In the spring of 1947, before college graduation, I took a train to
for a job interview. It never occurred to
me to fly – in those days air travel was so momentous a woman would dress up
for a flight in high heels, wearing a hat and gloves of course, and probably with
a corsage as well. I didn’t drive for
two good reasons: no car (those being
still scarce with long waiting lists after The War) and I didn’t know how to
drive anyhow (gasoline rationing started before I turned 16 and had only
recently ended.) New York City
So there I was barreling down along the
on the New York Central, crying on the shoulder of the woman sitting next to
me. Here I was about to meet a College
President !!! for a job interview, and I had forgotten to bring a hat. How could I face him? He’d never hire a girl who was so rude as to show
up hatless! So strong was my distress
that just before Grand Central Station that stranger took off her hat (of course she was wearing a hat) and settled
it on my head. I was to return it to her hotel after the interview. Hudson
And I did. And I got the job.
So when did hats disappear? I know I was still wearing them into the ‘60s, because I have pictures of myself with a minimal pillbox (God bless Jackie Kennedy) on a huge bouffant hairdo. I had at least one hat with a veil, and I remember one that looked somewhat Mary Poppins – did it have a single daisy perking up? I know just where they lived -- they were up on the right hand shelf in the hall closet. And there’s nothing there now.
What happened to them?