And The Winner Is….

Two weeks ago Ms. Jeannie held a little photo story contest on her blog with the chance to win this vintage photo…

The prize!
The prize!

Well, we didn’t have any entrants, dear readers. Not one! But that is okay by Ms. Jeannie. This gives her another opportunity to exercise her imagination!  She had been looking at this photograph for quite awhile now, trying to imagine all the scenarios and possibilities these two ladies could have gotten themselves into.  For days and days she looked and thought, but she couldn’t get beyond a sentence or two. Not even with the handwritten prompt on back that read Grace and me. I have on Grace’s hat and she has mine on.

To help the story develop, Ms. Jeannie threw two other photographs into the mix…



and then the story just opened up a like a sunny spring flower!

Here’s the situation, Ms. Jeannie came up with,  based on the three pictures…


Rudyard Noble just drove onto Main Street and already the telephone lines were hot with gossip. Word had it that Rudyard was here on a visit specifically to see Grace Dalton, who at the present moment was on a ladder in the rafters of her parents garage shed.  There had been speculation of letters exchanged between Grace and Rudyard over an entire year, but this matter was not discussed publicly. Speculation of the Mayor’s family had to be handled delicately, and as first daughter of Wayfaire, the politics and private matters concerning Grace’s love life, although enticing, had to be considered off public record, for the betterment of the community at large. No one wanted to get on the bad side of the Mayor with that temper of his flaring up like wildfire in the July heat.


That being said, this was a horse racing community, and quiet bets were being hedged in every household. Everyone knew that Sam of Sam’s Machine Repair was doing his best to court Grace all the way to the alter.


But now it seems there was to be some sort of competition for Grace’s heart and it was going to be tough. Rudyard was a self-made man with a booming business back in New York, with the looks of a movie star and the language of a literary lover. Sam on the other hand, came from more humble roots. He worked with his hands, studied engineering and fiddled around with the science of botony enough to surprise Grace with a hybrid of wildflower wonders in his backyard garden. The linchpin was that new car of Rudyard’s.

You see, Grace had a curious head for business. Not for the political glad-handing of her father’s world, but for the basics of profit and loss. She and Daisy, her very best girlfriend since grade school, had started a little hat business, which is what brought Grace into the storage shed on this very day.


Their business at first was just simple repairs…loose threads, ill-attached decorations, flopping flowers, etc.  These quick fixes garnered the girls enough money to go to the cinema once a week, where they delighted in the costumes of Joan Crawford and Greta Garbo.  Inspired, the girls began to feel the excitement in creating and then selling their own designs, based on popular movies of the day. Grace didn’t fancy herself as talented a milliner as Daisy, but she did have a special calming knack for dealing with customers and keeping the books figured correctly and organizing ads in the local newspaper. They became quite a little team.


That’s where Rudyard came in. Daisy had dreams of taking their business as far as Kentucky…to Lexington, the creative epi-center of the hat wearing kingdom. But Grace, although more timid in personality, had bolder ideas. She wanted to get to New York, to London, to Paris with their business. She wanted to walk in the footsteps of Coco Chanel and decorate the heads of movie stars and royalty.

Rudyard had left Wayfaire exactly four years ago this summer, and he was already such a tycoon in the New York business scene, he afforded his own fully furnished 5th Avenue apartment, a country Hudson River house upstate and now, his very own automobile. In their year of correspondence, Rudyard had become Grace’s university on big city enterprise, offering her step by step practicalities of what it would take to make it in Manhattan.

While this correspondence was building between Grace and Rudyard, Daisy was building something of her own as well –  a love affair with Harry, Sam’s brother.


In addition now to hats, Daisy also dreamed of wedding dresses and babies and a house of her own.  There was still lots of room for business in that head of hers, but Daisy was a prioritzer and Harry was arduant, so more often then not, Grace would catch Daisy sketching  farmhouses instead of feathers, baby clothes instead of berets.

All this wedding talk on his brother’s behalf, got Sam thinking about his own future. He sat back all summer long and listened to Grace’s lyrical way with the language of hats  and he wondered where he fit in to her whole new enterprise.  Grace might be shy when it came to words of love but ask her about a certain style of brim or the cleaning and care of a certain type of fabric and she could talk for hours. He loved the idea of her determination but he also loved the idea of having a wife. And in all of the word’s spoken from Grace’s pale pink lips, she never once mentioned the word marriage to Sam. He noticed this. He was listening hard for some prompt or sign to keep encouraging him down the road of matrimony.  He had grown quite used to Grace and he could picture her face settled into the same farm lifestyle that he wanted with her arms full of chickens and freshly baked bread and summer evenings on a porch in Wayfaire.

But now Rudyard is here, shiny and sophisticated and equally fond of Grace and her ways with language. Daisy’s gone to get Grace down from the rafters in the shed. She’ll have to pull the cobwebs from her hair and exchange her hat for Grace’s hat since Daisy’s style looks better with Grace’s dress.

Sam does his own rearranging. He puts on a tie – his one and only tie.  If today is the day he is going to propose, he at least wants to do it properly. Harry says it is a rash decision. Hang back and see how Rudyard plays out – those are the words of advice Harry offers as they walk the back road shortcut  to Grace’s house.


{to be continued} Look for more on this saga in coming blog posts!

Meanwhile, the trio of photographs is now available for sale in Ms. Jeannie’s shop here.


9 thoughts on “And The Winner Is….

  1. So far I have to admit I’m crying out for the girls to go their own way, because wedding bells soon mean babies, baked bread and household duties, no more nonsense in that pretty little head of yours, Oh! your going to have another baby, Wow!
    I will hope the girls hold out and look to their options, one which requires no brain to see the way things will go or the other, full of hard work, mystery, challenge and being in control of their own destiny.
    Sorry I didn’t enter the last comp, I don’t think I noticed it, probably because me and my new PC aren’t getting on too well just now. All the very best and I so love your stories. Mary ( Scotland UK)


    1. Oh thank you Mary for your comments! Don’t you worry – there are some surprises in-store for Daisy and Grace and the guys:) Definitely more to come on that front…

      In the meantime Good luck with that computer of yours. You’ll be an expert in no time!


    1. Your blog post was wonderful! Trunks and suitcases (well anything travel related) hold a special place in Ms. Jeannie’s heart! And you my dear came upon a true gem with those letters and the wedding dress! It reminded Ms. Jeannie a little bit of Martha Stewart’s story when she bought her farm Turkey Hill. The old soul that she bought it from left behind an attic full of history. Lucky Martha:)


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