Sunday, February 17, 2013
Rummaging through a closet in my workroom, I came across this relic of a gentler and almost forgotten age -- a pink and silver hatbox from Tampa milliner Revere Mcleod.
Back in the Fifties, we wore hats and gloves to church -- if memory serves, at eleven years of age, I even wore a hat and gloves to ride the train to Camp Junaluska in 1954, the summer after the sixth grade.
My hats didn't come from Revere McLeod -- more likely from the local Belk's -- but my mother's did.
The only time I remember being in McLeod's was in the summer of '63, during the interesting/agonizing tribal ritual of shopping for a trousseau -- not something I really cared about but a necessary part of getting married as far as my mother was concerned.
By then, I had rejected hats and gloves. But within the hushed and perfumed sanctuary, Mrs. McLeod tiptoed across the thick carpet, pulling open drawer after drawer to tempt my mother and me with beautiful lingerie, waving before us lovely lacy nightgowns and peignoirs on padded hangers that she whished from behind mirrored doors.
It's been almost fifty years so I don't remember what we bought -- I think a nightgown and peignoir set and a pretty white half slip with blue flowers embroidered round the hem.
But I do remember almost rethinking my no glove policy as the proprietor pulled open the shallow drawers of kid gloves, each pair in its own little compartment. There were some like these below; there were some embroidered with tiny flowers -- it was a pair with a scalloping of pearls at the wrist that almost tempted me back to a lady-like lifestyle.
Not quite though.