Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Bette and Minnie: A Tale of Two Coats

Bette and Minnie. Vicki and Norbyah.

 Two were sisters living in the Illinois Valley. Two are friends who at one time were both living in Hong Kong (see how I had to write that, Vicki?)

I like to imagine that Bette and Minnie enjoyed an occasion to get dressed up and socialize in the supper clubs around the towns of the Illinois Valley. Some of those supper clubs remain like Garzanelli's in Oglesby or Bartley's in La Salle, but I've always wondered what they were like in their heyday. I'm sure these ladies were well recognized in the area since Minnie was a member of the family who owned a local grocery store and an Italian restaurant and Bette joined the US Coast Guard and was given an honorable discharge button for her service to her country.

Vicki and I are also fans of the nightlife.  Live music, a good glass of wine (or several), and late night shenanigans.  Any evening with her never ends before 2am. Time just seems to fly when I'm having fun with her.

Bette was also an eager collector of antiques and enjoyed traveling. She'd been to several countries in her lifetime. It's fitting that Vicki now owns her coat because roughly a week after we took these pictures, she moved back to Scotland.

I wonder if Bette's travels ever took her there.

My research revealed less of Minnie, but I imagine she was perhaps more happy to stick close to her family and their family owned businesses.  She was active in her community, involved in women's clubs and local food organizations, kind of like me.

I'd like to think that Bette and Minnie and Vicki and I would have gotten along fabulously. Vicki and I both love stories from the past, and I'm sure these two Illinois Valley sisters would have had many to share with us.

When I showed my mother-in-law these vintage gems I'd scored at their new Salvation Army Store, I was amazed that she recognized Minnie Ferretti's name.  I decided to keep her coat because it was bought in a now-closed shop right in La Salle called Salzer Furs. I liked the label.

I wonder what Bette and Minnie would think of our little shoot in this small residential alley near Stanley Market. Or our silly posing in front of Vicki's camera while both of us were literally dripping with sweat. 

Wearing fur coats in Hong Kong during the month of August is not recommended.  Hot weather aside, I'm so glad we squeezed this little picture op in before Vicki left Hong Kong for good and these two coats were separated by oceans once again.


Unknown said...

Very very cute!! Love the vintage fur on you two xxx

Kremb de la Kremb said...

This is such a sweet, special post! The pictures, the styling, the friendship. All of it is quite neat.

And Norybah? Where is this wall? I can't believe I haven't seen it!

Oh, this is a good one N.


Ann from Kremb de la Kremb

Sheela Goh said...

Sheela hearts fur, faux or otherwise, and these are droolworthy.

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Hannah | The Outfit Repeater said...

This is the best story of two vintage fur coats I've ever read! Well.. it's also the only one. But I still really like it!

Hannah | The Outfit Repeater

Norbyah said...

Thank you Hannah. I can't believe the response I've had and the most amazing thing is a connection to the maker of these fur coats. I will be sharing that post soon.

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