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Courting 65 Years Ago

| 5/12/2014 10:03:00 AM

Well dressed young ladies in the old days.
A couple of well-dressed young ladies in 1950. (June, 1950 Farm Journal magazine)

Spent a couple of hours the other afternoon on my lawn tractor which is time that I always enjoy because it gives my mind, never really prone to concentration, time to range far and wide. Today it chanced upon some half-forgotten memories of my experiences with members of the fairer sex back in those days when to be properly attired, a girl had to wear hose, hat, gloves, and a dress. Then too, a girdle must always be worn, as no part of the female anatomy was permitted to display even the slightest jiggle for busy male eyes to devour.

Did any of the folks out there in Readerville ever go to a Box Social?  Box socials were usually held in the evening at a church, grange hall or community building, and although anyone could and did attend (after all, there had to be chaperones), and they were primarily meant to raise money for a worthy cause, the event was great for bringing young, unmarried people together in what was considered a wholesome setting.

On the day of the event each girl would hunt up a shoebox (other types of boxes or even picnic baskets were sometimes used but a shoebox was more or less standard) and decorate it with colored paper, ribbons, lace, whatever suited her creative fancy. Then she’d fill the box with food enough for two, sandwiches, pickles, cake or pie, again subject to her idea of what would please a hungry guy.

At the hall, the gaily decorated boxes were arrayed on a table and the males in attendance were given an opportunity to look them over—no peeking inside permitted—to decide which of the bunch looked especially attractive. The auctioneer, usually one of the older gentlemen who had volunteered for the task, would take his place beside the table, pick up one of the boxes and, while holding it aloft for all to see, would begin his spiel.


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