Of Models and Make-Believe

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When I was a girl, Mama Sue, my daddy’s mother, sometimes took me along when she went clothes shopping at Nashville’s Cain-Sloan department store for my Aunt Emily, who was just eighteen months older than I. I loved the times when Mama Sue took us all the way up to the fourth floor and treated Emily and me to lunch in the elegant Iris Room. My favorite meal was a sandwich made with delicious homemade bread. While we ate, we got to watch a live fashion show.

Model wearing an afternoon dress, 1949. Courtesy Library of Congress.
This model is modeling an afternoon dress at Saks Fifth Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, about two decades before Mama Sue, Emily, and I saw our fashion show in Nashville, Tennessee. Courtesy Library of Congress.

Models strolled in and walked around among our small square dining tables wearing beautiful Cain-Sloan outfits. They stopped gracefully with one high heeled-foot in front of the other so that we could see their clothes in detail before they pivoted around to show us the back.

It was a little girl’s dream.

Yesterday one of our granddaughters and one of our grandsons were playing at our house. After a half hour of our grandson “the doctor” taking my temperature and checking my blood pressure and giving me shots with his Fisher Price medical instruments, our granddaughter wanted to play shopping.

We had already driven in our “car” to the doctor’s office, so now we piled back in to go shopping. Our car is a staircase where we can each sit on different seats. We buckled in with our “seat belts,” which were three of my scarves. As we stood at the bottom of the stairs after our second car trip of the afternoon, the staircase became an escalator. We “rode” to the top, walked into a “department store,” and began to shop.

Remembering my trips with Mama Sue, I told the children we were going to have a snack in the restaurant. While they ate their make-believe ice cream, I modeled for them, just as the real models used to do for us back in the 1960s at Cain-Sloan.

They loved it and soon were taking turns. When it was time for playtime to be over for yesterday, our granddaughter said that next time she is going to wear 100 things! Uh-oh! There goes my closet!

The models in the Iris Room encouraged us to buy the latest fashions from Cain-Sloan. It would be good for each of us to stop often and think about what we are encouraging others to do by watching what we model.

Paul was confident about what he, Silvanus, and Timothy were modeling for the Thessalonians. Speaking of one specific issue, he told them that the action that he, Silvanus, and Timothy had taken was . . .

. . . in order to offer ourselves as a model for you,
so that you would follow our example.
2 Thessalonians 3:9


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One comment

  1. I learned something new! I lived in Detroit, MI for a little while, but I never knew there was a
    Saks Fifth Avenue there! How neat!

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