THE ANGEL'S STORY Chapter 9
Once a month, the Old York Road would take us to the village of Cockeysville, Maryland and the Farmers Grange where you could by hog slop and chicken feed or ... visit the drug store with the wooden Indian outside of the front door. Mummy liked to visit Miss Maude’s. Miss Maude ran a lady’s’ dress shop which had at the most, perhaps thirty dresses, which hung forlornly on wire hangars against the wall, on shining steel pipes. The store was painted mint green. On the other side of the store were two glass-enclosed cases, which displayed several pair of ladies gloves, faux pearls, silk stockings and petticoats. There was nothing in the middle of the store. Mummy would love to chat with Miss Maude and catch up on the latest chatter about town.
Cockeysville was also the home of our dressmaker: Mrs. Minick. Dear Mrs. Minick! Immediately after passing through the Cockeysville Tunnel, make a “U” turn to the left and serpentine your way up and around another sharp turn to the right, past the cemetery on the left and you will find Mrs. Minick’s magic house on the right hand side of the road. A precious little white cottage with a picket fence and tidy gardens lined with roses, foxgloves and Baby’s Breath...An apple tree and a pear tree bloomed in the back yard with a clothesline stretched between the two. Petticoats, dresses and long under wear were pinned to the clothesline with wooden clothespins. Inside, her home, hand hooked rugs designed with a cabbage rose pattern covered the polished floors. There was a dark Victorian table covered in hand crocheted lace and a large glass bowl filled with needles, threads, scissors and what-not. The upholstered chair arms were dressed with white lace antimacassars. Long lace curtains breezed away from the open windows carrying the scent of pear and apple blossoms to our noses, while my sister and I would be fitted for dresses to be worn in the weddings of relatives. Twins with big brown eyes and golden blond curls were a very popular choice to have as your flower girls if you were getting married. I remember at least three weddings in which my sister Easy and I would carry the train of the bride down the Aisle of a church or in a beautiful summer garden. Weddings were very special occasions and our mother made us practice at home with bed sheets belted to her waist. The three of us would march up and down the living room at Bacon Hall Farm, making very sure not to pull the train off of the bride! Our full-length dresses were stitched in pale blue organdy, with tiny box pleats covering the bodice. A pastel portrait was made of us by Kitty Wheeling which now hangs over the fireplace at Kelsey Farm in Greenwich CT....We were adorable and lovely …. Everyone told us so. (However, times and our shapes do change. I can really recognize that now that I am in my seventies. and... "OMG what happened?" ...when I view myself from the neck down, after gravity and the Dairy Queen have taken their toll.) Broad sashes tugged our tummies into a big beautiful bow in the back. A second set of dresses was ordered in Lavender organdy with dainty baby lace to trim the collars. Matching barrettes were also made by our mother. She hand painted tiny bunches of wild flowers, so that they would match our dresses. Mrs. Minick also made our dresses for dancing class. Dancing class dresses were made in red, black, or royal blue velvet with Peter Pan collars trimmed in a creamy white lace. Sunday school dresses were made of cotton and in many colors. All of them were hand smocked and had matching bloomers! Clothes were incredibly important to our mother and fashion was a very serious subject indeed. She was herself was a wizard with the sewing machine and she made all of her own clothes. Our mother was always beautifully dressed throughout her lifetime … and so was my Grandmother, all because Mrs. Minick made it so. I tell you this because I am quite sure, that her little house is still there today and that you can go and see it for yourself.