When I moved to Rolla in 1960, there were three hat shops in the small town. And no wonder. Women wore hats to church, weddings and funerals. Some were flouncy and flowery and others were feathery. One popular, but less complicated style, was the pill box made popular by Mamie Eisenhower. Most had a veil, that added a seductive look, but also tended to scratch your nose.
Hats in the Park
The recent fundraiser in behalf of Forest Park Forever, hawks back to those times, when we dressed spiffy from head to toe for a special occasion. Below are a few fun photos of the day.
Behind a Purple Veil
When I first met journalist Cokie Roberts, she told me a story about her mother, Lindy Boggs, who went to Congress after losing her husband (Hall Boggs; D-LA) in a plane crash. In her biography, Washington Through a Purple Veil, Lindy tells of getting a call from her husband to come to the Capitol quickly, if she wanted to hear one of the congressional hearing. She was in casual clothes, but hurried on anyhow. She told the guard at the head of the long line that she was a congressman’s wife. The guard took one look at the casually clad “pretender” and sent her to the end of the line.
Not to be deterred, the intrepid Lindy Boggs headed to the local department store, bought a hat, and had a purple veil attached. Decked out in the stylish headwear, she returned to the head of the line. This time she said with an air of confidence: “I’m Mrs. Hal Boggs and I’d like to be seated.” Whereupon, the guard smiled and said, “Yes, mam, step this way.”
The moral of the story is that hats get you where you want to go.
Well, if you wanted to go to lunch in the park in behalf of Forest Park Forever, a hat is just what you needed. If you missed it this year, mark it on your calendar for next June.
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