By Frances Lowery Garner
We only got the wish book once a year. This was a very heavy book of approximately 5-6 hundred pages, delivered by our rural carrier.
This book drew the interest of the entire household, it contained all types of clothing boys, girls, men’s and women’s and even shoes.
One just had to be real careful to order the correct size so you wouldn’t have to return them.
When my parents would order our school shoes in the fall, our feet had to be measured.
Mother would take a 9X12 piece of notebook paper, put it flat on the floor and have us stand on it barefooted.
She would then mark the back of the heel, the sides for width and length of the toes.
These measurements would be mailed in. We could hardly wait for the arrival of the new school shoes in just a few days.
We would take a long time selecting the style, as we knew we would be wearing them until spring.
Sometimes they would be a little tight, but we would wear them even if we had blistered heels until they were “broke in.”
If they became real scuffed, daddy kept a small shoe shine box and from time to time, would shine them for us.
You could hardly wear them out as Sears guaranteed their merchandise and it was very good.
Mother could order stuff for her canning supplies and dad his overalls. Pre-teens always wanted the face cream Noxema.
It was supposed to keep the blackheads and pimples away. We never knew if it really did but we thought it was a must have for the treatment of our faces.
The entire family could order and hardly wait for the order to arrive.
Noxema would smell, so we only used it at night until all used up.
We would order more the next year when we had tobacco money to spend.
Sometimes, if we had enough money, we would order a home perm, and hopefully get a neighbor lady to put it in for us.
It would be curly for a few days and that was all.
The only thing that lasted over a week was the smell.
Before the days of hairspray our hair was terrible to manage. If your hair was not naturally curly, it was straight, that was before straight hair was cool.
If we curled it before school, it would be straight as a board before we got on the bus.
After we got old enough to date, we would curl our straight hair, it would be straight as a board again as soon as the dampness hit it.
Maybe your date could see you curly and the next minute it would be straight as a board and of course that was embarrassing.
That was just the way it was and straight hair was not “cool” in those days.
You had to learn to live with it until you got old enough to go get a city perm and they were even worse.
You could not put a comb or brush through the tight curls and it usually looked awful.
There are so many products for style today that you can’t even choose.
You can change colors, styles, wigs, or whatever. I never dreamed that hair could be pink.