February 14, 2021 1:45pm CST
My mother was so neat and clean she hadn't yet turned thirty, I was a child and did not know why her legs were dirty. She made a potion, stirred and mixed just like a witches' brew from gravy browning made a paste then what d'you think she'd do? She smeared that paste upon her legs she thought that it looked great then drew a black line down the back and asked if it was straight. I must explain the war was on, to get new clothes was rare but women didn't think it right to have their legs quite bare. So my sweet mother stained her legs hoped they'd look like stockings I can't believe that folk were fooled I just thought them shocking. On looking back I realise how hard my mother tried to keep herself and us all smart I think of her with pride. Photo is of my mother.
29 people like this
14 Feb 21
This reminds me of the stockings of our teachers when I was in my elementary years. The stockings had those black line at the back part. I was wondering what was its purpose. Was it to let the onlooker know that the lady was using stockings?
14 Feb 21
@jaboUK I remember my mother and grandmother unravelling old pullovers and cardigans and knitting new ones. Something else: Envelopes of letters were carefully opened, turned round, glued together again and used another time. I grew up in the GDR (German Democratic Republic) where the economic situation was even worse than in West Germany.
• United States
15 Feb 21
What a nice photo of your mom I loved your poem and it brought back stories my own mom told me about how women drew that line down the back of their legs to look like stockings. It's funny now to think of even wearing those types of stockings. We certainly have life so much easier than the women of the depression era.
• Midland, Michigan
17 Feb 21
I remember you sharing this before. I can't imagine doing that especially the line down the back but we've (as in humankind) have done the colored tanning solutions before too. I'm remembering coppertone. If it wasn't blended in correctly one could appear quite orange. At least the brown might have looked more flesh colored or similar to wearing the dark brown hosiery which I liked to do when I was younger.