Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Tab on the tab
At fifteen, I had the run of the neighborhood which consisted of one long, city, square block; actually it was more in the shape of a rectangle. Two blocks (one long and one short) were strictly residential with brick, mostly two and four family flats. The block behind ours was on a very busy main street. There were a few residences on that block, but also commercial properties: a post office, Hill Brothers shoe store (Two for Five, Man Alive!) and a bank on the corner with a large lot where kids played ball at night. There was a Hodge's Chili plant or warehouse on the short street at the top of our block. All I can remember is the creepy black water bugs skittering about on hot summer nights. Next to Hodges was a confectionary which sold everything imaginable. Pickle jars held giant sour pickles. The freezer case displayed my favorite, Cho-Chos, (chocolate push up ice cream). The giant Butterfingers and Mr. Goodbars in the candy case called my name. A shapely eight ounce green glass bottle of Coke sufficed. I couldn't drink an entire bottle of the new sixteen ounce Tab, no matter how I tried. These are the things I craved and sneaked on the family "tab" which was paid each Friday. Every family ran a bill at the store. Not every kid was convincing enough to be able to purchase these items "on the bill" and get away with it.
This tiny little store also carried suntan shade (seams up the back) nylons that I wore with garter belts. They sold hair bows in every color which I clipped in my big-hair bangs or on the side of my hair. Such was the fashion statement in the mid-sixties.
I always liked to see what new trinket the store was selling. One day I walked in and they were displaying doll-sized sheer tights. I was way beyond playing with dolls, but I wondered why they had this ten inch pair displayed. Who would buy such a thing?
The store owner said, "You won't be buying nylons anymore. You'll want a pair of these. No more garter belts. These are one size fits all."
Then, she stretched those pantyhose thirty six inches long. It was an amazing sight to behold. Since then, panty hose have come in plastic eggs, boxes, bags and in every size, hue and control top constriction. But lately I have noticed how few women wear pantyhose with skirts or dresses. Bare legs in summer, I understand.
Hmmm, have pantyhose gone by the wayside?