“Miss Myrtle Malone’s Sunday school class gave her a handkerchief shower at Mrs. Rappolee’s home last Friday afternoon.” Caddo Herald, 1916 (Miss Malone was a new bride.)
When I read that this morning I immediately thought of my grandmother and how much she loved her pretty handkerchiefs. Most of them were gifts and she could tell you a little story about each one. She carefully ironed and starched them each week and always carried at least one. Sometimes she carried one in her pocket and one in her purse.
My father and grandfather also had dozens of white handkerchiefs and I practiced my ironing skills on them each week. I didn’t scorch too many!
Handkerchiefs weren’t just for noses. Gran always wrapped and tied a little stack of pennies in a hanky for me so I could carry them safely to Sunday school. Sometimes she also put a teaspoon of sugar in a hanky so I could suck on it during church and be quiet. Pretty handkerchiefs were great for decorating the pocket of a drab jacket. They were acceptable as gifts for almost any occasion. They were great sewing projects for little girls just learning to embroider.
It’s funny how the mere mention of something seemingly insignificant can trigger so many fond memories of the past.