She did not however, reJopieturn the hat but I have no memories of her actually wearing it – anywhere, for any reason.  None of us ever really knew what happened to it, but a few months ago  I found a photo of my mom and to my enormous surprise, she was wearing THE infamous hat.

I was instantly transported to that time almost 50 years ago when I pleaded with my mom to let me wear her hat as Zorro for Hallowe’en.  She refused.  I think at one point my physical well-being might have actually been threatened if I so much as even considered touching THE hat.

I look at this photo now and I wonder why we made such a fuss.  She is considerably younger in this picture than I am today and I have to say – she looks lovely.

Thankfully there’s no cape – for knowing my mom, I’m sure she considered it – if only briefly.


About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge - 2014, Family and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Z = Zorro

  1. Mike says:

    Great story. I used to play Zorro as a kid. All I needed was a stick and a puddle left over from rain. Wetting the stick (light tree branch) allowed me to make a quick swish of the Zorro sign on dryer sidewalk. I was a bad-ass kid.


    • joannesisco says:

      Actually, that’s really clever. We had our fair share of sword fights but it never occurred to any of us to wet the stick and leave a Z behind. You are a bad-ass!! 🙂


      • Mike says:

        This all played out in Brooklyn, NY and given that there was lots of concrete, we had many places to leave the mark of Zorro.
        If you have the time, read my memoir “Jesus and the $20 bill.” There were other games we played there as well.


  2. Kathe W. says:

    awww your mom was gorgeous! My mother had lts of fabulous hats…I loved trying them on! Wish I still had them! Congrats on your A-Z completion- I enjoy your blog!


    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Kathe – I really appreciate the comment!

      I’ve been to your blog several times & I still cannot figure out how to follow you. The only follow button I can find asked me to sign in which I did using my gmail account. Based on the screen I saw, I don’t think I’m going to get your posts emailed to me.
      Any suggestions?


  3. sinewavelife says:

    Great story! I didn’t see that coming! Love the photo! What a lovely lady. I’ve truly enjoyed your A-Z posts.


    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you – she was pretty special and most moms are!

      Thanks for your kind support during the challenge. I enjoyed following you too and look forward to more 🙂


  4. She does look lovely. What an imaginative end to your alphabet! Congrats!


  5. M-R says:

    A really REAL story, Joanne ! 🙂 Of course, had your European mama worn The Hat a little further forward … [grin]


  6. Your mother does look great and I think you’ve got to have a certain spunk to carry off a hat with confidence. Banderas as Zorro…or playing any character…gets my attention!…although have to say he does look a little silly in that hat!
    Congrats on completing the challenge – I have never enjoyed the alphabet as much.


    • joannesisco says:

      Yay! – another Banderas fan 🙂 *sigh*

      Now I know why they call it a Challenge. It was considerably more difficult than I was expecting!!
      Thanks for your support. I really appreciated it!! 🙂


  7. stephie5741 says:

    I love the hat. It’s funny what we worry about when we’re kids. As we get older, we look back and wished we’d appreciated our family more and worried about what other people thought less!



  8. bulldog says:

    Not so happy that I actually remember the old version so well… shows my age…


  9. nancytex2013 says:

    That hat is fabulous!! And, to be honest, a totally bad-ass black velvet cape, over a form fitting black dress… ooh la la!! 🙂


  10. Oh man… that did take me back… I absolutely LOVED that (Zorro) series when I was a kid 😉 Had forgotten all about it!


  11. Aw, I’m pretty sure my daughter has delighted in mocking some of my outfit choices too! I wonder what ever happened to the hat? xx


    • joannesisco says:

      That hat would have been an awesome addition to a lot of Hallowe’en costume opportunities 🙂
      I was commenting with a friend – who also has only sons – that we missed the mocking-daughter stage of many mothers. Boys don’t typically scorn their mothers – I feel like I’ve missed out on so much!!! 😉


  12. sueslaght says:

    A lovely photo and story of your Mom. Congrats on completing A-Z!


  13. What a wonderful story! You made me smile! Having traveled as far north as Matachewan, I have an appreciation for your Northern Ontario setting. Your mom may have identified with Eva Gabor and Green Acres.
    Congratulations on the A-Z finale. I know that I had fun, hope you did too.


    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Maggie. It’s been a lot of fun – but I’m ready to give the daily blogging a rest 🙂
      Matachewan is definitely getting up there. I’ve been in the south long enough now that I’m no longer surprised by thinking that Bracebridge is northern Ontario 🙂
      .. and yes – Green Acres was a huge family favourite!!


  14. She does look lovely and sounds absolutely delightful. Do you know what has happened to the hat?
    Congratulations on reaching the end of the Challenge. Very glad our paths crossed during it. Looking forward to reading more of your posts now that the Challenge has finished.


    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you! No – we never knew what happened to the hat, but the thought of my mom makes me smile. She was pretty feisty 🙂
      Looking forward to continuing to read more of your thoughts and adventures too!


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