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The Mangle

mangle   My mother HATED to iron…seriously hated it with a passion.  I can remember getting a small play iron with ironing board…child sized that actually worked and got hot too(wouldn’t be allowed in today’s world…)

She started me off on hankerchiefs and by the time I was 6 I was doing shirts!  I loved doing it most of the time…except when my older brother would complain(now that I think about it, how come he didn’t have to do his own shirts?!)  Anyway, he was complaining about how there wasen’t enough starch on the collar and cuffs…I decided to give him something totally starched…I starched under the arms as well…trust me, that shirt was so starched it could stand by itself!  He never complained to me again.(when he got married, he complained to my sister in law when she ironed his shirts…he complained one time too many and she then had all of his shirts sent out to be done).

At some point, my mother convinced my dad that she needed a contraption called “the Mangle”…my brother and I always called it “the Mangler”.  The Mangle was a large rounded iron that had an attached roller.  You’d sit in front of it and you’d have a lever at the outside of each of your knees.  The one lever would bring the roller up or down and the other lever would cause the roller to rotate.

She’d sit there and everything would get permanent creases…everything, shirts, pants, tablecloths…everything.  My brother was in High School at the time and would always complain about the sharp creases that were in the front and back of his pants(usually khakis).  Mom always said unless he wanted to iron his own pants, he had to put up with the creases.  Until one day…the mother of one of his classmates came into the bakery and while there asked how Mom did my brother’s pant creases because her son wanted them(apparently quite a few of the boys wanted them) and he told her she didn’t do them right!   My brother never complained about the creases again…

til next time…Eva

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