The Red Dress

Behind the scenes at the Red Dress Fashion Show

Behind the scenes at the Red Dress Fashion Show

Remembered for the Red Dress Fashion Show

I have two beautiful older sisters. My oldest sister used to baby sit for a neighbor, Mrs.Paseeka. When Kathy was a junior in high school, she was invited to the Junior prom. Mrs. Paseeka was delighted for her, and brought her two treasured gowns down from the attic as a gift for Kathy. Wrapped in tissue and stored in dress bags, one was mint green and one was deep red. They had cinched waists and yards and yards of netting under the skirt. Saved and cared for since her prom days, Mrs. Paseeka was excited to be able to pass them on to her young friend. Kathy thanked her, and brought them home. This was in the late sixties, and the fashion of the day was Go-Go boots, mini skirts, and tent dresses. Kathy did not wear either of the dresses to the prom, and explained why to Mrs. Paseeka. Mrs. Paseeka said she understood.

Two years later, my other sister was baby sitting for Mrs. Paseeka. And she was invited to the prom. Mrs. P. got excited, exclaiming, “Oh, my old gowns, I remember my mother taking me to a fancy little shop in New York for those. Do you still have them?”

Susan awkwardly said she wasn’t sure, but would look for them. Susan, too, did not wear either of the dresses to the prom.

Time passed. My oldest sister went to nursing school, got married. My next sister went off to college. My mother cleaned the attic. The mint and red net dresses went to Goodwill. And then it was my turn to go to the prom.

“Hey Mom, remember those wild dresses Mrs. Paseeka gave Kathy? Can I wear one to the prom?” But it was too late.

Three years ago I was at my dentist’s. Her office is right across from the Goodwill store. I needed a Halloween costume. And there, on the costume rack, was a red, cinch-waisted net-skirted dress. No, it was not a Mrs. Paseeka dress, but it was very, very close.

I wore the red lace and net dress at a recent dress-up event. Mrs. Paseeka would have been pleased.

Photoshop fun aside, I really was there.

The Red Dress fashion show was held at Birch Bay Village retirement community and raised over five hundred dollars for the American Heart Association. Members of the community volunteered, modelling their own red dresses, or dresses loaned by area businesses, and told the story behind the dress. .


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