by Leslie Koresky
When families had just one T.V. –
A “black and white” for them to see –
And certainly no DVD,
Before there was a shopping mall,
And no computers to install,
And friends could only make a call
On phones that plugged into the wall,
And kids played baseball in the street,
No air conditioners for the heat,
When candy was a nickel’s treat,
And movies fifty cents a seat,
It was the rule that children dressed,
When visiting, in their very best,
With shirts and skirts all cleaned and pressed
And hair all combed and never messed.
And so it was so long ago
My mother had me dressed “just so”
In lace and ruffles, sash and bow
Beneath the summer sunshine’s glow.
With Mom and Dad I drove away.
At Aunt and Uncle’s we would stay,
And with my cousin I would play
And spend our Sunday summer day.
My mother dressed me all in white.
My dress, my socks, my shoes so bright.
I must have been a fetching sight.
A brilliant glow of angel’s light.
My uncle loved to tell this tale,
And hardly ever would he fail
To laugh and merrily regale
About his niece, so clean and pale:
The sun was strong, the day was hot,
So ice cream cones the family bought.
Vanilla? Coffee? they all thought.
But chocolate’s what I liked a lot.
They filled the scoop, my eyes went wide.
I fluttered happily inside.
Excitement that I couldn’t hide.
Then dress and chocolate did collide.
A chocolate mustache on my mouth.
And soon the melting mess went south.
In my collar, down my chest,
A muddy mess on all the rest.
As sunshine warmed the creamy stuff
I couldn’t lick it fast enough.
My poor white dress could not contain
The treat that dribbled down like rain.
Along my arm and down my leg.
My mother soon began to beg
For me to stop my eating spree,
But this cone got the best of me.
Oh, down it flooded in a rush.
That fudgy, sludgy, gooey gush.
With white left hardly anyplace
My clean clothes gone – without a trace.
The chocolate ice cream finally splashed
My lower legs and soon attached
Itself in icky, sticky locks
To deep inside my ankle socks.
With ice cream gone,we all arose
And went to get my cousin’s clothes.
Warm, clear water filled the tub
For my frothy, foamy, soapy scrub.
As Mom removed my drippy dress
And shoes and socks and all the mess,
She realized to her despair
That it was in my underwear.
That dress my mother put me in,
So clean and crisp, neat as a pin,
Was such a soggy chocolate fright
I never dressed again in white!
So many times throughout the years
My uncle chuckled through his tears
While telling of that summer day
When my mother threw my clothes away.