October 10, 2021


This photo of the young widow Harriett Hurst was taken She likein the front yard of the log house.  I’d never seen it until a few years ago when it turned up in a photo album from the Underwoods.  Although I never saw her this young, I certainly recognized her sense of fashion.  

When she went to work in Miller’s Department Store, she watched for any sales and discounts so she could add some store-bought items to her wardrobe. She liked clothes with simple lines and neutral shades. Coordinating every detail from head to toe was her delight.  Here she’s wearing a dark beret. She always added matching shoes (with medium high heels), purse and gloves. She didn’t have any expensive jewelry but liked wearing a simple strand of pearls or other simple necklace or pin. An outfit like this would be perfect for going to church and she could also use the dress and shoes for her workdays (unless she was on duty to clean the restrooms at the store that week).  

When she married my father, his daughter Tootsie was 17 and she liked to borrow clothes from Harriett. Unfortunately she usually didn’t ask permission and returned clothes less than clean.  This was a source of tension.

This black purse was one she carried often when I was a little girl.  Later she gave it to me to play “dress up” with my dolls.  Eventually she stuffed it full of letters Glenn wrote her from overseas during the war. Its versatility is fascinating–  from her dressy purse to my plaything to a treasure chest for letters.

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