The Postscript - Aug 15, 2019 - Made to Last

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She wore it for one day in 1919 and it looked as if it was sewn with this in mind. 

My grandma’s wedding dress was more than a little worse for wear. It had been folded up in a small box and kept safe by my cousin, Jill. (How Jill ended up with it, I do not know.)

I’m guessing the dress was sewn by a relative of my grandma’s, maybe a sister or one of her many cousins. There was no lining, no reinforcement of any seam. There were raw edges inside. Much of the dress was held together with snaps and there were places that must have been basted together or pinned. I’ve done enough sewing to know that this was not a dress made to last.

“Goodness!” I can imagine whoever sewed it saying, just over 100 years ago, “No one is going to see the inside of the dress. It only has to last for a few hours!”

And it did last. It lasted for the ceremony in the small country church and for the pictures taken that day of my grandpa, recently returned from WWI, grinning broadly with the young woman he called his “dear girl,” and grandma—with a heart-shaped face and an unusual little ruffled cap, with veil attached, set low on her serious brow.  

Now we were going to celebrate the 100th anniversary of my grandparents’ marriage at a family reunion with four of my mother’s remaining five siblings and a good percentage of my remaining thirty-two first cousins and someone decided (my uncle Les, the youngest of the eleven children) it would be a great idea for the dress to be worn. (I’m sure you know how much trouble these youngest children can be.)

My mother was drafted to prepare the dress (also by her younger brother, Les) and my sixteen-year-old niece, Isabelle, was chosen to wear it as she appeared to be the same size my grandma was at the time. 

I’m guessing Les doesn’t know a whole lot about 100-year-old clothing. 

Clothing that lasts for 100 years is sewn with the idea that it will be worn again. It is lined and reinforced and sewn with great attention to detail and made with the best fabrics. My grandmother’s wedding dress was none of the above. 

As my mother and I worked to prepare the dress for the big event, it soon became apparent that this might not be a great idea after all. The dress was terribly fragile. When Isabelle tried it on, the lace in the front—in the most visible location—started to rip right in half. 

This was understandably upsetting to my mother. 

But mom and I worked together to repair the parts we could repair and replace the parts we couldn’t. The veil was long past wearing, so we constructed a new one with similar fabric that (if I say so myself) was a good imitation of the quirky original. 

Everyone assembled in the Eagles Lodge, which my cousin, Gretchen, had festooned with yards of tulle and twinkle lights to make it look like a wedding reception. Isabelle entered the Lodge and smiled good-naturedly for the dozens of photos taken (some by the local newspaper!) and I know my mother breathed a sigh of relief. 

As I looked at my smiling niece, I imagined my grandma in her hastily sewn dress, just twenty years old and about to start a life and a family she could never have imagined. 

“How do I look?” She must have asked. 

“Oh. You look beautiful.”

Till next time, 

Carrie

POSTSCRIPT

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The Postscript - Feb 27, 2020 - An Awful Lot of Cheese

My husband, Peter, likes buying in bulk.  Peter hates paying shipping fees. He never wants to run out of anything and he loves a bargain. This is why we buy coffee in enormous bags, crackers by the case, nuts and raisins ten pounds at a time, rice in 20-pound bags, and beans... [More]

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The Postscript - Feb 20, 2020 - Raising the Roof

The roof fell in on the church I started attending The collapse occurred after I’d been coming only a couple of weeks. While I have not always been a regular churchgoer, I thought this was kind of an over-the-top response to my unexpected appearance in church.  The... [More]

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The Postscript - Feb 13, 2020 - Romantic Impulses

I was looking at my hair in the mirror. “I think I might need a touch-up,” I noted to my husband, Peter. “Hmmm,” Peter replied, without looking up. (Which means, “If you think so honey. I honestly believe you might be able to hold off a week!”... [More]

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The Postscript - Feb 6, 2020 - Mouse Vomit

Last week I started doing something I’ve never done before. I started writing fiction. I realize this does not sound shocking since I’m writing every week. My husband, Peter, says I write fiction all the time—every time I write about him. But the truth is,... [More]

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The Postscript - Jan 30, 2020 - Learning to Whistle

My sister learned to whistle at age two.  She was precocious in other ways as well. She knew how to read by the time she started kindergarten. She demonstrated a physical dexterity I never did. She was much more talented at the piano. But it was the whistling that really... [More]

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The Postscript - Jan 23, 2020 - The Cigar Box

I spent the weekend in New York City.  I hadn’t been to New York in quite a while. I was performing at a theater conference and so was traveling alone, without my husband, Peter.  New York intimidates me—as all big cities do. I am not a nervous traveler,... [More]

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The Postscript - Jan 16, 2020 - Unexpected Cowboy

I want to start out by making it clear that I have nothing against cowboys.  One of the new developments in my life is that I recently got a manager, Bob, to book performances of my writing. I’ve never had a manager before, so I didn’t know what to expect.... [More]

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The Postscript - Jan 9, 2020 - A Night at the Funeral Home

 “What do you think?” my husband, Peter, asked about the link he’d sent me as we prepared to head home from the holidays. “The funeral home?” I asked. “Yeah, that one.”  “I thought it was a joke.” “No,... [More]

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COURT

Traffic Court September-December

Forman, David Scott, Miami Fla, driving 78 mph in a 50 mph zone. Fines $177 Court Cost $108. Hagan, Audrey Ann, Columbia Mo, driving 78 mph in a 65 mph zone. Deferred. Court Cost $108. Pfeffer, Samuel Tyler, Sharon Springs, Reckless Driving.  Bench Trial – Not... [More]

Traffic Court up to September 2019

Turner, Philip Russell II, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred adjudication, court costs $108. Patton, Amanda, driving 93 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred adjudication, court costs $108. Ramey, Tyler Ray, failure to stop or obey railroad crossing signal, fines $195, court... [More]

Wallace County District Court Sentencings

On May 15th, Vance Diamond Halsey appeared in the Wallace County District Court with court appointed attorney, Christopher Rohr, Colby for sentencing in the matter of case 2019-CR-03.  Halsey was charged with Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer on March 12, 2019, ... [More]

Traffic Court for May-June 2019

May Traffic Report Thomas, Dyami R, Bellingham, Wash, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $105, court cost $108. Araujo Pompa, Almedio, Coral Gables, Fla, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $105, court cost $108. Lennon, Jake Owen, Pittsburg, Penn, driving 93 mph... [More]

Traffic Court for April 2019

James Manuel Phillips, Gardner, Colo, driving 77 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $57 and court costs $108. Kenzie Marie Spreier, Colby, Kans, diving 80 in a 65 mph zone, fines $75 and court costs $108. Erick Edward Jarosz, Canon City, Colo, driving 84 mph in a 65 mph zone,... [More]

Brandon and Fugate Sentenced

Jonathan Brandon appeared in Wallace County District Court on April 10th, 2019, with his court appointed attorney, Steve Cott, Garden City, for sentencing in cases 17 CR 51 and 17 CR 58. Each case charged Brandon with Distribution of Methamphetamine within 1000 feet of a school,... [More]

Traffic Court reports Apr 11, 2019

Chandler, Garrett Scott, Pueblo, Colo, driving 75 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $69, court costs $108. Palmier, Joshua Quayshun, Birmingham, Ala, driving 84 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $99, court costs $108. Chavez, Brenda Icilice, Denver, Colo, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone,... [More]

March District Court

On March 13th, 2019 Charlene Valdez appeared in Wallace County District Court with court appointed attorney Leslie Beims, Goodland in the matter of case number 2017 CR 42. Valdez had been charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, within 1,000’ of a school,... [More]

More Court

NEWS

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Coyotes vs Wildcats

The Weskan Coyotes hosted the Wallace County Wildcats in a first round game of the regional basketball tournament, held in Weskan on Monday, February 24, 2020. The Wildcats won the game by a score of 41-39 and will play St. Francis in the next round of the regional tournament.... [More]

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Wallace County Spelling Bee Held In Sharon Springs

Icy road conditions caused a 2-hour delay for Wallace County Schools on February 20th.  By 10:00, school was in session and the grade school students were gearing up for the Wallace County Spelling Bee. After a completing a practice round, 45 children from kindergarten through... [More]

How does your garden grow? - Pruning Neglected Fruit Trees

Pruning is perhaps one the most feared of all gardening tasks, but pruning is vital to maximize production of fruit and the lifespan of the tree. Ideally, a fruit tree should be pruned at the time of planting, and every year thereafter. A tree that has lived for some years without... [More]

World Day of Prayer set for March 6, 2020

World Day of Prayer is an ecumenical celebration of informed prayer and peaceful action.   Join in the prayer service written by the women of Zimbabwe, who write us to explore Jesus’ encounter with a person who, although positioned for healing, does not act upon the... [More]

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Census Participation Part 2

Federal funds make their way to Northwest Kansas in the form of lunches children eat at school, Medicaid dollars paid for nursing home care, road and bridge projects and a variety of other ways. The level of federal funding many of those programs and services receive is directed... [More]

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Weskan Community Building Starts To Take Shape

The Weskan Community Improvement Association is excited to introduce the Weskan Community Building: a place for community members to gather for events as small as a baby shower or as large as a wedding reception. This building will also come alongside the newly renovated Weskan... [More]

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Quilts Of Valor Foundation

The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. The foundation is a national organization founded in 2003 by “Blue Star” mom Catherine Roberts.  Thousands of... [More]

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23rd Annual Heath Fair

The 23rd Annual Wallace County Health Fair was held last weekend at the WCHS Commons Area. Many area residents lined up for blood draws as early as 7 am.   Breakfast items including rolls and juice were available, which was particulary handy for those who had fasted... [More]

More News

BUGLE NOTES

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Bugle Notes - Jan 30, 2020

One hundred and fifty-four years ago, the beginnings of what would become Fort Wallace had been established on the bluffs two miles east of Pond Creek Station and south of the Smoky Hill River. Established by order of General Grenville S. Dodge on October 26, 1865, Camp Pond... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Jan 16, 2020

This Sunday, the Fort Wallace Museum is looking forward to hosting Greg and Cee Heller from Kannapolis for the screening of the new documentary film “Fort Harker: Gateway Post to the Frontier.” Please join us at 2:00 pm MT for the 45-minute film, followed by discussion... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Jan 9, 2020

Happy New Year! The Fort Wallace Memorial Association is looking forward to a fun and full 2020; we invite everyone to join in and help make it our most successful year ever!  There are two ways to join our organization. “The Fort Wallace Memorial Association”... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Dec 12, 2019

Christmas arrived at the Fort Wallace Museum this past Sunday, with the annual “Candlelight Christmas” service, followed by a festive gathering inside the main building. The 1888 Bethany Lutheran Church was filled to capacity for the traditional service. Worship was... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Dec 5, 2019

In 1865, David Butterfield raised money from New York investors to create Butterfield’s Overland Despatch Stage Line along the Smoky Hill Trail - the shortest route from commerce centers near Atchison, Kansas to the gold fields near Denver Colorado. In 2019, Butterfield’s... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Nov 7, 2019

On Saturday, the Fort Wallace Museum welcomed author Chuck Warner and his wife Karen to the Museum to discuss his new book “Birds, Bones and Beetles,” about his grandfather Charles “Bunk” Bunker, who was a KU Naturalist that explored Wallace County and... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 31, 2019

The 2019 Smoky Hill Trail Conference held at the Fort Wallace Museum is now in the rearview mirror! The event hosted 75 folks, including several national names in Western History research, as the role of Fort Wallace in Trail history was explored. Tours, lectures, networking,... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 17, 2019

The Smoky Hill Trail Conference weekend is here, and we are excited to host folks from all over Kansas, Colorado and beyond! The theme of the weekend is “Fort Wallace - the Fightin’est Fort on the Smoky Hill Trail,” and presentations will explore the events,... [More]

More Bugle Notes