I remember my mother talking about the flapper era. Dresses had climbed to above the knee, hats lost their big brims, fit snugly over the newly bobbed hair, and velvet and satin were all the rage.
One of my fondest memories was seeing my petite mother dressed to the nines in a black dress with a velvet bodice, a knife-pleated heavy satin skirt, long sleeves that ended over the hand in matching satin cuffs and a velvet cloche. She was, and remains in my mind, one of the prettiest ladies I had ever seen.
The Charleston was the dance of the flapper and in the movies I remember watching with fascination at the moves and steps. Clara Bow was called the “It” girl and her tiny rose-bud mouth was painted red.
Like many little girls growing up, I had thoughts of grandeur and could not wait to grow up and wear lipstick, maybe dance the Charleston and curl my hair. I mastered the lip color and curls but never learned the Charleston.
When one reaches the senior years of their lives many things have come and gone, with women’s dresses going up and down, from denim to chiffon,. cotton to polyester and back to the great feel of cotton.
It is said that women have finally “come into their own”, whatever that means. I look around and find that women must surely be the stronger sex. I believe there are more widowed women in this small north Georgia town than any place on the globe.
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It doesn’t seem to bother most of us as the subtle changes take place in all facets of life before we reach senior-hood. But lately I hear my peers making the same remarks I often heard my grandmother say.
As I watch television, I sometimes feel bewildered as to the lack of decency that runs rampant in most of the programs — the language, the sex themes that make up all of the most popular shows and the exploitation of womankind.
Worship in the churches is changing. I was zipping through the channels this morning as I was getting dressed to attend church. I paused as I found one of the most demonstrative services I had encountered on television.
The entire choir loft was swaying to a fast tempo, clapping their hands and having a grand time. A full orchestra was playing a tune that seemed to be taken from a jive session and I felt that eventually they all would be dancing in the aisles. This is being called “The New Age” form of worship.
My train of thought turned to the many changes, both good and bad, that has occurred — a change of attitude which brings on a complete change in marriage, or the unnecessary commitment of marriage that is prevalent in our society to live together and raise children.
Young children who wear house keys pinned to their clothes so they can enter their homes where no one else is present and to remain there alone until the parent or older sibling come in from school or work, is disturbing.
A new-age term is “Amber Alert”, in which children are missing and the viewing public is being called on to help find these abductors and help save the children before they are abused and killed.
A concerted effort is under way to remove the name of God from all public buildings, coins, pledges to the flag and the Constitution. Schools do not allow their students to pray as my peers did before classes every morning, and prohibit prayer before all sport events. A Bible seems to be as threatening as a gun.
We are told all this is taking place so no one’s civil rights will be affected.
What say “they” about all videos that are taken of every citizen who now enters a place of business? We have lost a bit of freedom on a daily basis as we now can be identified nationwide, with a photo, a number, an address that has been made public or a fingerprint now required to obtain a driver’s license or trace a missing child.
The 1960s introduced the world to free love and pot. Every era takes us down a different path. Maybe the New Age will lead us back far enough to regain some respect from other world countries and make us worthy to be called the land of opportunity.
We have become so celebrity-conscious that advertisers sponsor many programs that merely report the antics, or other areas, of celebrities’ fast-paced lives. Evidently we tend to hang on to every word or else it would not be so profitable.
The New Age teaches us to shop on the computer. Groceries, clothes, houses and even cars are being bought daily. E-mail has almost eradicated letter-writing and telephone calls. You probably saying “Hey, lady, this is progress.” You probably are right.
But when you become a member of the senior world, change is not the thing to which you are very adept. But be patient; we’ll accept what we believe to be better and shake our heads in dismay at the rest, but we will muddle through it all, sooner or later.
Mary Sauceman, a resident of LaFayette, writes a weekly column for the Walker County Messenger