I love hearing my parents tell stories about what Hibbing was like long before I arrived on the scene. Stories from my Dad are great and usually involve some kind of shenanigans, but stories from my mom (who is not from the Range originally) also have a special quality.
One memory from my mother that sticks in my mind is her relating impressions of Hibbing when she was making the decision to take her first teaching job here after graduating from college in the 1960s. Her face always takes on something of a rosy glow talking about all of the ladies dress shops that were downtown at the time as well as The Golden Door Bookstore (which honestly just sounds enchanting). Apparently there was a sign up in the bookstore for an upcoming ballet to be held in the breathtaking Hibbing High School auditorium and that sealed that deal.
It's a story with very little plot and scant detail, but nonetheless I've always found it magical. I try to imagine what it was like for my mother, the excitement of one's first post-college job. To be in a little city where rough and tumble mining roots and realities stood side-by-side with beautiful dress shops, ballet performances, and auditoriums with velvet seats and chandeliers made of crystal imported from Belgium.
The Golden Door Bookstore came and went before my time, as did the multiple fancy ladies dress shops--although I do remember fun trips to Feldman's and staring through the glass at all of the fancy fashions in LaBoutique as a kid.
There is something inherently fun in getting dressed up, even if there is no preordained occasion. There's also something pretty fun about uncovering the fancy in Hibbing, especially when many claim it does not exist.
It genuinely makes me sad to hear women talk about loving a dress or a fancy piece of jewelry only to follow the statement with the idea that they can't possibly wear either around town. I glance over my shoulder at these comments wondering if some sort of posse has banded together since I've lived out of town that enforces a strict dress code in which blue jeans are queen and dresses are verboten. I'm pretty sure said posse does not exist, at least not outside our own minds, which perhaps become preoccupied with what those around us are wearing and thinking.
So, recognizing that pattern. I'm offering up a challenge. On the evening of Thursday, June 7, 2012 lets bring a little fancy back to Hibbing. Take some time for yourself. Get dressed up. Feel pretty. The occasion? No other reason other than it's Thursday and why not?
I don't know if anyone else will get on this train, but on that night I'm planning on doing my hair, putting on a dress that makes me feel fabulous, and hitting the streets of downtown Hibbing . I want to look at the city with fresh eyes and celebrate all of the beautiful things and people that make it great.
Care the join me? The more the merrier. Watch the new I Heart Hibbing Facebook page for event details within the next day or so.