Dec 20, 2007

Socks

In case you wonder about the many times that I fail to capitalize the first letter in a sentence, it is because my shift key is messed up on my laptop. I usually have to go back over my posts and look for the missing capitals, but I don't always see them all. D. Chedwick Bryant commented on another blog today that Christmas is the only time of the year when we get candy and stuff in a sock. That got me to thinking about socks in general and Christmas stockings in particular. Growing up our Christmas stockings, when we got Christmas stockings, we those pre-made red mesh ones that are sewed closed at the top. They were filled with stuff of indeterminate age and often indeterminate content. We loved them and my mom would usually buy sizes to correspond with age, meaning I got the biggest one. I was strictly a candy-related consumer of Christmas stockings. I discarded the other junk, like coloring books, that came in the stocking. I was never that crazy about the ribbon candy though, which always seemed to combine odd flavors. The nuts were always good, unless we couldn't find a nutcracker. In that case we had to smack them with a hammer and that just made a mess. Once in a while, when money was tight, we would get stockings that were actual socks. Those were really pretty good, because we didn't get all the useless stuff in them and they would include tangerines. I'm not sure why it never occurred to my mom to make homemade stocking every year, but the fifties were a time when consumers were giddy with "modern" conveniences, so maybe that's it. Speaking of the fifties, I'm fairly sure that the fifties was when the Bermuda shorts craze first hit the American market. For sure it was when it hit the Sneed household. My dad was a guy who embraced a good fad. He was forever buying the latest, usually with money he didn't have, and at the expense of his family, but that's another story. One fad he got onboard with was the Bermuda shorts. Bermuda shorts have a very specific protocol. They are supposed to be worn three inches above the knee and be accompanied by long Bermuda socks. Old Dad had a couple of pairs of the Bermuda shorts and long Bermuda socks. The thing about living in Omaha, Nebraska, as I did during the height of the Bermuda shorts craze, is that winters are very, very cold. Often unbearably cold. In winter my brother and I would have to wait for the school bus in the bitter early morning cold. And no matter how we fortified ourselves against the cold, our faces were usually exposed, leaving us with frozen stuff dangling from our facial orifices. A kid who lived down the street from us went to Colorado with his family and came home with the most amazing thing we had ever seen. A ski mask. Since we were always broke and since Nebraska is pretty flat, our chances of finding ourselves ski masks were zero, but we coveted his. Either my brother or I got the brilliant idea of using Dad's Bermuda socks as makeshift ski masks. At first we just pulled the socks over our heads and stood at the bus stop, blind but warm. Then one of us, and I think it was my brother, decided to cut eye holes in the socks. Of course by the end of winter we had lost socks and depleted whatever supply the old man had. The first warm spring day, the old man went to his dresser to break out the shorts and discovered his socks missing. All hell broke loose, especially when my mom found a couple of homemade ski masks in our room. I have to say that the socks looked better on us than him. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

6 comments:

Kurt said...

please post a picture of your dad in full Bermuda regalia ASAP.

d. chedwick bryant said...

That could be a sitcom storyline-- hilarious and totally unexpected.

As a kid I loved seeing guys in full racetrack wear: cotton blend short sleeved shirt, burmuda shorts, socks, sandals, a porkpie hat and a cigar.


We went out to the trackas adults and those guys were still there! their clothes now...vintage...

d. chedwick bryant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
d. chedwick bryant said...

In the movie "Easy Money" Rodney Dangerfield creates a menswear look for his mother in law's dept store-- he calls it "The Regular Guy" -- wonderful.

I updated my latest post with a sock related pic. (not competing, just theme-ing.)

Steve said...

What marketing geniuses failed to realize the IMMENSE amount of money to be made selling ski masks in Nebraska?? Seems like a natural to me!

Reya Mellicker said...

What a fantastic post, Merle. I'm glad you're feeling better.

Hey, bermuda shorts ... yikes. And just when we thought it was safe to walk outside in summer, right around 1968 or so, suddenly Madras plaid shorts came into vogue.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Sneed, and to all the Sneeds the same.