Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Shoes

I grew up in the age when the old was fast giving away to the new, and nothing has slowed down yet.

But my grandmother came from the club-woman set of the 20's and 30's, and certain proprieties had to be observed. She would take my sister and I on a day-long trip for Easter shoes every year.

We used to go all over town, looking for the Right Shoes. Invariably I would look at five different stores and like the ones in the first store best.  My grandmother was the perfect person to pull that stunt on, actually, because she Loved shopping. She knew what it meant to want a perfect outfit. We would go to Sanger-Harris, other places I forget.

We used to go to Kinney's shoes in the days that they X-rayed your feet for a perfect fit. That gimmick back-fired on them when people started talking about cancer risk. So far, my foot looks like a foot. I think the damned thing was broken all the time, anyway.

The place I remember best was Red Goose shoes. They had a metal Red Goose on the counter.  And it did lay golden eggs--thick plastic ones with candy inside if you pulled its neck down. Can you doubt either my sister or I found an Easter shoe there every year?

So, white patent leather with little teardrop-shaped holes around the rim of the shoe. Thin white bobby socks underneath. An Easter dress, hand-sewn by Mom, usually. I had a pink straw hat with a curved brim. My sister had a wreath of artificial roses--white, so she could wear a yellow dress or a pink one. Hey, we even had White Gloves and little white patent leather purses. We were like Jackie Kennedy without the pillbox, I guess. Or the hair spray.

This year, I have the same hat for three years running. Pink straw, yeah. Hot Pink, though, not baby pink, with an enormous hot-pink wire ribbon affair on one side. I wear it with the one sun-dress that goes with it. I don't wear gloves, although, I have a pair of gloves from each of my grandmothers saved. My grand-dad's old tuxedo cummerbund and bow tie. I keep them in a Bonanza lunchbox from my grade school days, when I loved horses, in my closet. We liked Little Joe the best (cute, right?) but I secretly thought Hoss would be the nicest to talk to. Or the cook from China, who always seemed so pleased but all alone.

My sister and I were babes. Babes in the wood. Cute little girls in white patent leather shoes, playing like grown-ups with matching hand-bags. Those days of the club-woman are almost done, but nobody knew that then. We were practicing to be grown-ups in a world that changes faster than the seasons, in the years of Vietnam, when it all became clear there was no going back.


Bob G. said...

That was a wonderful story.

Reminded me of the "Easter clothing" things my mother did...(with the obligatory shoes).

Mom made many of my clothes as a child, and it was at this time of year, I got to prove it to everyone.
Never heard a bad word from anyone.

Then, there was the "Easter basket"...all filled BY HAND (the night prior, we made the eggs using a dye kits), but that was for AFTER Sunday School and chrurch, mind you.
Good memories...every single one of them.

Happy Easter to all.

The Bug said...

I remember Easter being the itchiest holiday - & I was always cold because we bought new summer dresses & it just wasn't that warm yet.

Our Easter baskets were waiting on the kitchen table when we got home from church - an early "fix" for a budding chocoholic!

Ann T. said...

Dear Bob and the Bug,
Those Easter baskets! I still love them. I think Easter is the most creative holiday, even beyond Christmas sometimes, because of all the colors.

Happy Day to you both,
May Spring bring us all new life,
Ann T.

The Observer said...

Ann T:
I think you are just a tiny bit older than me; thanks for sharing the memories.

The main thing I remember from Easters of childhood was the egg hunt and Easter basket. Nothing bad!

The Observer, wishing you a happy Easter once again.

truck6alpha said...

I never had to worry about Easter shoes, as I was lucky to get school shoes sometimes. But my wife is from the old school and she not only buys our three daughters new Easter shoes (which this year are white patent leather with tear-drop holes- wow) but smocks and sews their new Easter dress. The dresses are beautiful and if anything, they are a tribute to her mother, who used to do the same for her.

Thanks for the post. I really enjoyed it.

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
When I come back to my full moxie, age might be a subject of discussion! Until then, no . . . I am a teensy bit younger than you. . . . now that is straight from my grandmother's way, too!

Dear Mick,
Thank you very much for stopping by. I think you should be proud of your accomplishments--it must make the holiday resonate even more.

What a lovely picture I have in my head of a happy family.

Thanks you two for writing in!
Ann T.

Unknown said...

Yeah, I was forced to wear Easter dresses and those white shoes. Just know, I didnt stay clean for very long. ;)

The Observer said...

Ann T:
Not meant as a nosy comment, more that we share much common history tho not all. It's cool to hear about the stuff I may have been too small to experience fully.

JFK Jr. was born about one month after me.

The Observer

meleah rebeccah said...

I think White Patent Leather shoes are an Easter requirement!

PS: I used to LOVE Kinney's shoes! They went out of business a long time ago around here!

Ann T. said...

Dear peedee,
Oh, yes, I did leave out the grass stains. For sure.

That was part of the learning curve for the lady thing. Ick.

Dear The Observer,
Don't you worry about it at all--and--I don't remember when any of them were born--just looked it up--yes, we're close!

Dear meleah,
I think Kinney's may have disappeared for ever under the weight of lawsuits . . . have a great day!

Thanks to all for writing in,
Ann T.