Once upon a time, a very glamorous girl from Jewish Insurance Money in Des Moines, Iowa met the scrappy son of a Russian-born dry-goods salesman from Moline, Illinois. She was sweet and beautiful, he was determined and wily and, after spending four-ish on-and-off years together at the University of Illinois, they ran off to a Justice of the Peace, got hitched, and lived happily (on-and-off) ever after.
Two of Gramps’ chief virtues (or failings, depending on whom you asked, and when) were his intrepid zest for adventure and his fearlessness in the face of bankruptcy. It became a thing with them: he would finagle his way into some cushy gig doing something exotic for the time (radio plays! advertising! the OSS!), do the sh*t out of it, and then, when it or his patience had run out, pull everything out of the bank save $200 and book passage to some far-flung somewhere. And in style, baby, no steerage for Les and his baby, Betty.
This drove my dear, sweet, non-adventurous, and, of the two of them, frugal, Gram nuts, but she was pretty nuts about him, and a product of their era, so she generally went along quietly. On these trips they bought all kinds of crazy stuff, for themselves and as gifts for loved ones; back then, you had to actually go places to acquire indigenous goods, or the best selection, anyway. While they traveled through the Panama Canal, up to Alaska, all over the U.S., they were especially partial to Europe.
Did you know they make excellent ladies’ gloves in the fine countries of Europe? Well, they do. Did. Probably still do, but no one wears gloves anymore like they wore gloves back then. Possibly because they transformed my not-particularly-comely hands into something of grace and style, I developed a massive glove fetish, and ended up with most of my Gram’s extensive collection.
I am down to the last few pairs, having worn out or lost or given away most of the rest over the years. These are dark-brown and opera length, my ‘tater will get you a measurement, if you like, and are either a 7 1/4 or 7 1/2. They’ve stretched a bit, and been worn, if not extensively, then with ardor. Yes, ironically, but I came up at the end of the last century, not the beginning, and, save a few wack-a-doo periods in my late teens and early 20s, never really took dressing all that seriously. (I mean, seriously, I was, what? 47 before I finally figured out what silhouette was flattering?)
My 1993 stint as Holly Golightly was pretty much my last hurrah with the gloves, or even in costume. Once I started acting in earnest, playing dressup was a busman’s holiday. So these have been in the drawer for some time, and it’s high time some stylish, fun-loving, size 7 1/4 – 1/2-handed gal took ownership of these puppies.
Will it be you? I hope so…
Do you love gloves, too? Email the ‘tater (miz.tater AT gmail DOT com) and make an offer. We will certainly let these go for a reasonable sum, maybe less, if there’s a great story attached. We do love a great story!