by Eva Pasco
live during a time when Ma Bell would have shuddered over how the telephone gave rise to cell
phones so technologically advanced as to spawn such aberrant behaviors as "sextexting" nude photos.
Yet, the Sixties Generation put itself on the line for all the neighbors to see—"clotheslines" with an
array of undergarments flapping in the breeze. Please allow me to come clean by sorting out my
dirty laundry where it all began inside a wringer washing machine.
The mighty wringer washing
machine consisted of a tub for washing clothes and its
infamous rollers. My mother turned a
crank while feeding garments one at a time through the gap in the rollers to
wring them dry. The
excess water wrung out of the clothing went back into the tub.
of automatic washers surpassed wringers in the sixties, our gal stood her ground in the basement, past her
prime. Resembling a stout no-nonsense nanny, her rollers squeezed the dickens out of our
clothing. Once in their clutches, those garments were flattened beyond recognition. Buttons
As you might
imagine, those rollers were very
tight, with just enough space to put a garment through when in use. You had to take care not to
get your hands or fingers sucked into the rollers for fear of
mangling. On more than one occasion my
mother had to put our nanny...ahem...the washer in its place if unevenly distributed loads
caused the machine to shake violently.
survived the rigors of the wringer washer, my mother would manipulate each laundered piece into its
original shape and toss it into the laundry basket. She was ready for the next phase--hanging our
laundry out to dry. I will come clean by airing my laundry in public with a
sequel to this article on "clotheslines."
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