I have a quick note about my title. This is probably the only time this old lady is going to be fine with the word "antiqued". I certainly don't feel expensive, and probably haven't kept my beauty either! Maybe I should change it to "vintage littlegirl".....
I was born in Decorah in a long time ago (That's all I'm going to say about that!). My father was a farmer towards Ossian and my mother kept up our lovely old home. For the first few years that I can remember, Decorah was on par on with what I heard about big city living. In those days following the Depression my family didn't get into town much, and when we did I was always amazed at Decorah's size. Block after block of stores downtown! Restaurants! All sorts of people! There was almost too much eye candy for my young eyes! Father was always somewhat cranky when we made the trip (a true Norweigan farmer, constantly pushing things along as he had chores to do back home before the day was over). Looking back, I realize it was my mother that truly savored the trip. A young woman in her late-20's with three small children. My, what a treat it must have been for her to get back to civilization. We would visit Decorah's clothing stores and spend forever looking at the fabrics and patterns. I have a feeling that my mother relished sharing the experience with her girls. It was about the only time we really had any real "girl time". I look back fondly. A lot of those stores are gone now, but have been replaced perfectly. I always tell anybody: If a woman needs an outfit or a hair appointment, all she needs to do is start at one end of Water Street and start walking. By the time she's finished she will have everything she needs!
Later on, when I got into my teens, trips to town became part of the routine. I remember going to the old Grand Theater downtown and taking in the stars of the 1950's. There were a few nights when Tony Curtis and his smile would still be on my mind long after we had pulled out of town.
Roz Weis has a wonderful regular column in the newspaper. It's called "Echoes of the Past". It's full of great little tidbits. I always take time to look at the picture that is posted at the top. It is a panorama of Decorah from a long time ago. It's amazing how much this little town has changed over the years, but still keeps finding a ways to be charming and beautiful. I guess you could say that after all these years, this "antiqued little girl" still thinks Decorah is the big city that has her heart.