Her beautiful, georgous, exciting dress

This is the fourth in the series “Mildred’s Musings.”

Mildred Luckey Harris Baker lived in the Pleasant Hill community in the southwestern area of Milam County. She was a member of the county-wide group of people who wrote Matchless Milam: History of Milam County.

This area of Milam County was settled in the 1860s. Mildred’s family was among the early settlers, coming from Georgia.

Mildred lived a full life, to age 94. She wrote this in 1987.
My Life at Pleasant Hill
By Mildred Luckey Harris Baker
Other young people from our community stayed in town during the week with kinfolks, or in rented, light housekeeping rooms, and very often we shared transportation back and forth. But old Pet was always ready. Anytime my horse is mentioned, this story has to be told.

We had kinfolks in Beaumont with cousins older than I. Now and then they would send me a box of dresses that they had outgrown. One day a box arrived through the mail and included with the several nice, normal, young girl dresses, was a blue crepe-de-chin.

That fabric is kin to our sheer nylon now. It was a “flapper” dress. The neckline was rather low, sleeveless, and all over the bodice were rhinestones, three in a triangle, scattered all over. There was a built-in underskirt and the skirt was slit into one-inch strips, nearly to the hips, all around. Each strip had a double row of rhinestones! When that dress was lifted from the box, I thought I’d got to Heaven! Beautiful—gorgeous—exciting!!

Years and years later in describing that dress to my then-adult daughter, Leanna, she asked, in a very quiet kind voice, “Mother you were living in the Pleasant Hill community. Where did you wear the dress?” With no hesitation I said. “To church, of course. There was no place else to go.”

Leanna paused again and said. “Mother, haven’t you told me that you very often rode your horse to church?” And for the first time in my life the visual image of a 13- year-old girl, galloping down a dirt road, in a rhinestone dress came to my mind!

Several years after that, a dress very much like mine was advertised in the Dallas Morning News from Neiman Marcus. I cut out the ad, sent it to my daughter with the words: “This is my dress and I wouldn’t hesitate to order it except that I no longer have a horse.”

She framed that picture and it hangs in her home.

Continued next week.

Research: Mildred’s Musings: Life at Pleasant Hill 1987.

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