Tonight I dragged Raymond off to “town” (Madoc) to attend a fundraiser for the Central Hastings Support Network, an extremely worthy local organization. It runs (among other things) the Helping Hands Food Bank; a program to help people do their income tax; and Central Hastings Public Transit, which allows people throughout the region who don’t have their own transportation to get to jobs, school and medical appointments.
What made me want to attend this particular event was not just the fact that it was for a very good cause, but that the evening’s entertainment was a fashion show, with the fashions modelled by local residents. It was (as are so many things I love to do these days) an echo of events from my youth, when I was growing up here at the Manse in Queensborough.
Back then, you see, such fashion shows were very popular. I remember early-1970s fashion shows at the high school (Centre Hastings Secondary in Madoc) with students modelling the clothes lent by businesses both local and as far afield as “big-city” (not really) Belleville – looking fantastic in those late-hippie-era fashions (think wide-leg trousers and platform shoes) because they were so young and slender and good-looking. (They even modelled swimsuits and looked good in them!)
When I look back on it, I think the reason for the popularity of those amateur fashion shows back then was that people didn’t get to larger centres with any regularity the way they do now. When you lived in or near little Madoc, you shopped by and large in Madoc – or from the Eaton’s or Simpson’s catalogues. To see fashions from as far away as the trendy shops in the then-brand-new (and wondrous, to us) Quinte Mall in Belleville was rather a thrill. And to see them modelled by people we knew – to see those folks dressed to the nines and loving it – was just a great deal of fun.
Simple pleasures, in simpler times.
So I wanted to attend this evening’s event, held at the historic Armouries building in Madoc, to see if a little of that small-town magic was still there. And I was not disappointed. Why, even Raymond – who’d consented to go only because he is a very nice person and he knew I would like it if he did – had a good time. The models did a splendid job, the clothes were nice, the sound system was appropriately small-town terrible, the girls and young women from the local dance studio who performed during the intermission were sweet and graceful, and there were raffles for some nice paintings by local artists. (Sadly, we did not win.) And it was all for an excellent cause.
And – this being Madoc – it was all over by 8:30 p.m. Just in time for supper back at the Manse!