PATSY R. BRUMFIELD: Wavy fabric waves way into my heart

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

My hops are growing so fast in their new arbor that I haven’t had time to make a “family banner” to adorn its peak, but I’m getting there.
What should it look like, I asked myself.
I thought about a nice red or blue triangular flag to flap festively in the breeze, and about some kind of family “crest” to debut on the banner.
But then, I felt like the latter might be a bit misunderstood, especially by the animal lovers in the neighborhood. You see, some years ago, my children designed a crest that included a deceased skunk with yellow highway stripes across its midsection, a la “Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road.”
As I ponder the current issue, it seems that the family actually has made a conscious choice for the fabric: seersucker, the original blue-and-white.
Once, my son had a serious girlfriend with objections to the wavy, striped fabric. I determined she wasn’t going to last, and lo and behold, I was right.
My new daughter-in-law embraces the choice, and we embrace her right back. My son even bought himself a pair of dark, royal blue suede shoes to wear with his seersucker suit(s), shades of Elvis and Atticus Finch.
My daughter’s beau wasn’t raised on seersucker, but we’ll boost his affections now that he’s being located to New Orleans. No one hoping to survive a well-dressed Big Easy summer can or should disdain it.
One Friday during the recent legislative session, I got a Tweet that a friend-senator was wearing seersucker, declaring the day Seersucker Friday, a comparable development to the U.S. Senate’s Seersucker Thursday called for one hot day in mid-June.
History claims that in 1907, a New Orleans clothier started the fashion rage to make summer wear more comfortable by designing a light-weight suit in the pale blue and white striped rumpled cotton fabric. “Seersucker” is an Anglicized version of Persian words meaning “milk and sugar.”
I recently recommended the all-white seersucker to a young friend with a wedding on her to-do list. I think she thought I was kidding. Oh, what a lovely fabric for a rambunctious wedding when you don’t have to worry about wrinkling “the gown.”
It’s been a happy vision to see photos from friends’ children’s beach weddings with the groomsmen all attired in seersucker Bermuda shorts and flipflops. That’s my kind of a party.
Seersucker research tells me that its “bunchy” weave gives the fabric its cooling effect by holding it away from the skin, facilitating heat dissipation and air circulation.
It also means that pressing is not necessary, a personal requisite.
So, folks, if you’re riding through Old Tupelo and catch sight of a seersucker flag flapping atop a hops arbor, you may not see the skunk, but I’ll be nearby.
Patsy R. Brumfield writes a Thursday column for the Daily Journal. Contact her at

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