Aprons…stitching generation to generation, part 2

Aprons:  vintage, retro, utility, funny, novelty, bib, children, waist, cobbler, specialty, pinafore, hostess, chef, clothespin—an endless inventory of a well-known outer garment recorded and worn by many throughout history.  The resurgence of this timeless—and currently collectable piece of clothing—evidenced by the plethora of apron websites, chat rooms, clubs, style shows, books, and magazines.   Men and women adorned with examples of yesteryear parading across the stage while a narrator addresses historical documentation and shares personal stories of a classic come-back…the apron.  Many in the audience recall the way it was, enthralled with their own personal nostalgic journey of discovery.  For every apron has a memorable history and reflective story to tell.

No one can dispute the significance and staying power of the time-honored garment. Personal participation and involvement with aprons is minimal, but the memories of my mother’s generous three-pocketed clothespin apron tied around her waist exists deep within my memory bank, each reminiscent withdrawn upon choice.  I can still sense her pride and feelings of accomplishment when she stood back—one more time—and admired her three 50-foot rows of damp laundry pinned to the heavy galvanized, sagging clothesline, waving in the Nebraska winds.  The smell of bed sheets dried on the outside clothesline on a beautiful spring day…takes my breath away.  No brand of dryer sheets can compare or substitute!

My tasks as mommy’s helper:  to wipe the wire clothesline clean with a wet rag before those clothespins protruded upward like wooden soldiers  and  later to remove the whole militia…one more time.  Maytag wringer washer;  bushel baskets of wet, heavy laundry hauled from the basement, clothespins protruding from my mother’s mouth and bulging from her pocketed apron—a memorable journey only visible in my mind’s eye.

“Time is nothing but moments spent, with memories your only remnants”.  Laura Lee Green-Kulcak.

The intent of this blog post and the previous was to bring together a partial collection of personally captured apron images and a few individual’s written articles or poems as they have influenced my life in the past five years.   Part one focused primarily on the apron’s influence in my Ostfriesen (German) heritage.  Part two will specifically focus on and recognize three individuals:  one who collects and sells vintage aprons, someone who sews and retails her personal designer aprons, and a young lady and budding apron seamstress—my 12-year old  granddaughter.  (Permission granted by and for all.)

The Apron Museum, owned and operated by Henry and Carolyn Terry in Iuka, Mississippi http://www.apronmuseum.com/)

Apron Lady (vintage collector) Meets Flower Lady (photographer)

Apron Photography:  2007-2008

Collaborative Exhibits

Iuka Public Library, Mississippi:  2008

Mississippi Craft Center in Jackson, Mississippi:  2009

Charlotte Farrington, designer and seamstress of Farrington Original, Iuka, Mississippi (httpp://www.finecottagecrafts.com/)

Designer Meets Photographer

Apron Photography:  2008-2009

M. M. M., a budding apron seamstress.  (She also designs and sells her craft)

The following poem is dedicated to my mother

 “Wisps of Whimsy and Touches of Truth”
                  Evelina Grimes (1900-1983)
Lines from the Pants on the Clothesline
I feel so silly flapping the morning air,
While my young owner keeps on playing almost bare.
He’s dressed but only in his scanty underwear!
In his backyard, he’s such a car
That people passing by will laugh and stop to stare,
Yet, I keep flapping on, not going anywhere.
I’m never graceful if I’m flung across a chair,
But when he puts me on we look quite debonair,
Because my fancy hemline flaunts that featured flare
Quite avant-garde.  On the boulevard
Or when together strolling ‘round the village square,
We look as cool and sharp as any millionaire!
His mother from the kitchen calls, “I do declare!
I see big storm clouds rolling ‘round the sky up there!”
Yet lazy boy sits sipping cokes and combs his hair!
It’s raining hard—I’m getting scarred
By hailstones hitting me, but does he ever care?
I’m just about to split my shrunken seams and swear!
But when on second thought, I really would not dare
He might replace me with an elegant new pair!

I’ve learned a lot over the past five years concerning this icon we know as an apron, thanks to Carolyn and Charlotte who trusted me to photograph their apron collections.  Do you have an apron story?  Share it by leaving a comment or contacting me at corinthrose@gmail.com   Thanks for helping me piece together some memories and apron images.


About corinthrose

Born again Christian, helpmate of 42 years, domestic engineer of two children, GRANDmother of six darlings, professional volunteer, fanatic photographer, and a wanna be writer. Occasionally, infatuated with family history, flower photography, and traveling with my hiking buddy.
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3 Responses to Aprons…stitching generation to generation, part 2

  1. Pat says:

    No apron story, just the remembrance of towels and sheets after a day of hanging in the sunshine and breeze. You’re right–no fabric softener can touch that smell!

  2. Chris says:

    Love the apron poem…and that MMM. Makes me think twice about the apron stories and even viewing aprons. thanks for sharing. chris

  3. Sheryl says:

    The Apron Museum looks like a really fun place. I think you’re right that there is a resurgence in intererst in aprons. Recently at the supermarket I usually shop at they started selling aprons.

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