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October 16, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Cool Man. Cool.

Man with ice block. Early Houston. (Screenshot.

“No, ma’am, my name ain’t Mike. But if you want magic, I’m bringing it.”(

It was cool back then.

No magic or electricity involved.

Things were neatly boxed up.

Housewife and vintage ice box. Houston. (

Man, “Little lady I’ll show you how to chill.” Woman, “Duh. It’a a box. It’s got shelves. I can figure out how to put food in. And from the looks of it, so can you.”(1915/

Housewives bobbed their hair. (Modern, defiant, or contrary, often confused as the same).

But wouldn’t be caught dead without make-up.

Classic pumps worn in the kitchen that would work just fine in any office today.

“No need to look sloppy. Pride in appearance.”

Even if unseen.

Ready to walk out the door at any time.

Aprons tied. As protection.

Woman in a typical kitchen 100 years ago in Houston, TX.(screenshot

Spot it? Popular then. Popular now: ceiling fan, farmhouse sink, eat in kitchen, and an apron. Yep, come a long way.(vintage kitchen/

Today trendy young women happily wrap up in crisp chic aprons to impress party guests.

The new versions go to professionals rather than washed, starched, and ironed at home.

Pricey aprons like these once would have been carefully put away as “good ones” kept for when company visits. The faded ordinary ones grabbed daily drooped on a peg between uses. Different now.

And suddenly it’s back to baking.

What’s prodding a revival of warm domestic skills? Concerns over food safety.

Or a simple return to senses about health and budget.

A return to self?

One last look.

nthropologie's Linen Market Apron. It's imported! Designed to look like antique French grain sacks. Yours for only $48.00. (Screenshot.

So trendy over jeans:The Linen Market Apron. Not your grandmother’s apron. It’s imported! Designed to look like antique French grain sacks. (Screenshot.

The more things change, the more retro seems to stir.

Seeking comfort or recovering footing amid the frenzy?

Searching for a taste of What Was, that made Now.

Just don’t linger too long. Miles to go before you weep sleep.

There are servers to wipe and cookies to delete.

How to chill, already known.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

  • “The past is never where you think you left it.”  (Katherine Anne Porter)
  • “What’s past is prologue.” (William Shakespeare, The Tempest.)
Store front. 1915 Houston.Watch Company, Corrigan's. (

Can’t believe it? Watches, eyes tested, and glasses fitted? Wait, how many retailers have reading glasses and frames now? Steinmart, Target, Macy’s, CVS…Deja vu all over again. (1915 Houston.Watch Company, Corrigan’s which existed until the 50’s.

Vintage cKellogg's cereal sales men in front of their vintage company cars.Houston (

Worked then. Works now. Simple corn flakes and cars sporting company logo. (

Early street scene in Houston, TX. (

Who doesn’t love to go uptown? (








  1. easyweimaraner / Oct 16 2015 12:36 pm

    My grandmother bought me an apron a couple of years ago… she said I should wear it when the pups sit on my lap in the car…. I never wore it, but it’s still there as a memory of my granny… I can’t imagine to drive a car while wearing a screaming read apron with grinch-green gooseberries :o)

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 16 2015 12:50 pm

      With the early cars, people wore these long coat things to keep the road dust off their clothes. Now we grab towels or blankies in an attempt to keep the dog hair off – but it flies around and sticks where you don’t know – LOL! Thanks for tying one on here, Easy! (And there is something nice about an old faded relic apron that belonged to someone) 🙂


  2. marthaschaefer / Oct 16 2015 1:04 pm

    I love aprons! My wardrobe at the store always includes one with lots of pockets! Nailed this on Phil!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 16 2015 1:09 pm

      Aprons aren’t just for kitchens anymore. (And agree, one isn’t any good without pockets.) My mom had one with a small hand towel that was buttoned on to it could be detached and washed. That towel alway looked wet and yucky to me, but smart idea. The boutique expensive ones amuse me. (These kids never grew up ironing the darn things.) Thanks for wrapping up a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Vanessa-Jane Chapman / Oct 16 2015 1:08 pm

    I love all those aprons on the page you linked to, you could totally wear them out and about – surely this could be a new fashion trend, get a basic plain dress and just change the aprons to change the look! Also, is it wrong that I would really like to be a stay-at-home-and-bake-housewife?

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 16 2015 1:16 pm

      If life was perfect, all people would stay at home and enjoy life and doing what ever it was they wanted to do whenever they wanted. Work and jobs are so time consuming. Your wear the aprons over a basic dress reminded me of vintage fashion – they did that with pinafores in the 1900’s? People didn’t have big wardrobes (and wanted to keep what they had nice). It would be terrific (cost effective and fun) if that concept did return….but I’m not ironing ruffles. Thanks for hanging up a comment here


  4. Kate Crimmins / Oct 16 2015 1:39 pm

    My mom always wore aprons. Calico prints and fresh everyday. After she died, I kept them and slowing wore them out. Now I make do with one of those cheap white versions you get at a restaurant supply store. No matter what I cook, I wear parts of it. Great memories here. And no, I’m not buying anything you have pay a lot for or iron.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 16 2015 2:28 pm

      My mom – the only mom on the block that worked – hated aprons as demeaning. (Not much for Betty Crocker skills either). She had a couple of those half aprons but never a bib one. (“Someone” still had to iron those long long ties…so much fabric for those big floppy bows in back.) Fresh everyday? (Good idea – used aprons do get pretty limp and rather sketchy looking.) Thanks for cooking up a comment


      • Kate Crimmins / Oct 16 2015 2:41 pm

        My Mom was a fan of no-iron polyester. Calico prints were great for disguising gravy stains! For me aprons are a bother. (Where did I put it?) I have learned that it saves stains especially when I am frying.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 16 2015 2:47 pm

          Polyester was cheered as the miracle fabric of the future here today. Prints are the perfect choice for hiding salsa stains, too! (If evolution was realistic, cooks would have one arm much longer than the other in order to hold the splatters far far away from the body!)

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Paul / Oct 16 2015 1:46 pm

    Yes, I remember my Mum and Grandmother wearing aprons. My Grandmother had a collection and chose a fresh one each day. There was a certain solid, homey, feeling to seeing them in aprons.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 16 2015 2:31 pm

      Do you remember how soft those aprons were? (I have to reference the ones from neighborhood friends’ moms as mine was anti-apron.) The whole apron image certainly brings back some smiles. Thanks for folding in a comment. (Have a great weekend, Paul!)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sue / Oct 16 2015 1:59 pm

    The past is never where you think you left it…..absolutely. And my past and my mum’s past regarding shared events often disagreed….

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 16 2015 2:33 pm

      Funny how that works, isn’t it? (We’ll kindly put it down to then getting dotty in their old age HA HA). Thanks for hanging up a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Carrie Rubin / Oct 16 2015 2:11 pm

    An apron as a fashion statement? Oh my, I’m really behind the times. And judging by the tomato stains on my own aprons, they’re best kept hidden in my kitchen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 16 2015 2:35 pm

      You’re excused. Boys only see the food and it’s not on the table fast enough.(History will probably prove that tomatoes are the real reason aprons were invented.) Thanks for washing and ironing a neat comment to leave

      Liked by 1 person

  8. betterphotos4you / Oct 16 2015 2:23 pm

    Shared this Philosopher, “Cool” Post 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 16 2015 2:42 pm

      Thanks! This whole apron thing is a bit amusing. (But then again I also find sloshing in mud amusing at times…if it’s by choice..) I keep remembering a tv commercial of a woman in high heels and full skirt dancing around her kitchen with a mop and Spic and Span. You just have to laugh at the era. This isn’t the same one, but it’s close. Thanks for cooling your heels here a bit and hope your weekend is great fun.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. ailsapm / Oct 16 2015 11:34 pm

    I love the idea of aprons, I’ve even owned a couple but honestly can’t remember ever wearing one. Truth be told, I’m so hideously messy when I cook or bake that I’d need full body armour to protect my clothes. I’m a rather good cook though, amidst clouds of flour and pools of melted butter. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 17 2015 5:09 pm

      Aprons look so cute and nostalgic, but cooking here is also a bit too wild (and it always seems like a major production for some reason). As long as it tastes good, no one cares how it got that way, right? Thanks for stirring in a comment


  10. EllaDee / Oct 17 2015 1:28 am

    My past keeps finding me no matter where I thought I left it… I have a retro bright floral half apron that wear usually to prepare Christmas lunch… but really need to get with the times… old or new… because I make such a mess of my clothes when I cook 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 17 2015 5:15 pm

      There’s something lovely about a nostalgic apron at Christmas – like in the old black and white movies when meals were served in elegant china with cloth napkins. Realistically, clothes color coordinated to the food is probably a better choice for here most of the time. (Besides Molly would either bark at the aprons or grab the ties/corners and tug of war. So well behaved. But she dose not beg at the table….oddly thought RC Cat came in the other morning and sat herself down in a chair at the breakfast table as if expecting to a placemat and breakfast. She refused to allow a pix – or it would have gone viral…she has her dignity, she says. Dunderheads! She says that, too) Thanks for cooking up a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  11. shoreacres / Oct 17 2015 3:04 am

    Aprons were good for so many things. Gathering yard eggs. Wiping hands. Scrubbing blackberry juice off a chin. Grandma’s aprons were bib-type, with lots of pockets.Practical. My mother had the practical sorts, but there also was that little red net number for Christmas entertaining. Yikes! I believe it even had sequins.

    I just keep a set of capris and a shirt I think of as my cooking clothes. It’s a lot easier than putting on an apron, and after a while, what’s a little more spaghetti sauce?

    By the way — the lighthouse is back on! Hooray! And right on schedule, it looks as though we may have the Harvest Moon Regatta monsoon. Can you imagine all those j-boats out there, slogging around? I hope it doesn’t develop as they’re projecting. I heard today there are 164 boats signed up. Too bad they can’t have this weekend’s weather.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 17 2015 5:07 pm

      Pockets – whatever is worn, it has to have pockets. Mom had a weird little net apron, too – it must have been the chic thing for entertaining. I think hers had black net (scratchy, I recall) with red trim and sparkles. Didn’t get worn much, I don’t think.
      We were wondering if the lighthouse was going to get fixed. Bet someone other than the island developer paid for it – signs of cash flow issues in both of his developments. He’s a very unpleasant man. We’ve had meeting both with HOA and city over the drug dealers and overnight abandoned cars along the bridge. People say you really don’t want to know all the stuff they’ve found by the lighthouse from people that are walking in to hide there. South Shore should have kept that island – made it part of the resort and marina instead of selling it. Really silting up by the inadequate channel/bridge. But there water birds love it – and all the islands of greenery floating down after the big rains.
      Miss Dixie must have her nose to the window screen today – such a breezy mild day. (Like you say, next weekend may be grim instead of glorious. Who knows. THis time of year, weather can change it’s mind.)
      Enjoy all the fun viewing the Wings over Houston planes – we all have the best seats in the house!
      Thanks for icing down the comment tray

      Liked by 1 person

  12. PiedType / Oct 17 2015 4:56 am

    Hadn’t thought of it in decades, but your photo reminded me that one of the neighborhood theaters when I was growing up in OKC was the Uptown.

    Oh, and if that Linen Market Apron is actually linen, then it’s even more ridiculous than I thought.

    And that’s the scariest ice man I ever saw. If they’d looked like that when they came to our house, I’d have probably run away screaming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 17 2015 4:29 pm

      The ice man was supposed to be the featured picture on Reader….but you know WP – some magic selects what they decide should show there. Drives me nuts and I have questioned it repeatedly as fiddling with the blog owner’s creative process and design. (Probably on their hit list again). I can’t help but find it humorous: expensive designer aprons and all those extremely high heels that are so hazardous and bad for feet. Willing to let people live and let live, but sigh.
      (I remember once being little and a Fuller Brush man went nuts when the lady across the street was rude to him and he kicked in her screen door and started cursing and throwing things. ALways a little wary of door to door people after that – except the mailman – we would wait in the porch with lemonade for him sometimes during the summer. A whole different life in that era). Thanks for chillin’ here for a bit (We’ve got cool breezes, but no sign of snow or ice …yet)

      Liked by 1 person

  13. SingingTuna / Oct 18 2015 8:09 pm

    Bwahaha!! Love your captions! Wonderful post!!!
    Aprons? Man. I’ve been saving the ones my Mom had passed down to her and the ones she wore and received as gifts. They’re in drawers, never looked at much less worn. Some handmade, beaded, needle-worked, FAR too nice for actually cooking in. Some are long past their expiration date, for having been used and used and used. I wonder sometimes what to do with them. I wear “sweats” to work in the kitchen; stains? Please! They mean nothing. Just something interesting for the kitties to sniff. But now you’re saying that aprons are back? Hmmm. I’m guessing that the ones I treasure aren’t “cool” enough to please today’s young woman. But who knows?
    Let’s ask that iceman.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 18 2015 9:47 pm

      If you eBay, vintage aprons are probably in demand. Noticed a few mentioned in trendy spots a bit ago (Mad Men series driving nostalgia?). But obviously they are still selling and are around in some not-so-cheap places and magazines. (My mom had some but we learned very early to NEVER give her anything to do with the kitchen or the house for presents…she hated that or being reminded that she got stuck with housework by society’s rules or something.)
      Personally, I find wearing clothes the color of dinner in progress is the only sensible thing. (Art site gotten too demanding? Pooh, if not fun, not worth it. Heard Amazon is doing a arts/crafts/handmade venture now…)
      Now back to that ice man…who apparently is shaving off ice curls already around some states. brrrr.. PAw waves to princesses!)

      Liked by 1 person

  14. jannatwrites / Oct 19 2015 7:58 am

    I have an apron that I wear for messier cooking. It’s funny because my younger son likes to help in the kitchen so I bought him his own red apron at a thrift store. He was sooooo excited… best dollar I’ve spent 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 19 2015 12:37 pm

      Dollar stores rock. Which reminds me, need to stop in and find a kid’s raincoat for Molly as it looks like a wet winter…she’s partial to red.
      Sounds like you may have a chef growing…with luck you can eventually sit back and let him cook all of it! Yummy! (raincoats are probably a better choice in the kitchen than aprons for me…must remember to look for two. HA HA) Thanks for stirring in a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Erik / Oct 20 2015 5:45 pm

    This makes me miss the good old days … even though I wasn’t there for them.

    It also reminds me of a truly good read: The Right Thing To Say by Judith Martin (“Miss Manners”).

    I’m not a male chauvinist by any stretch; but there is a certain warmth and charm to aprons and heels in the kitchen, especially for holidays (and, hey, I’ll don the apron as quickly as anyone else in my circles, though I might pass on the pumps).


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 20 2015 7:15 pm

      At one time or another, everyone wants that sitcom life. (June Cleaver wore heels to appear taller as the two boys grew. The always present pearls covered a scar on her neck). Even kid antics never spoiled their holidays (Here’s the only Christmas holiday related episode of Leave It to Beaver. Thought you might get a chuckle.) Thanks for cooking up a comment…(FYI: Wellies make good kitchen shoes)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Erik / Oct 20 2015 7:17 pm

        Oh, I saw and remember every episode of Leave It To Beaver (as well as The Brady Bunch and probably The Andy Griffith Show).


  16. roughseasinthemed / Oct 22 2015 8:44 pm

    Cracking kitchen. I love it. Apron? I just wipe my hands on the back of my shorts …



  1. Cool Man. Cool. | Elements Hyperlocal Journalism Photo-blog

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