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Music – “Momma’s Apron Strings” from Almost Home by Larry Sparks. Released: 2011
When I was growing up, my mom had a bunch of frothy, gauzy organza and organdy aprons, homemade of course (some by her and one or two by me).
She would go into the kitchen and take one out of the ‘apron’ drawer, tie the long pastel sashes into a large neat ribbon behind her back, check the pockets for any leftover recipe cards and commence cooking.
I don’t recall my mom ever using her apron to wipe her hands. That would be gauche. Rather, it was to protect her ‘day’ clothes from the grease spatters spewed out from the Hamilton Beach fryer and the flying blobs of butter cream icing from the Sunbeam Mixmaster.
I thought aprons were quaint and were the epitome of domesticity. The housewife going about her cooking chores, still looking stylish. In Home Economics (or Home Ec, as we used to call it), my first project was to make an apron for my mom (actually, it was the second project: the first was to make a decent bowl of oatmeal). The apron was blue organza with lace borders on the edge and on the pockets. My mom saved it all of these years and I found it among her things after she passed away. Also was a later Home Ec project, a mother/daughter apron set.
I had graduated to using organza over an underlying cotton pattern. As you can see from the photo, mine was the one with the smaller pockets. These too, were my mom’s treasured mementos.
During the 1950’s, just about every perfect TV mom or female movie star was photographed in a fetching apron of some sort. Of course, most of them had them cinched tightly into waspishly tiny waists, presenting a rather startling contrast to the sexy Hollywood star vs. the picture of domestic bliss.
If any of those of us growing up in the 1950’s remember, June Cleaver was THE poster child of the all-American family, where the man went to work, the two children to school and the wife “kept house” and raised her children to be doctors or lawyers.June always wore a pretty apron over her stylish dress (with pearls of course). I wanted to look like June Cleaver when I grew up, she was so “together”. Lucille Ball, in “I Love Lucy” wore many aprons during the life of the series.
Women (and men), still wear aprons today, but they appear to be mostly rather graphic (bosoms and butts lithographed in strategic locations), or purely functional, as in the Starbucks standard issue. As for me, I still treasure the organza aprons of my mom’s. Perhaps, being “Retro”, they are again in fashion today.