Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Easter Bonnets, 1963


Theme ~ My 50 Years in America 

I have a lovely memory of a country drive on Easter Sunday 1963. I was new to Princeton and had made friends with a British guy named Phil, an architect who loved to act and did so with the Princeton Community Players, I think they were called. On Easter Sunday, he picked me up and we decided to go for a drive around the New Jersey country side. It was a beautiful spring day, leaves on the many tall trees were coming to life, birds were singing their spring songs, and church bells were ringing in the small towns we as we drove by. 


We stopped outside a church and looked in amazement at the ladies who were leaving their parked cars and walking toward the church entrance. Oh, the hats! 

Of course we were both familiar with the Irving Berlin song about the bonnets in the Easter Parade, but we had no idea that women dressed up like this on Easter Sunday. What we saw was fantastic! Remember this was New Jersey, where everywhere, except in Princeton, people are prone to big lives, big gestures, big meals, and as I found out that day, big hats. 


So there we were: Phil, a British Jew, I a Swedish Lutheran (a rather sedate church that I never attended), enjoying the sight of the many women entering the church. So we looked at each other, and at the same time decided we would join the service, which, as it turned out, was far from sedate.

I still remember that day so fondly: The small Jersey towns, the tall trees, the white churches, bells ringing, and the hats.


Source: Photos ~ Wikipedia, Google

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Mary Rack: If you read this, I tried to leave a comment on your blog yesterday, but got a message that you have not made your blog accessible to others. This is probably why no one has been able to leave a comment. To fix: Go to Settings, Posts and Comments, Who can comment, and make a selection. I chose Registered Users. And at the bottom the Basic page, make sure Blog Readers is set at Anybody, or whatever selection you prefer, just leave it accessible. Hope this helps you get a lot of comments.




35 comments:

  1. I have no doubt that the church service was quite memorable, even with the hats.

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  2. until the late 60's those of us in the south wore hats to church every Sunday and we always got a new hat for Easter Sunday, that is how we built our collection. i had a lot of hats with flowers similar to this one. we would have been looked at as strange if we went to church without a hat. my friend was Catholic and women were not allowed in the church without a hat. i went to church with her once and had to put a hankie on my head.

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  3. I remember it well. No matter what,most women/girls always got a hat for Easter. Towards the end of the 60's, women got rid of the hats, then they got rid of their bras.

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  4. I want the fashion to change so that hats are a daily thing once more. I'd love to go out in an elegant hat each day - yes I know I could do that but people would stare as it's not the norm. And I hope your Blogger friend got her blog fixed.

    Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain

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  5. My mom would not leave the house without a hat on her head. When she visited me here, I made her lose the hats, but she insisted on other covers, even a hairnet! I never understood it, but the habit was so ingrained and so very difficult to change.

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  6. Growing up in West Texas, Easter hats were a big deal.

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  7. Oh I love hats and especially Easter Bonnets these days I would be found wearing a colourful toque. I bet it was beautiful. B

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  8. i've never been one for hats or bonnets, myself. :)

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  9. Oh yes, heres in da south they did da big hats but still do BIG meals, and everything else big.

    Puddles
    PS:Dat is such a beautiful church

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  10. I loved Easter dresses, gloves and HATS -- let's not forget the shoes. I made sure when I had my own daughter that I dressed her in hats.

    Love the way you write toooo!

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  11. What an awesome memory--big big hats on Easter Sunday. That was the case in my small community: hats w/gloves and a matching purse.

    I am so enjoying your posts, Inger!

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  12. I love hats. I've got a few hats I've collected over the years. As a teen, I'd go into dept stores and try on hats. Wanted to be a hat model (didn't happen)

    I'm glad to see hats catching on again. Very nice post, Inger! Funny that you got to see an Easter Parade of hats in action.

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  13. I've never been much for hats. But, being a male and a Bear, that's understandable. You brought back some memories, and that's great.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting

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  14. Reminds me of the time I went to the Kentucky Derby--oh, the hats!!

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  15. I am so loving reading about your discoveries throughout life - Easter Bonnets being one of them! ;)

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  16. I'm a Lutheran. I've worn hats to church on occasion, but never anything big and fancy. We Lutherans prefer to approach the church service rather mournfully.

    Love,
    Janie

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  17. I wish that I was still a little girl so that I could wear those pretty hats.

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  18. How nice of you to leave a message for Mary Rack - You are a great person.

    I enjoy all your posts - I'm still dreaming about Road Runners and Poppies.

    Now you give us new jersey Church . . You offer Treasure ever time i visit.

    A webmaster does exactly what you do here, really. Many of the rescue groups live in rural areas and internet access can be a challenge - so, They send me information, i keep their websites up to date -

    Love & Love,
    -g-

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  19. Lovely. I used to love the days when all the ladies wore hats to church. I had a mess of them, too. My favorite one was green with a green half-veil that came over my eyes. I felt oh-so mysterious.

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  20. What a terrific theme! I've come upon your blog thanks to the A-to-Z Challenge and will definitely return to it. I have been in this country 43 years, so while I came in 1970, you arrived at a moment when everything was starting to change. You have lived, experienced, and helped to shape an important time in history.

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  21. I remember all those big hats. I always wanted one with a big brim. Mom always bought me small ones.

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  22. The older ladies in the church would wear new hats, but I never did. I wear a hat nearly every day now, (to avoid the sun...), but didn't even think about getting a hat for Easter... :)

    Cat

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  23. Mom says she LOVES New England!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  24. When I was a little girl, I was fascinated by the fancy hats many of the elderly women wore to church.

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  25. I kind of miss the hat tradition and dressing up for church but can see that the relaxed codes of today do get more people in those buildings which I guess is the main purpose.

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  26. Very pretty church,it must have been alovely sight all those Easter bonnets.
    Anne/Is Anyone There

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  27. This really sounded like an Easter Sunday back in the day.....when people liked to dress up and wear their finest to church.
    I can imagine Inger your surprise at that service especially coming from a more sedate religious experience.

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  28. Easter bonnets flourished in our world too. My Mom had her hat which I can't remember because I was only 13. I went to Sunday School...ugh! Life changed dramatically when the flower children started taking over!! Phew!

    Ron

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  29. Easter bonnets and gloves in my childhood! The world has changed.

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  30. Fast hattar är på på mode igen....

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  31. Hi Inger - how wonderful you went and joined in .. such a great idea at the time and now 50 years later - to tell us about ..

    Great and I loved the bonnet photo! - cheers Hilary

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  32. How great that you went to the service too! What a memorable day.

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  33. You posts brings back a lot of forgotten memories. Growing up in New England, we had to have a new hat, new shoes and a new Spring coat! Most of the time the weather was really too cool for such lightweight clothing -- but don them we did and shivered we did, too! In the UK people don't wear so many hats for Easter -- but they really come out at weddings!

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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