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Hat program presented in Mt. Morris

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 10:25 a.m. CDT
Caption
Betty Obendorf, Polo, positions a hat from the Victorian era on model Amy Pettinger Feb. 12 at the tea party and hat show at the Mt. Morris Public Library. Obendorf presented a program on the history of hats from colonial to modern times. Photo by Vinde Wells

This week I got out the notebooks on the “Hat & History” program to refresh my memory and it does not take long to bring my mind up to date about those interesting little stories.

Friday we loaded the car with all those hats that people enjoy seeing again since there would not be time on Saturday.

Then Sunday noon I took off for Mt. Morris and the Mt. Morris Library where I was to give the program for their library tea.

After everything was in place I enjoyed meeting people as they came in.

As people came in they had on wonderful hats, in fact, the best I have ever seen when I have given this program.

They even dressed for the part that matched their hats.

One couple came dressed as if they were ready to board the “Titanic and I complimented them on their outfit.

I thought, they really take this stuff to heart.

Of the maybe 50 people there, I knew four and I was seated with a lady I did not know but it did not take us long to get acquainted.

We were by ourselves and she started off telling me where she had come from originally.

When she mentioned the little place of Mt. Erie south of Olney, I knew exactly the place she was talking about and we discussed the little church in the country where some of my cousins are buried.

This turn is across the highway from where one turns to West Salem.

In her conversation next was mentioned Albion where she lived also for a time and I immediately commented on how I love the brick streets of this neat little town.

We always have to stop and drive the brick roads.

Then I said how I love the mansion in Grayville and she was delighted that I knew about that also.

She finally said to me that she has tried to tell people about those places and no one has a clue where they are.

Naturally she was thrilled to take a trip down memory lane as we chatted away about those places I love also.

When she started telling me about her great grandson who is a blended ethnic child, adopted into the family a number of years ago, I could not resist telling her about our Thomas who is now six months old.

Many things we had in common and the conversation flowed.

Soon it was time to start the program and everyone loves the stories of the Galena Trail, Isaiah Rucker, early felt making, the Buffalo Grove Post Office moved in the middle of the night, early milliners, Lester Hurdle and his Harley Davidson, Dr. Curtis, G. C. Terry, and Harriet Fry.

I talk about hats of every time frame and I had two young ladies who modeled them for the group.

They loved Lillian Raley’s beautiful yellow hat and the pink lampshade one of hers also.

The women had a menu of scones with assorted spreads, quiche, jello fruit cup, and assorted dessert cookies and bars.

Many enjoyed trying on the hats afterwards and just plain visiting.

They also loved reflecting back on the times they were familiar with and the hats they wore in days gone by.

It was an elegant part of our life and made us a little more dressed up rather than being so casual.

We now have a number of people who will be coming to Polo to see our museum and find out what Polo has to offer and that is always good news.

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