Friday, December 9, 2011

Vintage Dresses and Immature Men

In their early years, our daughters Alyssa and McKale were typical girlie girls when it came to playing dress-up. As a family we spent nearly every Sunday in Monticello, visiting and eating dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Washburn. In Grandma's closets and basement storage boxes the girls discovered prom and party dresses left over from Laurie and her four sisters' high school years. The Washburn home was a treasure trove of satin and lace. In the beginning, the girls roped my young and impressionable son into their princess party plans. When his sisters tried to dress him in prissy pantaloons, however, Spenser became disenchanted and decided he had been led down the garden path.

As of late, my now strapping man-child and his eldest sister are engaged in furthering their educational goals in the hallowed halls of Brigham Young University, Provo campus. Only McKale and a few closely guarded photographs remain at home to remind us of those more carefree days of model mania. Although she is a junior in high school, McKale has not lost her zest for rummaging through Grandma Donna's back closets and cedar chests in search of fanciful fashions. Sunday dinner at the Washburn homestead allow McKale time to seek out, uncover and model vintage apparel, and she has recently discovered a few of her Grandmother's Sunday-go-to-meeting dresses that had been carefully packed away after being exchanged for maternity wear. Six children and 50 years of family life have caused those top notch toggeries to be long forgotten. McKale was thrilled.

McKale tried on two dresses that fit her beautifully. When she modeled them for us, memories of Harriet Nelson and June Cleaver flashed through my mind. The dresses were classics, straight out of the 1950s. Grandma Washburn and McKale decided they should be laundered and put back into service. After looking the dresses over carefully, our daughter came to recognize that wearing apparel from that period was made a bit differently; it was crafted to endure the test of time. What a concept! Not only was the material top quality, the tailoring was impeccable. McKale wore the dresses to school and church; she was flooded with compliments and became hooked on antique clothing.

When I returned home from work last night, McKale and her mother were making dinner and talking princess, party and prom dresses, so I sat down at the kitchen table to listened in on their conversation. I must admit that I am a bit disturbed by the prospect of my baby girl entering the dating game. When Alyssa turned 16, I argued vehemently that she was far too young to go out with one of those hyper-hormone-injected beastie boys! I once read an article that indicated girls do not fully mature until they are between 26 and 28 years of age. Boys . . . well, to be perfectly honest, boys never do." Because of this, it is my personal opinion that 30 is much more appropriate age to begin mingling. Laurie disagreed with me altogether, and argued that I was once just such a hormone driven creature. "Exactly!" I countered, "I know just what she's up against. It's a jungle out there, with fangs, claws and junk everywhere." As you might guess, I lost that argument; I usually do. But I digress, I was talking about dresses, quality and such.

Taking the opportunity to give McKale a little helpful advice, I told her, "Always buy quality products. Do not waste your money on throw away items!" That is the tack we take here at the trading post. We are forever on the lookout for artists who use the best quality materials and spend a little extra time on finish work. We are interested in individuals who reflect consistently high standards and an elevated degree of creativity. These qualities make for distinctively desirable artwork, the type that discourages criticism and withstands the test of time. That's what I'm talking about! As for McKale and me, we have found a new hobby: searching out great items of vintage clothing and developing a higher standard for her in all things . . . including young men. "Get back Honky Cat? Better get back to the woods."

With warm regards,
Barry, Steve and The Team

Great New Items! This week's selection of Native American art!

Our TnT's purchased new treasures! Check out Traders in Training!

Enjoy artwork from our many collector friends in Living with the Art!

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