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Did You Ever Have To Wear Long Underwear And High Topped Shoes?

A story by Elsie Johnson



Cold Iowa winters made these necessary clothing for me. It was awful for a 4th-5th grade girl to go to school with lumpy legs. This condition was caused by tucking long underwear into dark cotton stockings – a garter belt added to the problem too. I would struggle every morning, folding the stretched out underwear neatly, then pulling the stockings over them. The lumps always showed! I would get half way to school and pull the underwear up above my knees so I had smooth legs during school time. However, I had created a problem – trying to get the underwear back into the stockings before I reached home. The underwear was really stretched out by then! Somehow I accomplished the feat for the whole winter. If my mother noticed this scheme she never mentioned it. The underwear problem was only one problem for I had to wear over the ankle tie shoes; too. I called them Boy Shoes. My father said it would keep me from getting weak ankles (I still doubt that). It was depression time and clothing for children could be a problem. I would scrape the toes of my shoes as I walked to school. My father couldn’t believe I wore my shoes out so fast! Fortunately, I lived through those tough times and in adulthood always sported high-heeled beautiful shoes and sleek nylon hosiery. But the worm has turned – I’m back into tie shoes but no long underwear.

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 garter belt,Great Depression,heavy stockings,Iowa,long underwear,school,winter
  Perry, Iowa
Jun 16 2024


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