Tuesday, December 28, 2010

oh well....

"America is not anything if it consists of each of us. It is something only if it consists of all of us."

So, you might agree with me that the quotation above sounds good, but it might also be labeled under such headings as Drivel or Inspiring, Albeit Meaningless, Blather. Nonetheless, this is one of many many things said to have been said by one of our nation's presidents, Woodrow Thos. Wilson, born on the 28th of December, 1856, down in Staunton, Virginia. An antebellum childhood. There was a time in my exceedingly impressionable youth when I wished I'd had one of those and why? Because I so adored the photographs, drawings, paintings, and engravings of crinolined ladies. Oh baby, those bell-like skirts and ruffles! One of my very earliest memories is my pre-K self gathering up the hem of our pink translucent curtains: held very close to my soft little fist and the little poof of nylon resembled a ballerina's tutu. Up a little higher the proportion was that of a lady's dress, her skirt beautifully gathered as was many a skirt in 1956. Higher still and the skirt was what once was called 'waltz length' ... then 'evening gown.' Sigh... how many pages of notebook paper and used Blue Bonnet Margarine boxes I covered w/ drawings of dyspeptic looking ladies in long dresses. Years later and a long time ago, now, I sewed a black cotton gown of the sort President Wilson would have seen ladies wearing in his boyhood. Made a corset too, w/ tidy channels sewn in for the steel stays and for the steel button & hook fastener. Steel grommets for the lacing and boy howdy, let me tell you, make some time in your life to dress up from the skin out in the garb of another time. Thinking 'this is how, in part anyway, it felt to be _____' Stockings. Chemise. Rather fun it was, stopping for gas on my way to a school visit, seeing the looks on the faces of other customers, seeing my wired, poofed-out skirt boing-ing out the door of my Ford Escort. Thanks be to the fates and all that's holy that I don't have to wear all that foofy tyranny everyday but didn't it satisfy a hunger for beauty? Oh yes, it did that.

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