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Origin of the Hat Brigade

Growing up, nothing said Holiday time like permed or braided hair, white gloves, patent leather shoes, a new purse, and a new hat. My Sisters and I always cooperated for the ten or more pictures that my Father insisted on taking. Part of the charm was that he convinced us that there were no others quite as well Holiday and churched dressed as we were. He expanded his photographic vision in our later years to the Brownie, Polaroid, and movie camera. I remember with laughter the look of fear on one of my Prom date’s face. My Father followed us from the Living Room right out to the car prompting us to “smile and act natural.” Not an easy task but an early introduction to reality programming.  Relief was the facial expression as we waved good-bye.


When looking over old photos I now realize that there are many hat pictures that chronicle my personal life journey.  It really influenced the picture that I submitted to Red Room. One of my favorite Red Room writers, Sue Glasco, once wrote a blog about a family member that is forever in memory. The family member who participated in a jazz festival event was encouraged   to continue with his talent but to always wear a hat that his audience would remember. The underlying point was that as techniques would evolve the recollection of the  hat might keep the audience interested. I had my doubts about submitting my picture from my distant past but was confronted by my Daughters with “ oh, Mom, it’s the best hat picture that we have of you.” So, please remember if the time should come that we should meet and I look a little older ... with the participation and with what I’m learning in Red Room, I’m working on my technique…a big thank you!

6 Comment count
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Hat Picture

Hello Mary,

I love your hat picture and your 'favorite old photo post!'

Honestly, I have a photo with my sisters on Easter Sunday that looks just like yours. I'll have to dig it up and share it with you. (We must of have shopped in the same places!)

And as for keeping your beautiful photo with your hat.  You make a wondrous statement here:-)



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Thank you, Catherine!

I'm sure that the era when we grew up it was definitely the norm to dress up ...I would love to see the pictures of you and your Sisters at Holiday and Church time. However, the beauty that you radiate now(inside and out)...I can't imagine that you ever had an awkward moment.

You are so kind, and believe me,I am waiting for news of your book!

Have a great day!

Mary Walsh

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Thanks, Mary.

Yes, your hat picture is beautiful.  I do not wear hats anymore. (I think getting children ready for church took away my putting-on-a-hat time.)  But my mother's Catholic background encouraged me to wear hats to church when few teenagers in our congregation did. I always loved wearing them.  I had one teenager years ago who liked to wear a hat, and I always enjoyed her hats too.

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Thank you, Sue!

As always it is a treasure (you know I'm sincere)when I receive a comment from you. To me you have always exemplified through your inspirational and creative thoughts,  how life should be. And "when we get to heaven" not only will I shout, but I'm planning to spend time with you and your family. (hope you will have me!)I know that even through good times and trials you truly understand  ''the peace that surpasses all understanding." And the best part of all...you pass it on.

Thanks, Sue!

Mary aka Pat

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The un-Mad Hatter

I truly enjoyed this, Mary.  The Brownie camera, the holidays, and yes the hats.  Except for protection from the cold or the sun, I have shunned them ever since those fake-flower Easter Sunday numbers!

You're a real 'hat-personality', Mary Walsh and I just love that!  Never change.


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Thank you,Mara!

Hi Mara,

I am really behind in this response, but know that I appreciate your comment. Isn't funny that somehow our Mothers,(yours, Catherine's, Sue's,and mine)had the same idea of  Easter styling. Fun to remember.

I am enjoying your blogs always.

Mary Walsh