Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Red Coat

In honor of the official first day of winter (December 21) I thought it appropriate to share about my 86 year old Dad's red coat he used to wear to Evanston Township High School in Illinois from 1938 to 1942.
I just recently acquired it when he offered it to me before he moved away. I had never known about it before, and thought it sweet and touching that he'd kept it all these years. I also thought how perfect this newly acquired "heirloom" will begin a new tradition of appearing as part of our Christmas decor every year from now on....
And now, in his own words that he emailed to me, is his explanation of his Red Coat:

The warmth of my favorite winter coat is unbelievable. It is a Hudson Bay, solid red with a wide black stripe near the bottom. I was warm as toast when the snow came down or the temperature dropped to an uncomfortable low. This may sound like a fake story, but I really did walk a full mile to high school in Evanston Illinois. I walked regardless of the weather, rain, snow, hail, sleet and even sunshine. But the red coat came out when the weather turned bitter cold and I was toasty all the way to the high school. Of course, adding to my comfort were galoshes, and lined mittens that came up over my wrists. When the temperature was above 15 degrees then no ear muffs were called for. But below 15 degrees, the ear muffs went on and kept my ears from freezing. If the temp was down around zero, then a muffler would be put on to protect my nose and mouth. All in all, it was a fun time. Four years of trudging through six foot drifts was really a thrill, you see, this was before snow shoes were invented!
My best love to you Myrna, get well and stay well. Dad
P.S.: All of the above is true except the six foot drifts paragraph, and it really did snow in Evanston but the neighborhoods through which I walked were pretty good about keeping their sidewalks clean, and even if they didn't, my galoshes protected my pretty little feet. In any event, it was better than sloshing through the real drifts that happen in South Dakota.


  1. Sweet story and the coat looks like it is in incrediblly good shape! ;-) Bo

  2. Couple of things my sweet friend. That Hudson Bay coat would probably be worth a small fortune now! But I'd keep it and treasure it as it will probably never wear out being the beautiful red wood they sued. MY parents had some Hudson Bay blankets when I was a child and they were beautiful. Don't know what happened to them. They'd definitely be vintage now and worth a lot.

    Now for scheduling posts. In the window where you add your text and pictures is a "Post Options" in the bottom left corner. Click on it and put in the time that you want it to appear on your blog. I just put in a date of say 12/25/08 and then the time of 12:01 AM. I always want them to start as early as possible on the scheduled date because of so many different time zones around the world so that's why I always start it at one minute after midnight. That's just how I do it as a reminder to put it in the same way each time. BUT THEN YOU HAVE TO CLICK "PUBLISH" OR IT WILL NOT SHOW. A LOT OF PEOPLE FORGET TO DO THAT!!! JUST CLICK "PUBLISH" AND TRUST THAT IT WILL APPEAR WHEN YOU WANT IT TO THE DAY YOU'VE ENTERED.

    Does this help ya, sweet chick?!?!


  3. That is one great coat, and the story is wonderful. I know you will treasure it. Sally

  4. Wow! That coat has been through a lot to look as great as it does! What a neat story your father shared about the coat, and what a wonderful idea to use it as Christmas decor. laurie

  5. What a great thing to have and even more precious with your Dad's story in his own words. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  6. Myrna, What a great coat and wonderful story. Thanks for sharing in your post. Wishing you and your family a Happy and Blessed "Christ"mas. Love and Prayers, Suzanne

  7. It's the perfect Christmas coat!! And I must say it's in amazing condition considering how often it was worn and all the snowy days it experienced! I have a few hudson blankets (yep yet another collection *winks*) and they do wear beautifully! But what makes this coat really special is that it belonged to your daddy! And he has all the stories that go with it! You lucky ducky you!
    Oh and Myrna I couldn't help but crack up when you mentioned that you used my bedroom for inspiration!! We DO have a mutual admiration society!! Lol!! Vanna

  8. Loved the coat story! I'm sure your father's parents, when they bought the coat never dreamed it would become a beloved Christmas tradition! Hhmmmm....wonder what things of ours will be displayed someday in someones home???:):)
    Love, Toni

  9. I too love the red coat story. How neat that you have your dad's coat now. I can't believe how nice it still looks. Wow! Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas!