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Friday, July 15, 2011

A Brief But Illustrious Stage Career For My First-Date Dress!

I always seem to have a grab bag of oddball stuff on Friday;
must be that end-of-the-week thing.
Loose ends and all that.

Today, I'm going all nostalgic and theatrical,
taking a look at my latest furniture find,
and peeking in a looking glass.
Back before Alida's bridal shower in early June, I tried to find the peignoir set my own mother gave me at my shower.
And couldn't.
But then, two weeks after the wedding, my old peignoir turned up in a Rubbermaid bin in our cellar.

It was stored with the dress I wore on my first date with Howard,
when he took me out to dinner and to see Kentucky Fried Movie, of all things,
and that date didn't end until after breakfast at a diner at 7 o'clock the next morning,
because we were talking so much.

Really.  We were.  Talking.  We still talk a lot.

When I hung the peignoir up to feel all nostalgic and sentimental, I also hung up the dress.
 Here's where the story gets complicated.

Our daughter Anne is costuming a musical that opened this month at the June Havoc Theater
in New York, part of the Midtown International Theater Festival.

Ocean In A Teacup takes place in India in 1944, so Anne was up to her eyeballs in
saris and linen tunics and pants, U.S. Army uniforms and 1940s Western-style dresses.

"Hey," said I, "you could almost use my old dress;
it's from 1977 but it was a vintage 40s look."

And so she did.

One of the actresses wore it opening night!

However, it's been retired and replaced by another dress in a paler fabric
that shows up better against the black box look of the theater.

But my dress had its brief moment of fame, its 15 minutes in the spotlight.
I certainly won't wear it again!

But I loved this dress.  I could cut it apart and make a neckerchief for myself . . . .
Speaking of myself, and yourself, do you ever do this:
Take a picture, and not notice you've caught yourself in the mirror?

Anne and I were browsing at Scranberry Coop in Andover, New Jersey yesterday.

I really went just to look.  Not to buy. Just to look!

So, as my husband might say, if you went just to look, how come this is on the driveway next to your car?
Please ignore the commuter cup and the old straw handbag,
just like you ignored the old bag in the previous shot.

Instead, look at the table.  It's a Queen Anne style Tea Table.
With candle slides!
Mahogany, and I'm thinking it will be just right in front of the camelback sofa in our Parlor.

Back before there were low cocktail tables, or coffee tables, people had tea tables
and they were tallish fellows, so that it was easy to reach and pour tea, slurp it, and gobble up the cute little cakes . . .

I've been looking for a real tea table for a long, long time.
Now, I don't like to pay more dollars for a table than I can count out on my fingers and toes,
so it's been a long wait, and I did have to add Annie's fingers and toes into the financial calculations,
but it still was a really good buy.  And that's the best kind.

It's in great used condition, sturdy, a few wee flaws in the finish but they are easily fixed.

If you are in the New York area, and would like to see Ocean In A Teacup or any of the other productions
in the Midtown International Theater Festival, click here for the website and ticket information.

We're going to the Sunday matinee and then to dinner to celebrate my 102nd birthday,
but Howard better get me home before 7 on Monday morning or
I will turn into a pumpkin, and not one of those cute little pumpkins but a big ol' warty one.

Anne is also costuming The Giantess, a new play based on the real-life Giantess of Nova Scotia, Anna Swan.  For info on that one -- which according to my daughter is very funny and is opening in August at the Paul Walker Theater, 721 Broadway in New York for a very limited run -- click here.

Link Parties!

Miss Mustard Seed and her Furniture Friday.  Click here!

Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday.  Click here!

And have a fabulous weekend!  Any special plans?  -- Cass


  1. Cass,
    Another neat post. Love the table.

    Hope you have a great weekend. The weather here is perfect.

  2. How fun. I had borrowed the dress I was wearing when I met my husband. He liked it. After we had been dating for awhile, the friend I borrowed it from gave it to me. It is in a box in the attic. No way I could wear it now, (even if it fit, I would look quite silly), but I have lovely memories. Your dress, however, is a classic. It would look great on anyone who wore it.
    As for the tea table. Excellent find.

  3. How fun! Your dress was a star! : )
    The tea table is wonderful...such a great find!
    And I loved getting a peek at your prety face! : )

  4. I have my first date dress with Jim as well -- tucked away in the cedar chest -- it was mini style back then and IF I could get in it, it would make a great blouse!!!!!!!

    Love that tea table -- I covet that -- have always wanted one but like you could never find one at a price I could afford. And I like furniture with a few dings -- that way when I first ding it it isn't so traumatic because it already has some!!!

    I'm still looking for mine -- I have few wants but that is one!

    And yes, there are a lot of mirrors at Linderhof and I've caught myself in them a time or two (I'm more careful now) but if you look at my post about the tea kettle -- there I am!!!!

  5. Love the table!

    Love the idea of sending your dress to Broadway! Congratulations to your daughter.. Getting professional work as a costumer in NYC, that's just a great big WOW! I know several costumers who would kill for that chance! (All us theater types, hang out with other theater types, and vicariously enjoy their successes.)

    I was quite surprised by your photo. I had pictured you in my mind's eye as a brunette. I don't know why. I have to readjust!! :)

  6. Cass~ What a great dress! It does look like it came from the 40's and would have been perfect in a MOVIE...but maybe not so good on stage. Sure, sure, you stayed up all night talking- I've done that a few times in my own life...and speaking of staying up-if you didn't get a chance to check out my blog today you might want to pop by...speaking of staying up, that is!;>) Yes...I'm a tad naughty but I do so try to be good! Have a great night- xo Diana

  7. Congratulations to the dress on it's appearance in the play.
    I love the pic of you in the mirror. Now we know what Cass looks like. :)
    Love the table and Howard's comment.

    Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your table.


  8. I love your sentimental streak - I have a couple of old dresses in my cedar chest, along with The Great Dane's military college cap and the ridiculously long scarf I knitted him in his college colours.
    Happy 102nd birthday. You're catching up to me.

  9. Better to see you in the mirror at the store than the famous photo the naked guy took of something in his house with his reflection showing up in the window glass. I threw up a little in my mouth just remembering that one. Not one of the better emails that has made its way around the world.
    Hang on to that dress and hopefully you have a photo of the actress wearing it because one day when she is at the peak of her career and is world famous you can sell the dress on Ebay for oodles of money.

  10. Cass,
    Great stories. Great find!

  11. Happy Birthday Cass from the UK. Have a fab day! Great post, congrats to your daughter! I would love to go shopping with you, a girl after my own heart!! xx

  12. Love your find, the tea tabl is very your dress and happy to see you in the miror! Catherine


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