Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Wednesday, March 18, 2009

FABULOUS, DAHLING, SIMPLY FABULOUS!



I'm still pondering this Fab blog lady, whose name must be Fifi. Or Mimi. Or Paris! And Vicki, my deah nominator, look at that dog. Do we have dogs like that? I know you don't. One look at Ace of Dogs above and you know my tastes and Fifi's do not coincide when it comes to dogs.

Ah hats, now that's a subject that haunted and oppressed me when I was a girl and had to wear them to church. They were never Fab hats like the one Fifi the Fabulous Blog gal is wearing. They were little prissy things, with net or feathers. Sometimes hard lacqured cherries tucked around, as if they belonged on a faux banana split. I like Fifi. She's everything I am not. Shoes, hat, dog. I'm happy to see her flouncing about on my sidebar. Thank you again, Vicki!

Here are a couple of stanzas from a poem I'm working on. I send them especially to you. And to Fifi the Fabulous chick on my sidebar.

Sitting in church every Sunday, I hated the hats
I had to wear. They were small things, with net
attached. Or hard plastic fruit. They did not fit
and sometimes they fell into the aisle or the pew
if I my mother had not pierced their velveteen
skin with a hat pin she threaded through stiff
hair-sprayed hair. There was no way to scratch

my small soul through those hats. No way
I could sit through the sermons if not daydreaming
out of them, using the blank wall beside the piano
as movie-screen, imagining me, hatless, free
of my hairspray and beehive, my hair grown
miraculously long, trailing hairpins across
my small town, heading north to the Interstate.


...to be continued.

In the meantime I can dream, can't I, of hats like the one below. Floating just out of reach. Taunting me. Seducing me. Making me wish for another life in which I walk out wearing such a hat, flinging the door wide and shaking my bracelets in the face of destiny!




(From hatsinthebelfry.com)

5 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

I too wore hats to church -- nasty little things. I even wore a hat when, in the summer after 6th grade, I rode the train with a slew of other girls to Asheville form which we were bussed to Waynesville for a summer at Camp Junaluska.

Hard to believe such times existed. Soon lace mantillas became de rigeur for church wear and eventually I quit going to church.

But how I'd love a hat like the one in your picture -- a sort of Ascot hat.

(I love the bit from your poem and look forward to seeing the whole thing!

Kaye Barley said...

What a fun post! What a wonderful poem, and I can't wait to read more.

I love hats.

I would die to live in an age where hats like this one were "the thing." If I swanned about Boone in this hat, I'm afraid I'd be viewed as "putting on airs."

We haven't been invited to a wedding in just forever. That was my perfect excuse to go to Rich's, or Davidson's (wonderful department stores in the grand old style in downtown Atlanta) and buy myself a hat. A big, fun sassy hat.

Have y'all ever seen the book "Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats" by Michael Cunningham? Fabulous!!!! Honey. Those are some hats.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I love hats but don't wear them much anymore. When we lived in Houston in our early days of our marriage I wanted to go to the big downtown church for Easter services. I got dressed to the nines (I was in fashion merchandising at the time so it wasn't difficult) and wore a new straw hat. I thought I looked rather smart and my husband thought so too.

When we left the service and were walking down the church stairs, a breeze came out of nowhere and my hat blew off. Since we were somewhat newlyweds at the time, my gallant husband chased my hat down the street for what, according to him, was blocks. Consequently he isn't too fond of hats anymore.

Kaye Barley's mention of the book "Crowns" reminded me of when we lived in the Bahamas. There were a couple of small dress shops that always displayed big elaborate hats, some with feathers, in the window. The Bahamian ladies really dress up for church with fancy dresses, high heels, and would never be without their latest hat. They make a parade like entrance as they walk down the aisle to their pew. Great times we had there.

I still miss Mrs. Kennedy and her ladylike pill box hats. Great post Kathryn. Thanks for bringing back some great memories.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Thanks, ladies, for your fabulous comments. Maybe I'll do some more posts on hats. The only big hat I've ever worn was a straw sun hat, for working in the garden. When I walked outside in it, our dogs were weirded out, woofing and backing off, as if wondering, "Who is that?" When I took off my hat, they recognized me.
Was that a message from Dog himself?
No matter, I wore the hat out to the garden anyway.
(Maybe I'll put the dogs in that unfinished poem. They are in everything else around here. Why not a poem?}

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I'm back but I'm testing recipes and can't stay long. Just wanted to say that men wore hats too. Remember how sexy Frank Sinatra looked in a hat?

Alabama's Crimson Tide coach Paul "Bear" Bryant wore hats, not to be confused with caps. Bear was from a small town in Arkansas about 20 miles from where we lived. My father knew him way back when and always wore one of Bear's famous hats. When my father died and the funeral director was about to close the coffin before the service, my husband said, "Wait. Bo doesn't have his hat." He put that hat in the coffin. It looked rather strange with my dad's suit but I'm sure he would have approved of the gesture.
Sam