Forever in chartreuse


County fairs are in the wind, and I am reminded of my nine years as a 4-H member and the color chartreuse.

My years in 4-H primarily revolved around sewing with cooking and canning thrown in for good measure. After all, back in the ’50s, those three most likely would be my primary vocation in years go come. I needed to do them well.

Chartreuse entered my life in the midst of adolescence with the arrival of those vivid pinks, oranges and greens. I surrounded myself with these bright colors in every way possible, and when I discovered the section on decorating your room as a 4-H project, the possibility of what chartreuse could do nearly froze my brain.

And my mother went along with my ideas. She bought the paint and handed me the brush. I did a fantastic job of painting — not a hint of the eggshell white wall could be seen, only bright, vivid chartreuse.

I finished the room with a red bedspread and red, white and blue print curtains, pillows and vanity cover. I had the coolest room ever, plus my creation won a purple ribbon at the Scotts Bluff County Fair. I could add decorating to sewing, baking and canning on my resumé. My bright future was set.

All things come to an end, and I moved out of my parents’ house and into my own complete with sewing, cooking, canning and decorating but no longer in chartreuse. The color was old hat.

My mother was left with that once coolest room ever, all in dark, vivid, forever indelible chartreuse. Despite many coats of paint, she could never completely rid the room of the color. The last time I drove past the farmyard where the house with the coolest bedroom ever once stood, I swore I saw a dust devil swirling around, and its color was chartreuse.

Enjoy the county fair and check for chartreuse. It’s back.


Joyce Ore

Joyce Ore writes delightful stories about life with a dose of humor and sprinkle of nostalgia. Her column appears Saturday in the Tribune.

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