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Pantyhose and the possibilities

By Staff | Feb 27, 2009

In the process of taking down my parents’ Christmas tree this year, I was reminded of my first powerful relationship with pantyhose.

For the first 23 years of their marriage, my folks had a real Christmas tree. In 1975 when Our Own Hardware in Underwood unveiled their artificial trees, my mom was the first in line to purchase one. After years of crooked tree stumps, hopelessly shaped branches, and a living room carpet with enough pine needles to share with all seven continents, she was branching out in a completely new direction. “Christmas Queen” was the name of the new tree, and she was full, grand, and did not require a 5-gallon bucket with sand to keep her vertical.

The entire family marveled at her beauty and lifelike appearance –even though we had passed on the silver tinsel tree years earlier. We now felt like we were in the “in crowd” with our Christmas Queen tree –complete with an aerosol can of pine scent!

When it came time to dethrone our Christmas Queen, we quickly realized there was no way we could stuff her symphonic green tapestry back into the original box. We tried everything — sitting on the box, compressing, and still the contents of the box were out of control.

My mom, who always had a bag of helpful hints, exited the living room and returned seconds later with an abundant supply of control top pantyhose, mainly “suntan in color with reinforced toe,” and a scissor. She whimsically started cutting off the bands from the tops of these hose, which had more runs in them than a good ski mountain. The removed circles looked as if they could barely fit around a cantaloupe. Before my very eyes she performed a miracle as she propped her foot on top of the box and began to stretch this mini circle over a huge square box! Wow! I had never seen anything like it. Her resourcefulness was paying off. Soon the rounded stomach of the box was nice and flat. She smiled and said, “How’s that for tummy control?”

Once I discovered the power of nylon, I quickly realized why 64 million pairs of nylon hosiery were sold when first introduced in 1940. Not only could women have great looking legs, but they could recycle these babies to no end.

It was not until 1959 that pantyhose were introduced, and this gave nylons even more spirit, as ladies quickly learned the power in the top of a pantyhose band could constrict an army if need be.

My mother once said: “I’ve known a lot of trouble in my time–and most of it can be fixed with steady prayer and pantyhose.” You see, women resolve not to worry. Instead, they slip on their get-up-and-go pantyhose, brew a good strong cup of java, and take it as it comes. Today men tend to worry and speculate much more. Looking back at the early history of America, our founding fathers did accomplish much — such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. I believe it was because they allowed themselves to wear….stockings, hosiery if you will! They did not have the stimulation of nylon, but only silk. Think of what could have been if nylon had mingled with a powdered wig! Maybe all current men on Wall Street should give pantyhose a try. After all, they need all the support and control they can get!

My mom was fond of rag rugs and once had an entire rug loomed out of several tan shades of hose. It was placed by our back door when Lyndon Johnson became President, and it is still hanging around to witness the Barack Obama presidency. Nylon is tough all on its own, but weave it together with rug warp and I know our great-grandchildren will still have this underfoot.

I can personally tell you the wonders of pantyhose related to my profession as a professional photographer. I once witnessed a bride who could have easily rested a coffee pot or two on her back ledge. She selected to stroll down the aisle freely and without support of pantyhose. As she passed each pew, guests'[ heads bobbed like yo yos, many in sync with the motion of her mobile perking coffee shop.

“Pantyhose Appreciation 101” includes the above examples, and let us not forget:

Pantyhose for drying onions

Pantyhose as ties for plant support

Pantyhose for art projects (who could forget the time you stretched a nylon on a metal hanger and created a thanksgiving turkey)

Pantyhose when you have overspent at an auction sale and need to tie the trunk shut

Pantyhose when you want to look ultra-smooth in your disco pants

Pantyhose when you need extra blood flow to your brain for plenty of stimulation

Pantyhose for leaning hollyhocks

Pantyhose for storing summer bulbs

Pantyhose for a strainer (if using for chokecherry juice, please wash beforehand!)

Pantyhose when tight enough will sharpen your power of observation–after all your eyes are bulging!

Pantyhose for slivers of soap

Pantyhose died green to support sagging Christmas tree branches

While you take some time to think of more pantyhose uses, let me share with you some “No Nonsense” recipes that, when in a pinch for what to cook, will give you plenty of support!

Repnow is a Rugby resident

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