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.