It was late summer of the year 1936. I was about to start my freshman year in York Center High School. Living with me in the house beside my dad’s stone quarry were my brother Bee, ten years older than me, and my younger brother Bugs (Howard). My sister Bobbie (she gave herself this nickname, because she didn’t like her given name Hazel) declared she was coming to live with us and finish her senior year. This gave my sister Fannie the courage to come home to finish junior and senior years. Our father had made all of his children quit school, so this was much against his wishes.
But……what could he do? He and our mother didn’t live with us! They lived seven miles away. I was absolutely delighted. Now there would be my older brother Bee, my younger brother Bugs, Bobbie, Fannie and me. We would be a family! I was happy all the way down to my toes.
The days went cheerfully by throughout this school year and we came to the spring “1937 ” Junior-Senior banquet. Our community frowned on dancing so this took the place of the school “Prom” Formal! Bobbie purchased a beautiful blue-green silk gown. Fannie wanted me to make hers like one she had seen worn in a movie. She kept describing it and I continued to sketch until she said, “That’s it!”
Our brother gave us the money to purchase material and trimmings. I cut a pattern to fit her from newspapers. It was a navy blue net long dress over a navy blue taffeta slip, with white organdy collar and white eyelet trim. Our sister Bobbie used the oil paints from her art class to paint three big red roses on the skirt of the taffeta slip. This allowed the roses to peek through the folds of the net skirt of the dress.
Fannie asked me to set her hair in a very special way. We rinsed her hair in vinegar that gave a gold tint to her shimmering blond hair. Bee purchased a red rose corsage for her to wear pinned to her white organdy collar.
When her date came to pick her up she looked beautiful. As he escorted her into the party room she was an instant hit.