The following is a never before told story….
Lav and I were commenting back and forth on a previous blog about crowns and hats. As far as I’m concerned, Her Highness, Queen Elizabeth made it possible for all persons of royalty to, on occassion, replace the pomp and circumstance of a bejeweled crown with the class and dignity of the perfectly styled hat. Queen E is no less the Queen in the exquisite hat designed for whatever “duty calls” appearance she graces with her magistry … She still dons the full regalia for the occassions requiring more elegance and perhaps regal distinction from her beloved commoners.
Anyway, I have crowns and what I call crown-hats. I have never before told you the back story to my royal connections. You know my mother was the Queen of Highway 16 when she was eighteen. She didn’t wear a crown. She wore a crown-hat. Her Palace was the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. She looked the part of royalty through and through.
My story is more of a Cinderella story. It all began when I was seven. Kitty Reynolds, who was the most sought after seamstress in Murdo, called my mother with some exciting news. Her granddaughter, Judy, was getting married in Vernal, Utah and I was chosen to be the flower girl. Kitty was going to immediately fit me with a beautiful yellow gown and we were going to buy me some white patent leather shoes. Best of all, Kitty was going to make me a beautiful hat. One fitting for a beautiful southern belle. It was to be my first crown-hat.
It really pains me to tell you about the ugly twist this story took. Something came up and Mom and I weren’t going to be able to make it. I was appropriately devastated. I don’t think I have ever fully recovered. Well, not quite, but you will have to agree it’s not from lack of trying. The only thing that stopped the tears, was Mom told me I could wear my white patent leather shoes anytime I wanted to. I put them on and ran across Tuffy Gilbert’s yard and across Main Street to my friend Sandra’s house. (I was so besott, I doubt I had the presence of mind to look both ways.) I proceeded to show my shoes off to Sandra’s whole family. I wasn’t able to come forth with the knowledge that I was not going to be the princess at the wedding. I just couldn’t stop Sandra’s family, which happened to include my 2nd grade teacher, who was also Sandra’s mother, from saying how they couldn’t wait to see the wedding pictures of me dropping flowers from my basket as the light flashed brilliantly off the shiny leather of my shoes.
Guess what happened next? The event that was so bittersweet it was just about too much for the (dying for a crown-hat) kid that was me, to take! Mom decided we could go after all. Do you want to hear the kicker? My best friend Lois Lillibridge had already been told she was to be the royal flower girl and Kitty had turned my gown into Lois Lillibridge’s gown. I went to Vernal, Utah with Kitty and Mom and Lois and her mom and her sister, Cheryl. I wore my white shoes with everything. I never took them off. I didn’t act out either. I showed what I was made of. I didn’t shed a tear as I watched Lois in my gown walk regally down the isle at the coronation…I mean wedding.
I think that is why Kitty did what she did. When we got back to Murdo, Kitty made me…yes me…the most beautiful red gown I had ever seen.
And the rest is history.
Queen Elizabeth symbolically looking at me. My cousin, Mark, to right of me, was the parade manager. He designed and made my first tinfoil crown.
Let it be known that I have a picture of all of us in Vernal for the wedding, but it’s down in the cottage and it’s too early to walk down there.
As most of you know, my mom and Lav’s mom were sisters and extremely close friends, which is why Lav and I are cousins and extremely close friends. Lav fills in for Queen Elizabeth when she can’t get across the pond to some of my more pressing functions. I consider Lav, my sometimes co-queen. You are welcome, Lav, aka, Valerie.
I know you must be impressed by the humility I have shown considering what I have been through in my endeavor to let the past control my life. I don’t think that came out right. I hope you know what I mean because I don’t.
Have a wonderful day all of you beautiful commoners.