Each morning, gran would bring out the over-size sketchbooks and we would sit in the garden perfecting our drawings for the end-of-summer show, which was expertly modeled by a melange of trendy dolls. Once our designs were ready for production, we would spread newsprint on the cutting tables and gran would instruct me on garment construction. When we eventually stitched the outfits together, the quest for the perfect trims and buttons would ensue. This was my favorite part of the process, as Gran would permit me to search endlessly through the drawers and drawers of beads, trims, sequins, pearls, ribbons, feathers and buttons...
Read Catherine's entire remembrance of her summers spent with her great grandmother, immersed in the world of fashion.
"You get a hell of a perspective on life when you get old. I found that when I was in my twenties, thirties and forties, being a female by myself on the streets, I always found myself being looked at, whistles and all that.
"Now when I am by myself, in a restaurant or in other public places, I have the same invisibility that a child has so that I can really observe things much more openly. You’re freer. A target is gone. All it takes is white hair and wrinkles and to most people you are just invisible. And infinite wisdom, of course. Don’t forget that! I am much more aware of patterns in my own behavior, because I have been living with them for so long.”
From: Our Elders, Six Bay Area Life Stories, by Janet Clinger