Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hats and White Gloves

Today I was working on my family history, specifically on the Bogardus branch. I was looking for supporting information for a particular Bogardus on when I came across a photo connected to a posted family tree. The people identified in the photo were Luella Bogardus and her sister Goldie.

Looking at that photo reminded me of photos that I have of my mother and her female relatives that were taken in the 1950s. In that photo, Goldie and Luella both were wearing white hats and white gloves. So based on the rules that my mother told me regarding proper dress, I believe the photo was taken between Memorial Day and Labor Day sometime in the 1950s or early 1960s.

I grew up with my mother reminding of rules regarding how a proper young lady presented herself. As it turns out my generation rebelled against those rules. But even as women of my age were overtly rebelling, my mother continued to remind me of the rules.

The rules included:
  • Only wear white shoes and accessories after Memorial Day and not after Labor Day.
  • Ladies wear a hat when going out in public.
  • Do not wear sparkling jewelry with the exception of an engagement and/or wedding ring until 5 PM or later.
  • Married women with long hair always wear their hair in an updo when in public.
Although I did not adhere to all of my mother's rules, she did have an impact on how I dressed. The impact was mostly how I dressed when I was around her. Her rules and how I lived my life were in conflict thus I became a closet dresser. I dressed one way when I visited my mother and another in my everyday life.

My mother's aunt had possession of the spinning wheel that had belonged to her sister, my mother's mother. My mother told me that her Aunt Eleanor was deciding which of her sister's granddaughters to give it. As my grandmother's eldest granddaughter, my mother was hoping that her aunt would give me that spinning wheel. Aunt Eleanor was coming for a visit so my husband and I made the trip to visit my parents when Aunt Eleanor was there. My mother reminded me how traditional her aunt was.

I came to my mother's house wearing designer jeans, high heeled shoes and a silk blouse. She was mortified and was convinced that I had blown any chance of getting her mother's spinning wheel. Later when I asked my mother what happend regarding the spinning wheel, she told my that her aunt had donated it to a museum.

As much as I would have liked to have something of my grandmother's, her spinning wheel in a museum was a much better place for it.

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