Twenty-two years ago, January 19, 1995, my mother passed away. There are still times when I think of things I must tell her or ask her, but then remember, I can’t. Memories of her are still triggered at unexpected times through unique events.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that one of my Florida writers’ group meetings each month is devoted to a fast write. A prompt is tossed out and everyone is given fifteen minutes to come up with an idea and write without concern for grammar and style. These fast writes often are developed and polished to become the pieces for presentation at our spring Coffee House. Let me describe one fast write experience at a meeting in the spring, 2016. It prompted memories of my mother and women of her generation in an earlier era.

Our leader at the time, Kathy, brought a bag of different kinds of hats and scattered them down the table in front of us. We were to choose one that triggered an idea in our imaginatio for a writing topic. Sitting in front of me was a bright rose-colored straw hat with purple silk flowers circling the base of the crown. It was obviously a Red Hat Society creation, but as I gazed at it, Iwas taken back to my mother’s era in the 1950s when a hat was a necessary part of a woman’s outfit. I immediately began to scribble the following creative piece of fiction.

Rose

Rose looked in the mirror as she put the finishing touches on her outfit. It was 1955, and whenever Rose went to a special occasion, like a wedding or a funeral, she was turned out in a form-fitting shirtwaist dress, topped with a matching bolero. Today’s selection was a rose-colored dress with large purple blossoms, topped with a coordinating purple jacket. Looking in the mirror, she adjusted the filmy rose scarf around her neck and pulled on the matching gloves, pushing between the fingers of one hand with those from her other hand to ensure a perfect fit.

Then it came to the pièce de résistance. Her hat. Rose loved hats, and in the 1950s, the hat was a woman’s crowning glory, making a statement to the world. Taking both sides of the brim of the rose-colored straw hat, adorned with purple silk roses, she placed it gently and precisely on her head so as not to ruin her beauty-salon coiffeur.

Assessing her reflection in the mirror again, Rose asserted within herself, No one will call me Rosie today. For some reason, she had hated the name ever since the Rosie the Riveter posters during the second World War. She sighed with satisfaction at the imagereflecting back at her. Today, she was Rose.

Hat for photo courtesy of Kathy Joyce Glascott. Follow Kathy’s blog “This and That” at http://www.kathyglascott.com

 

Rosemary Vaughn

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