Leslie's Omnibus

Down Memory Lane

It's funny how a snippet of conversation or a bit of something you've read can touch off a flood of memories. Mamacita managed to do this today with her riff on how much she hates ironing.

It opened the floodgates on how much the Princess Mom also hated that dreaded task. (Okay, the Princess Mom didn't like anything that caused discomfort on any level.) Anyhow, it reminded me of a time in my childhood when she found the ultimate weapon against slaving for hours over an ironing board -- the day she found an Ironrite Mangle at a garage sale.

I don't think she paid more than about ten dollars for that big green behemouth, but she had to convince Darling Daddy that it was worth the time and efffort to scare up a couple of neighborhood manly-men to stuff it into the "way back" of the family station wagon, haul it home, and cart it down a narrow staircase to our basement. I think it probably cost a case of beer in addition to her initial ten dollar outlay,

From the day it arrived, that sucker got a daily workout. The Princess Mom mangled cloth diapers, underwear, tableclothes, handkerchiefs, shirts, blouses, dresses, dungarees, curtains, sheets, pillow cases, cowboy suits, even socks -- if you could run it through a roller, she starched the bejeepers out of it.

She didn't shed a tear when we made the move from Cleveland to Chicago... except when the decision was made by Darling Daddy that hauling the dreaded contraption down to the basement was bad enough -- he wasn't paying to have it hauled back up.

Whoever is living at 6087 Delores Boulevard in Brook Park, Ohio may still have the big green behemouth in the basement. If they do, I hope it's still working. Of all the "mod cons" that came out in the '50s and '60s, that's the only one I can recall that really did make life easier.


JihadGene said...

The Ironrite rocks! Thank God I never had to move one.

Anonymous said...

OMG! That thing is huge and I feel sorry for you Les. Happily, as an adult, I don't iron anymore... too bad if I'm wrinkles match the rest of me!

I love the old disco - but I did attend Disco Demolition - free games at Sox park back in the day, so don't tell anyone. :)


El Capitan said...

I've got an Ironrite Model 88, and it's one of my favorite pieces of furniture! (Probably 'cause I never iron with it!)

I'll post something about it on BP this week.

Venomous Kate said...

OMG, I'd completely forgotten about my grandmother's Ironrite. But you're right -- the thing definitely made life easier. I know this because *I* was the one who had to use it whenever we visited. My grandmother assured me it would "build up character", but the only thing I seem to recall it building was a pile of pressed clothes that I was too tired to put away.