The Little Lady Wearing a Hat and the Red Satin Dress

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(If you haven’t previously done so, reading the post If It Weren’t for Ruth Simonson and Reigelsbergers . . . will help familiarize you with Ruth Simonson before reading this post.  Reading the posts in the category “Barr Art Association” could be helpful, as well.)

Ruth (Severson) and LeRoy Simonson on their wedding day, June 20, 1959.  (Click on photo to enlarge.  Posting permmission granted by Ruth Simonson.)

Ruth (Severson) and LeRoy Simonson on their wedding day, June 20, 1959. Ruth met the "red satin dress" lady two months later. (Click photo to enlarge.)

Ruth Simonson, from Northwood, Iowa, moved to Rolfe, Iowa, in 1959 when she married LeRoy Simonson, a Rolfe native.  In August of 1959, yet a newlywed, Ruth went with LeRoy and Roy (her father-in-law) to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, with one of the “to-dos” for their trip being to look for a kitchen set.

While at the fairgrounds, Ruth, LeRoy and Roy sat at a table in a tent to eat a meal.  A little lady (appearing to be in perhaps her 60s or 70s)  sitting next to them asked where they were from.  When Ruth said they were from Rolfe, the lady asked, “Do you know Marion Gunderson?”  Ruth said that, no, she did not know Marion Gunderson, to which the woman retorted, “YOU don’t know MARion GUNDERSON???”

It turned out the lady was from the Ames area and played bridge with Mother (Marion).  All Ruth remembers about the little lady is that she wore a hat and a red satin dress.

Time passed and Ruth’s and LeRoy’s oldest child, Christopher, was three years old…old enough to sit and be read to.  Because of what the “red satin dress” woman had said, because Ruth enjoyed personal reading and reading to Christopher, and since Mother worked at the Rolfe Public Library, Ruth went to the library to “meet Marion.”    Ruth and Mother then developed a relationship leading Mother to inform Ruth, “You’re the only one from your township [Powhattan Township] that frequents the library.”  Because of their developing friendship and because Mother knew Ruth was new to the territory, Mother invited Ruth to Barr Art.

Ruth enthusiastically accepted Mother’s invitation.  Ruth had taken art classes in college and, “I just liked to paint.  I was busy raising children.  I think painting was a way to relax and to get to know people.  So I went to Barr Art.  This was maybe in 1962 but probably more likely 1963.”

Ruth and LeRoy recently celebrating another wedding, and soon to celebrate their June 20, 2009, Golden Anniversary.  (Click photo to enlarge.)

Ruth and LeRoy recently celebrating another wedding, and soon to celebrate their June 20, 2009, Golden Anniversary. (Click photo to enlarge.)

All because of a lady in a hat and a red satin dress…at the Iowa State Fair!

(More information about what Ruth remembers about Barr Art is posted toward the bottom of the “comments” section of another post.)

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One Response to “The Little Lady Wearing a Hat and the Red Satin Dress”

  1. Clara Says:

    I wonder who the lady with the hat and red satin dress might have been. We started playing duplicate bridge in Ames when we were in college (1963-1964), so probably would have known the woman; however, I can’t picture one who would have dressed up that much to go to the Iowa State Fair.

    By the way, Ruth and LeRoy will celebrate their 50th anniversary on June 20. Congratulations!

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