I saw something today that made me chuckle so I thought I’d share it with my children and also with you. But first you have to understand that even though I own the E. 48th street market with my husband, Charlie. I am also a realtor and have been since 1984. So what happened today occurred while I was out previewing houses.
I walked into the bedroom of one house and there on a dresser were a number of hats with hat pins inserted in them. Some of you may not even know what a hat pin is but it was a very useful and often decorative necessity in the 30’s and 40’s.
My mother had one that she always kept on her dresser and it intrigued me. One day when I was about 5 years old I asked my sister, 12 years my senior, how it worked to keep your hat on and she told me that you put it through the hat and stuck it into your head. Needless to say that was not a pleasant experience. But that was not the chuckle part.
My mother lived in New York City by herself in an apartment on East 43rd Street until she was 92 years old. She had lived in the same 5 block radius for 86 years having lived on East 45th Street until she married my dad. We couldn’t persuade her to move either to Georgia to be with us or to California (where she eventually did move at 92) to be with my sister and her family. To say she was stubborn is an understatement.
My mother did volunteer work at the church and very often walked home at night alone. We worried about her safety doing this so late at night but she assured us she was well prepared. She said she carried a hat pin in her coat pocket and that was her defense weapon. Now we were truly concerned. Supposed she accidentally stabbed herself with the hat pin. Couldn’t happen she assured us. The tip of the hat pin was embedded in an eraser. I guess she figured she could be quick on the dismanteling and stabbing. She didn’t see the humor in that when we all had to laugh but it sure gave me another chuckle when i saw that collection of hat pins.