Were you born in the days when it was proper to always wear a hat when you went out? My mother had a few hats, but I don't remember her wearing them very often. It was becoming stylish, in her early 20's, to go without. But my Grandmother always wore a hat when she went out. Her name was Katherina and she was a proper lady. A farm wife, I only knew her as a widow who lived in a little house next door to my aunt and uncle. Grandma was ill and unable to walk, so a part of her 'wardrobe' was her overstuffed chair or wheelchair, at least as far as my child-eyes registered. But, when she felt well enough, she enjoyed going to church with the family. Her attire was so extremely old-fashioned to me, and therefore very interesting. Add to that fact her tendency to forget to speak in English to her little granddaughters who knew no German, and she made for a most wonderful Grandma! Her church attire was always thick stockings, a flowing dress of some sort (sometimes of rayon, other times of cotton), a sweater (always a sweater), and solid, black, 0ld-fashioned shoes (they reminded me of the shoes of the fine ladies of the 1800's --- I always wondered where my aunt even found them to purchase for Grandma). This ensemble was always completed with a hankie tucked into her sweater sleeve and a wonderful hat! I'm sure they weren't extravagant, but to my child-eyes, any hat worn to church was la-tea-dah! Velveteen, hat pins, netting, and a flower or two. Grandma's hat usually covered her black hair that was tucked into a bun and hairnet at the back of her neck. Grandma never changed --- the memories remain constant and sweet. Because of Grandma's influence, sister and I enjoyed the pretty Easter hats that our mother would buy for us each spring. Such memories --- and all because of a hat.
Photo: Elm Street Antiques