OK, y'all. I've been hunting for this picture for a long time. I finally found it, and the scanner/printer is unhooked and doesn't want to talk to me. So I wandered off to Walgreens and had them scan it for me.
This was taken on June 17th, 1966. My high school graduation. What a hell of a day!
Leave me alone. It preyed on my mind, OK?
Anyway, this is the dress this Home-Ec flunk-out designed and made, for the munificent sum of $17 (fabric and patterns).
So. The party was three weeks earlier. In that three weeks, Mom got home from England, took one look at my dress, and decided she needed to fix it for me. The bodice was made in the style known as "blouson," a French word, meaning that it was loose-ish and gathered in at the waist. Mom thought that was a mistake, and ripped the dress apart, promising to "fix it" before the graduation ceremony.
Perhaps a word or two about our graduation ceremony might be in order. It was held in the school gym, there being ample room for all forty-six graduates, their parents, cousins, siblings, grandparents, and every relative they had, unto the nth generation. The entire school was in attendance. The morning was a regular school day, with many Seniors absent...at the beauty parlour, or whatever. Not me. I was there. I got there early, and my friend Esther Howe, who had a way with back-combing and hair spray, began to do my hair. She had to go to class, so I went through the morning with half of my hair up. She finished it at lunch, and, half an hour before the ceremony, my parents still hadn't arrived with my dress. Said dress had been still in two pieces the night before, and I had been cheerily imagining my mother diligently making like Cinderella's mice and getting it done with a song in her heart between breakfast and lunch.
I was hanging out in the girls' bathroom, just waiting. Teachers and administrators were sticking their heads in every few minutes, asking if I was ready yet. The ceremony was supposed to start at 2:00 PM. At 1:30, Esther helped with my makeup. Using hers, of course, because I didn't have any. Didn't matter, as we all wore pretty much the same colours of eye shadow and lipstick, anyway.
At about 1:50, my parents arrived. Everyone else's were seated in the gym already. I had ten minutes to get dressed. This involved stockings and the new shoes Mom had allowed, because of course I had not been allowed to wear those things to school that morning. The dress was crumpled up in a paper grocery bag, still in two pieces.
I made my graduation walk with my gown fastened together with STRAIGHT PINS around the waist!
If they thought showing up with that dorky corsage of pink roses won my forgiveness, they were sadly mistaken.