A project I’m working on has me deeply buried in local newspaper clippings from the 1930s. It’s a nice place to be.
Not necessarily the newspaper clippings — they’re yellowed and fragile and, frankly, a little musty — but the 1930s themselves.
I know. I know. It was the Depression. It was the Dust Bowl. But at least on the pages of the local newspapers (the Portales Valley News, the Portales Daily News, the Curry County Times and the Clovis News-Journal), it was a more civilized time.
When was the last time you attended a “delightfully informal reception” that featured “a very attractive punch table”? Has your “delicious luncheon” ever been decorated with a “color combination of orchid and yellow”? If it was, then my truest wish is that your “very refreshing punch, cakes, open face sandwiches and mints were in the same color combination and were as palatable as they were attractive.”
After one of these festive feasts, it was not uncommon to “repair” (my new favorite verb) to an event at the newly-opened Eastern New Mexico Junior College, where one might be fortunate enough to encounter Miss Goldie Wickham, the young assistant professor of English, described by a reporter as “a lady with an unusually pleasing personality, making of every acquaintance a friend.”
More tea? Oh, yes, please. That would be lovely.
Betty Williamson still isn’t sure what hostess candles are, but she plans to find out and start using them. You may reach her at