OF TENNIS SHOES AND BLUE STOCKINGS

We were at the Sunday-evening service. We had sung some half dozen hymns and the pastor had just suggested we pray when a quavering voice from the back of the church asked, “Couldn’t we sing hymn 392 before we pray?”

My teen-age son leaned over to me and commented, “Probably no one else in the whole room wants to sing number 392 but because some little old lady does we’re all gonna stand here and sing it.” He smilingly shook his head with obvious admiration for the power of little old ladies.

We did stand there and sing it—all five stanzas.

Unquestionably little old ladies have suffered a bad press in recent years. Just mention the term and our heads dance with visions of the WCTU and the DAR. We joke about little old ladies from Pasadena, little old ladies in tennis shoes, and blue-stockinged little old ladies.

The implication is that they are the most inflexible railers against young whippersnappers who have committed the sin of being young.

Frankly, I don’t believe it. If anything, little old ladies are less victims of the generation gap than others. I see LOLs passing on their faith to be-jeaned, long-haired youths without getting hung up about clothes and hair.

After all, a little old lady in a Lord and Taylor dress topped by a sweater rescued from the Goodwill box has something in common with a teen-ager in an army surplus coat and overpriced blue jeans.

It’s those of us in our forties who get clenched eyebrows over such things, not the LOLs. They’re more culturally liberated. They’ve seen enough to know that what’s odd today may be high fashion tomorrow.

Contrary to popular myth, little old ladies don’t get shaken up by changes in the church. A new Sunday-school curriculum doesn’t seem to ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.

Tags:
Issue: