Looking at my first grade photos, I see that I wore bib overalls and sported what was called a GI haircut.
My parents were poor cotton farmers and that kind of appearance was not at all unusual, yet there were enough town kids in our class who wore the nicer clothing to make us realize there was a "better class of people" among us.
By the time I reached the third grade I had begun to realize the situation and with a lot of griping and persuading my parents allowed me to graduate to denim jeans.
Denim jeans would wear in the seat and knees and mom would take patches from the old overalls and cover the holes so the bare skin didn't show through. Kids can be cruel and guys and gals like me took a lot of flack about the worn out clothing.
While shopping with my wife just before Christmas (a job I don't do willingly) we were walking through the clothing department at a store in Conway and I saw a sight that shook me up somewhat.
On the denim jeans rack there were some faded out pants with holes in the knees and, um, some other more intimate places. They were fully worn out and all that was missing for them to look like the clothing we were so ashamed of was the patches ... and the price? They were more expensive than the new ones.
My wife said "that is the style these days." Why couldn't that have been the style back in the 50s - aarrrgh!
Dewitt Rowlett of Vilonia is a native of Possum Trot Community, five miles west of Swifton. He writes of his life in rural Arkansas and is gaining quite a fan club of people who are of the nostalgic persuasion. Comments can be sent to him through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.