Do you remember the TV ads about “Ring around the collar”? I don’t know what sparked my memories of those old ads. Something did, and with those memories came a cascade of others.
I remember those rings on the collars of the shirts I wore. Mom would rub the collars of each shirt together with a bit of soap.
I must have been in grade school at the time. I would wear a shirt twice. I started the week with a fresh shirt. After Monday was over, while I was changing for bed, I would take off that day’s shirt and hang it in a particular spot in my closet. Tuesday, I put on a clean one. I don’t remember if I wore the shirt from Monday on Wednesday or hung Tuesday’s shirt next to Monday’s and used Monday’s on Thursday. Why I was wearing a shirt twice, I don’t know. Perhaps it was my mother’s idea. I don’t remember.
I do remember Mom’s first washing machine. It was a wringer washer. My parents stored it in the shed where the gardening equipment and other things dad wanted to keep went. Mom and Dad would pull it out into the yard and fill it with hot water from a hose they ran into the house. Mom would wash two or three loads. Mom had to run each piece of clothing through the wringers mounted on the top of the washing machine. My sister and I were warned away from the contraption. Those wringers would crush fingers if given a chance. And they demolished a fair share of buttons. About the time I entered Junior high, we added a large room to our house. In it was a place for a new washer and dryer. I don’t think Mom missed the old wringer washer a moment.