A Look Back: Culture of Years Gone By
The other day I ran into a friend at the grocery store who graduated from Lansing High School in 1940. We started talking about how things have changed culturally through the years. She was in the same class as my cousin, Jim Studdard, and it made me remember Jim as a guy who didn’t hesitate to tell you what he thought.
Back in the days of the 1930s and early 1940s, we did not have much money for fancy clothes, but we did have our school clothes and our Sunday clothes, which were real special. Also, we all made a point of dressing up for church. The ladies all wore hats and their best dresses to church and the men wore suits and ties. The men all wore dress hats too, and would remove them the minute they got into any building. My dad always “tipped” his hat whenever he spoke to any lady, regardless of where he was. All through the '40s, most men wore a dress hat and a freshly ironed shirt under that suit coat.
I remember one time at church when I was about 10 years old I had a shirt and tie on but did not wear my jacket. My cousin, Jim, came up to me and said “where the heck is your coat?” He let me know right off that I was not dressed properly. When all the ladies could go without wearing a hat in church, it caused quite a controversy. I still like to see ladies wearing hats. There is something very classy about it.
Some writers say the Depression in the '30s caused the lack of people affording to be able to dress up. I still think fashion prevailed regardless of circumstances. I guess it is all in how you are brought up. In the '50s we enjoyed the show, “Leave It to Beaver." I marveled how Ward always had a suit and tie on and June did the cooking and cleaning in what we considered “too dressed up."
People nowadays do not have “proper topper” protocol. I call it no respect when I see ball caps in any building and clothing in church that should be worn at the beach.
A man or boy should always remove their hat or cap, and stand during the Flag Salute. It’s called respect.