Wedding Dresses

Wedding 1927

In 1927 Samuel Baugh (1899-1982), my Uncle Sam married Thelma Kissel (1913-1975). They were married for forty-eight years and had no children. In 2009 I obtained Aunt Thelma’s wedding gown and kept it hanging in a closet with her rosary. I didn’t know what I would eventually do with the gown but knew it was too precious to not protect. 

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Katie

My granddaughter, Katherine Rae Puckett, graduated from IU Bloomington with a degree in Theater Arts. Her grandfather and I worried a little that she might have trouble finding work in her field. We should not have been concerned. After working at various costuming jobs, including with The Louisville Ballet, Shakespeare in the Park and Butler University she began to plan her wedding at age twenty-six. 

Imagine my surprise when she asked if she could use Aunt Thelma’s wedding dress in making her own! I knew intuitively that Aunt Thelma would approve and I gave the dress to Kate. After soaking and cutting and adding fabric Kate’s dress was ready for her big day at Locust Grove in Louisville, KY. https://crookedcreek.live/2018/04/19/soul-7/

 

The Process 

Wedding May 18, 2018

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Jolea Brown, Photographer

Mr. and Ms. Tom Elliott, Stroud, England

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Jolea Brown, Photographer

“A wedding dress is both an intimate and personal for a woman – it must reflect the personality and style of the bride.” Caroline Herrera

 

Theme graphic in title by Pixabay

Chicago 2

Recollections of Travel

The last several blocks to the Knickerbocker were silent . . . and damp. My husband looked sad, but he did not say a word after I confessed being responsible for his assault. I think I would have felt better had he berated me, but that was not his style. After checking into the hotel we decided to nap before going out to dinner. It had been a long day and we both were weary. When we awakened hours had passed and the city lights reflected throughout the room. I think it was the effect of those bright, cheerful lights that restored our mood. We went for a walk holding hands and putting our bad start out of mind, ready for adventure. After walking several blocks we had not found a place where we wanted to eat dinner and so decided to order room service and a bottle of wine. The evening was turning romantic.

The next morning I noticed the half-full bottle of Cabernet on the table as I headed toward the shower. When I was ready for work, Raymond was dressing for his day of sightseeing. We planned meeting back at the hotel lobby later in the day so we could move on to a different location for the next workdays. 

When I returned in the afternoon he was sitting there right on time and had even had the car brought around from the garage. As we drove through the city the event of the day before seemed a fading memory. After checking in to the new hotel we ate dinner and did more sightseeing before heading in for the night. Our luggage was properly stored side by side on the luggage racks, but something did not seem right. I had a feeling of foreboding I could not explain. As I began to unzip my suitcase, I knew something was terribly wrong. The bouquet I detected was definitely Cabernet and then I saw IT. The dark red wine had seeped from the corked bottle in MY suitcase! fullsizeoutput_b00

His Really Bad Idea

Turning to Raymond I tried to remain calm while asking him why he felt compelled to bring along the wine and why it was in my suitcase. Before I screamed, which I very much wanted to do, luckily I remembered his reaction to being hit in the face with the can of soda yesterday and I refrained from both screaming and assigning blame. Slowly he realized what a catastrophe this was. I had no clothes to wear for the next two days of meetings. The smell of the pungent wine had permeated even the items which were not damp. There was no way my clothes could be cleaned by tomorrow morning or even that they would not be stained after dry cleaning. The suit I had worn today would have to do for the next two days! There was no time for shopping either, just time to rinse out underwear for the next day. It was the first time I wished Raymond wore pajamas because I had to settle for one of his tee shirts for sleeping. 

The rest of the trip is thankfully a blur. I’m pretty sure Raymond spent his days watching TV in the hotel room. I recall being embarrassed about my repeat outfit and wondering if it had even picked up the smell of wine from our room. We didn’t drink often which would make it even more ironic if word got back to the office that for two days I had smelled of wine! At the end of the day on Thursday, we decided we were ready to go home rather than spend more time in the city as we had planned. When our luggage was stowed in the trunk the smell of wine wafted out and the bellman looked surprised but said nothing. I drove through the night carefully obeying the speed limits and hoping there would be no reason to be pulled over by a police officer. I was sure I could smell the wine in the front of the car, too. It was a very long, slow trip home.

That was the only time Raymond ever accompanied me on a business trip. He never asked. I never asked. In fact, we never discussed IT again.

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Photos by Pixabay

Fashion on the Road

Recollections of Travel

While trying to work in the Delta lounge during a long layover, I was distracted by the TV. It was not loud, in fact, the voice I heard droning on was barely a murmur. Perhaps that is why I could not resist listening to his descriptions of the perfect and perfectly beautiful models sliding onto the show runway. Their hair, flawless, shiny, and straight flowed spontaneously. The make-up was subtle in its goal of looking natural. His sensitive voice was fluid and sophisticated as he described the women. He talked about the models wearing fabrics “sort of blue, sort of yellow and sort of print.” The non-colors were equivocal, there or not there, whatever you wanted. As he proceeded to detail the faces with terms like “the non-lip,” the gaunt women walked up and down, staring into nowhere with eyes that weren’t. 

Later in the week while attending a medical conference at UCLA, I was listening to a distinguished bone marrow transplant physician, world-renowned for his pioneering work with stem cells. As he spoke, the room became absolutely silent while over one-hundred (100) attendees listened in awe to this brilliant scholar describe his latest techniques and accomplishments. 

It was impossible to not notice a movement in the back of the silent room as a woman, too polite to make a distracting click, clack noise with her four-inch heels, walked the full length of the conference room on her tip toes. As she began the trek she looked back and forth, apologetically, at those who observed her progress. She hunched over to appear smaller and assumed an awkward gait resembling a person crippled by some congenital deformity. 

The beautiful woman, hobbled by her stilettos, had broken the mood of academics absorbing knowledge and now we were simply enjoying the show.  

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Photos by Pixabay

What I Know for Sure 4

The Last Seven

As you may have noticed, this subject has been difficult for me. Quite honestly I am surprised, because I’ve been nothing in life if not sure of my opinions, but therein lies the problem, I believe. Opinions are easy to come by, easy to hold, easy to change. Knowing something for sure is utterly different. Knowing means possessing proof, irrefutable facts, it is a reality, the unwavering truth. This reality is harder to come by. In previous posts, I came up with thirteen (13), if you allow me to include those I threw in facetiously. In order to meet the high bar set by Oprah, in number only, I was determined to come up with seven (7) more things of which I am sure. After much contemplation, here they are:

14. The love of an animal is pure. They give physical comfort, make no demands, don’t pout and are quick to forgive. 

15. Death comes to all living creatures. No matter how we try to avoid this fact it is a reality. 

16. There are no perfect marriages. Some are happier than others, some have more trials, but regardless of the effort put into a marriage, it is not possible to live with another human being without some rough spots and adjustments along the way.

17. White privilege is real. The greatest advantage I’ve been given in life, I have done nothing to earn. It was provided to me at birth simply as a result of having two white parents. 

18. Time spent in nature is rewarding. The sounds of birds, crickets, and water flowing, the feel of breezes that touch one’s face, the glimpse of a small furry animal scurrying along the ground, even the faint fragrance of a wildflower are healing and rejuvenating to the spirit of who we are or were meant to be. 

19. I cannot turn over a new leaf. No matter how many times I try, simply acknowledging that I need to make a change is not incentive enough. For me to make a change, it must involve serious consequences.

20. High heels are detrimental to a woman’s health. Created in Persia (Iran today) to be worn by men riding horses, a raised heel served the practical purpose of keeping the feet within the stirrup. High heels today serve no purpose except to hobble women, making them more vulnerable not only to assault, but to back pain, falls, and injuries to the foot and ankle. Yes, I am aware that they can be beautiful and that women who are strong and agile, can look stunning wearing them, but I maintain that they are not worth the risks involved. 


We have explored and exhausted this subject for now at least. You, the readers, have contributed many things that you know to be true and they are listed below. Please feel free to comment, adding more things you have decided are true over the past month. I believe that something can be true to one of us, yet not all of us. We are individuals and we do not think, feel or believe the same. Thank you so much for sharing with me and with each other. 

What Readers Know for Sure:

I am but a microscopic speck in the great macrocosm of the universe.  
My existence has had a purpose
Life IS worth living
I am a morning person  
I know God is real
A true friend lifts you when you’re down, listens to your problems, is caring and encouraging.
Columbus Day marks the beginning of recorded history in America.
Millions of European migrants came here bringing their music, art, science, medicine and religious principles that shaped the United States.
A leopard can’t change its spots.   
You can’t go back, only forward.
You can’t change the past.
One hand washes the other hand.
You can’t change a person’s thinking when it comes to religion or politics.
What I believe for sure, you may not.
My mother, brothers, and sister have loved me unconditionally.
I have the inner faith and strength to get through very difficult times.
Teachers can change a student for a lifetime.  
Seasons follow each other.
Spring starts from the ground up.
The moon and stars follow the sun. 
Full moons cause strange behavior in people.
Everyone is either predator or prey.
Every action has a reaction.
The human body is the most incredible organism.
Every person has a story.
Every person can choose how to react to their story.
We move through seasons and chapters of our lives individually.
Some decisions are more difficult than others.
When inflated, balloons float up.  
We all die alone, even when others are around us.
We are on this earth as we know it today, only once.

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What I Know for Sure:

I love my family with all my heart.      
Having time alone is a necessity for me.
Native Americans should not be called Indians.
Dish towels should be laundered separately.
April is not delivering in March.   
Love, at first sight, is a real phenomenon. 
Depression should be renamed. 
April had a baby.
Alot is not a word.
I am no Oprah.
CPR does not always work. 
Grandparents are not infallible.   
Adventure Animal Park will continue to make money on April through May. 
The love of an animal is pure.
Death comes to all living creatures.
There are no perfect marriages.
White privilege is real.
Time spent in nature is rewarding.    
I cannot turn over a new leaf.
High heels are detrimental to a woman’s health.   

The flowers bloom, then wither . . . the stars shine and one day become extinct . . . This earth, the sun, the galaxies and even the big universe someday will be destroyed . . . Compared with that, the human life is only a blink, just a little time . . .  In that short time, the people are born, laugh, cry, fight, are injured, feel joy, sadness, hate someone, love someone. All in just a moment. And then, are embraced by the eternal sleep called death.     Virgo Shaka

Part 4 of 4

Theme photo by Akiko Kobayashi (Japan)

The Landing

It is September and the summer to autumn metamorphosis has finally begun. While it will not officially be autumn until after this week-end, the long awaited relief from the five month, ninety-plus temperature marathon arrived yesterday. Unfortunately, I will not be in Kentucky for the first cooling breeze promised for tomorrow. As I ride through heavy rain to the airport I anticipate the hot humid Florida air at the end of the flight.

The Flight 

After an unexpected hour on the ground before takeoff from Louisville and the usual delays in Atlanta, I finally arrive, over an hour late, in Jacksonville. This is no big deal since I do not have anything scheduled until eight o-clock tomorrow morning. So why do I feel in such a hurry? It’s the traveling thing. It’s what I have done for the past eight years as I travel in my job. I rush. I act hurried and harried. If I am flying, I must be in a hurry, right?

The Crash

As I rush inside to rent a car, I reflect on a very satisfying day. Autumn is almost here. The staff back at the office is hanging in there while another person is recruited. I heard about my granddaughter’s first tooth. There was a very enjoyable lunch just prior to leaving for the airport. And, also, there is this great new dress that I am wearing. What a dress! Compliments all day long! Now don’t get me wrong, it was the dress that about a dozen people had complimented, not me. I am enjoying the dress’s compliments vicariously and thinking, “I FEEL GOOD!” (Hear James Brown now, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1wOK9yGUYM). At that instant my heel turns violently and I am catapulted sideways, then forward, before gravity wins and I land with my body at several unlikely angles. I have crash landed in Jacksonville.

The Rescue

As four people run toward me they order me to not stand up, like I can! One retrieves a shoe as he passes it two traffic lanes away, a man coming from my left picks up my purse on the way and a woman brings along my bag which has skidded about six feet to the right. These three, plus a man wearing tennis shorts and with a lovely British accent, help me to a sitting position on the curb, while all are talking at once. Several American accents are noted and I find myself thinking about that, while at the same time, trying to assure everyone that I am really okay, because they seem to genuinely care. Why would they care so much? It must be the dress! Why are they not rushing on about their own business? Surely they are in a hurry. They are flying, aren’t they? Well, at least three of them are. One man is apparently a driver for a van of some sort. The others, who look like passengers, actually offer to give me a lift to my hotel. I am not even ready for a lift from the curb.

The airport police come from all directions in blue uniforms, some airport personnel in regular clothes too, and even the young woman from National, where I had just rented a car, comes out to sit by my side on the curb offering comfort. All appear so concerned that while I am quite sure that my ankle is broken, I really do not want to tell them. I want to be okay for them!

I start to joke about the situation and they pick up on it and we banter while waiting for the EMS. Sirens can be heard in the distance and I look up and see a large white truck with red lights flashing on top and when it pulls up, the words “U.S. Air Force” can be seen on the door. I ask if the EMS has to be Air Force because we are at an airport and the answer is lost in the sound of more sirens as a red fire truck comes into view. I assure them I am not in need of the Air Force nor am I on fire and ask them to please do whatever their policy requires for the report and let me go. I am, after all, in a hurry. The EMTs glance at my ankle and take my pedal pulse. By now the pulse of my foot has been taken by about eight people. I am not sure who all of them are and some had felt of the wrong foot, but I didn’t say anything, because what can it hurt?

At this point an officer asks for my driver’s license. When I remind him that I was not driving, he reminds me that he is fulfilling my request to complete the report to let me go. I hand over my license and think how glad I am that I did not have a cocktail on the plane. Can you imagine the report reading “Middle-aged WF smelling of ETOH falls off curb”? So, I imagine that instead it goes something like this, “Cooperative WF, wearing a great purple dress, turns ankle.”

I decline a ride to the hospital in the Air Force truck.  Some ice and an ace wrap would have been good, but that will come later at the emergency department. As I drive painfully away with muscles throbbing and flesh changing colors, a crowd of smiling well-wishers wave me out of sight. Where else, except in the south, could one have had such a pleasant experience?

Written September 18, 1991 and Edited for Blog September 2, 2016