Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Returning to Littlefield Presbyterian Church

In 2016 I was invited to speak to the ladies of Littlefield Presbyterian Church, Dearborn, MI, at their Spring Tea.  I spoke about Queen Elizabeth II, since she had just celebrated her 90th birthday two days before.

I recently received another phone call inviting me to return for their Spring Tea coming up on May 12th.  I gave them my list of topics and they chose Parasols, Fans, Hankies and Gloves.

I seldom present identical programs, so I went to Amazon's book section to see what books were available on those four items to enhance information I already had.  Three of the four books I ordered have arrived, and the other one should be coming any day.

The book on gloves is a used book, and it came from the Chicago Public Library [via the online book retailer glassfrogbooks].  

I'm most intrigued with the third book on hankies with the cute title, Hanky Panky,  because it was authored by Helen Gustafson [published in 2002]  one year before her death.

Helen was the tea buyer and manager of the tea service at the renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California.  She was also a tea service consultant to hotels and restaurants, and a lecturer on the history of tea - kind of like England's Jane Pettigrew today. In her photograph below, she does look like a dainty hanky type lady, doesn't she?

It was said of her:  "Ms. Gustafson was tea's ambassador at a time when diners sipped French roast and other strong coffees but thought tea was limited to Lipton." 

Her tea book, The Agony of the Leaves [published in 1996], has been in my tea library for many years with several lines highlighted throughout.

I can hardly wait to delve into these books and find interesting information to share with the ladies of Littlefield Presbyterian Church.

Do you collect gloves, fans, or hankies?  The Kleenex industry has almost made hankies extinct, and gloves have been relegated to the medical, food service, and gardening professions, or a wintertime necessity for keeping hands warm.  But Queen Elizabeth II can always be counted on to be seen wearing dress gloves.


  1. I like to collect hankies. I have special ones that I set out at Christmas and ones for Valentine's Day. Then there are other pretty ones that I just like to set out. One year at Christmas, I baked little individual bundt cakes for my quilting friends and wrapped them in pretty hankies.

  2. Great topic. I wish more ladies carried/wore gloves. I remember when we were in high school and a few years afterward ladies wore them to special events. Always was a nice comment to a smart outfit.

  3. I enjoy wearing gloves. My sister uses hankies. She does not like to use a tissue. Those books look so interesting.

  4. I would love to hear your presentation, those books look like treasure troves of information. I have a box full of old hankies that a dear lady at church gave me. She has since died, and I want to use the hankies in a quilt, but haven't decided quite how to do it yet. I do love vintage linens of all types, including hankies. I found fans quite helpful a few years ago when having hot flashes :-) but am not using them as much these days.


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