Through Any Given Door

1.04 Lucky Strike Girl

1945 • Sonora ~ At five, Betty opened her first business. She admired the ads featuring Lucky Strike girls wearing long gloves, short skirts, high heels, and satin pillbox caps, and particularly applauded the ingenuity of the lacquered trays they carried like a personal shelf supported by a strap encircling their pretty necks.

Getting up early one Saturday morning, she set to work constructing one of those trays from a cardboard box she got from the store, borrowing a belt of Dad’s for the strap. Then she made a little flat-topped cap from stiff butcher paper, mixed flour and water in a bowl for paste to glue it together, then braided a half-dozen rubber bands for the chin strap. While she waited for the pasted flaps to dry, she spent the next couple of hours carefully cutting out glossy pictures from Mother’s stack of ColliersMcCalls, and Good Housekeeping magazines using Mom’s good sewing scissors.

By midday my sister set up shop in front of the Sonora Inn, sporting a pair of Mom’s long black gloves and clopping back and forth in a pair of her dress heels, hawking pictures to passers-by, singing, “Cut-outs, cut-outs, two-cents a cut-out. Or get yourself a deal, three for a nickel and you get yourself a steal!”

Within the hour Mom heard from a customer about the new commercial endeavor, hotfooted over to the Inn, and with smoke steaming from her ears snatched Betty by a braided brown pigtail and stomped around the corner, hauling my sister home by her hair, heels dragging and pictures flying, chewing her out royally for embarrassing the family like that.

Betty knew enough not mention the thirty-two cents she’d made which was jingling in the bottom of her white shoulder-strap purse.

© 2017. Catherine Sevenau.
All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. I hope Betty didn’t give up on her creative and entrepreneurial talents!

  2. James Chatfield says:

    Cathy, this is cute, and as always I enjoyed it.

  3. You always make the reader feel like they are an actual observer in your stories. This one tickled me right down to my toes.

  4. Jean E. McQuady says:

    I can picture this scenario so clearly – what a hoot.

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