“What a beautiful rug!” he said.
“What fine-looking red flowers. . .”
Fox began to walk into the house.
“Don’t walk on the rug!” shouted Rabbit, holding up a paw.
"Am I supposed to stand outside?
“Walk along the edges of the room, then, said Rabbit. “Just don’t step on the rug.”
written by Judy Delton
pictures by Marc Brown
Parents Magazine Press, 1979
The National Portrait Gallery's exhibit of Marlena Dietrich includes many fabulous photos. One stands out. Marlena is bent over on a low chair or stool. Her face is obscured by a curtain of hair. Nothing in the picture is as important as Marlena’s legs. She was famous for them. Her legs were so famous that her studio insured them. You can see the photo and read the whole article here:
I can’t tell in the image of the photo whether or not Marlena Dietrich is actually wearing stockings. If she was, they would be silk. This was during WWII, and silk stockings were expensive and dear. My father sent my grandmother a pair of silk stockings when he was stationed in Europe during that war. My grandmother tucked them away still in the tissue paper, still in the box. She waited for an occasion important enough to wear something that special. No occasion must have been special enough or worthy enough or important enough. When my mom and aunt went to Babba’s house after she passed away, they found those silk stockings still tucked into their tissue paper—-tucked into their box, never worn. “How said,” I remember my mom commenting, “she never really enjoyed them.”
My mom gave me a beaded bag that belonged to my Gram. It is a subtle geometric pattern in gold and silver with a little bakelite-looking snap closure. It sat in my drawer for many years, waiting for just the right occasion. That time came a couple of years ago. I went to a very formal wedding and wore a flowy dress with silver beads on it. Perfect. As I packed my Gram’s beaded bag, I imagined her using it on her many occasions: parties, concerts, social events. I felt like she was right there with me.
When I got home, I unpacked the bag and noticed some of those tiny beads were missing. Some of the delicate threads holding them together had worn out and let go. Sadly, I put the bag back in its box and kept it in its drawer for another while.
A couple of weeks ago, I took it to an antique dealer I know. I wondered if he could recommend someone to fix it, or if it was even worth fixing. Well, no. No markings identified a designer or manufacturer. The beads were not gold or silver (I already knew that!) and the colors would probably be impossible to match. Well. What now?
I keep remembering those silk stockings. I did try to use the bag. I’m sure Gram used it. And I enjoyed it before it fell apart. I’m thinking of hanging it in one of those shadow boxes.