Monday, October 24, 2011

39--and Holding! Broken Arrow ESA Chalks Up Another Hit!

        What a record!  The Broken Arrow chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha had its 39th annual fall craft show and bazaar last Saturday and it was another resounding success!  These dedicated women, most of whom I've known for a decade or more, are educators, professional women, and artists who believe in helping their community.  

         I've seen their work from the Margaret Hudson Program for young women in BA to Hope for Heroes and the St. Jude Children's Hospital nationwide.  Over the past four decades this Broken Arrow group has given almost $234,000 to various charities!  Amazing!
         Being a part of their craft show (the oldest craft show in Broken Arrow!) has become almost a given for me...they have the system for running a show this large down pat.  There were approximately 100 crafters on board this year...and many sign up before the show is over to be sure they have a spot the next year.   I missed last year... and it was certainly good to be back this time around!
   For the two days on the 4th weekend in October, these gals move non-stop!  That's not counting all the months of behind the scene planning that goes into making those two days go smoothly.  You get accustomed to see them going at warp speed up and down the corridors, through the gym, and back again...always ready to help a vendor by minding their booth while he/she takes a short break,  keeping the restrooms supplied and tidy, answering questions, giving directions...all this after they have been at the school from Friday afternoon onwards to mark off and tape the spaces, mark the booth numbers, put a direction signs, set up door prize tables, stock the snack bar, and be ready to greet each crafter with a smile and hand them their packet.  Then at the end of the show, they have to get the school back in order before Monday classes!

          They wear denim vests with the ESA logo and the "broken arrow" symbol on the back...come to think of it...I don't think I've ever seen one of those vests moving slowly!!
    The only ones who were standing still for very long were the ones right next to me...they were selling raffle tickets for gift baskets for Hope for help the Blue Star Mothers as well as others aligned with our military.  If there is an important place to be of service, these gals are probably helping. 
           I'm hoping that this week each and every one of them is taking a well-earned deep breath and is relaxing...but I doubt it!   I am so proud to call these women my friends...they are a fabulous group!

          Well done,  my friends!  You're the best!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Tidbit from the Roaring Twenties!

        A break in our dreadfully hot summer heat has been a chance to do some much needed garage cleaning and re-organizing.  Along the way though, I've been amazed (and amused) at how many visitors the blog has had on that last entry...the story of the "whatever it is"!  I think a lot of the visits were to see if anyone ever came up with an answer!  Sadly this pristine undergarment is still anonymous and will probably remain that way....

        Before we travel on from the world of strange underpinnings, I have one more item to share with you.  This time I can tell you what it is although when I saw it at first I just thought it was rather peculiar.   This item is one of the many lingerie pieces of every description that came from the estate auction of the woman who had had the shops in the far west and had reputedly dealt with many Hollywood celebrities.  (Some of the items are being listed in our eCrater store "Lingerie Treasures"....with some of the more eyebrow-raising ones put into the category "Things We Don't See Anymore...Thank Goodness!")  This item certainly belongs there!

        When I unfolded this, I thought it was some kind of is....sort of!  It has straps anyway.  The only problem was...I couldn't figure out just exactly where the front was!  There were hooks down the back but the opposite side where the bra should be.....wasn't!   This was too old be considered the world's most elaborate early training bra...certainly a bit overboard if that was the case. 
        Fortunately our late entrepreneur had tags on most of her is a 1920's bra binder!  Oh, my gosh!!!  It's a flapper bra!  Or at least a flapper non-bra!!

I have always read of the desire of the roaring 20's gals to flatten their chests to achieve the most boyish look possible.  I'd always wondered just how they did we know!!!

        The fabric is a slightly stretchy mesh, a bit of stretch still but more than likely long past "binding" and defintely beyond controlling any "bounce."  There are seams in strategic places around it that look much like the encasing seams for boning that you would find in the long-line bra of subsequent years.  There isn't a sign anywhere, however, of the seams being used for anything except a bit of body shaping.  Well...there had to be something to shape to that girlish figure that wasn't just a long wide wrap-around band...think how totally uncomfortable (and impractical) that would have been.
  On the hook and eye closure there is an odd attachment...two narrow strips of elastic that were probably originally a loop and a tag of some kind that was most likely a label (how I would love to know what that said!!!!)  Was the tiny elastic loop to hold this binder down...or hold something else "up" and in place?  I'm sure there is a knowledgeable person somewhere who would have the answer to this little tidbit. we know how the flapper era miss achieved her desired look.  Isn't it amazing what lengths we gals have gone to over the years to be in step with the times!!!  Oh, how I wish this little "un-bra" could talk......

        What do you think?