"Remembering a Piece of Remnant" by Merial Brown Hall, Class of 1970


Remembering back when I was younger, because we were not rich, my mom used to sew some of the best and most beautiful dresses for us 5 girls. 

So lacking sufficient funds as I attended the Adult Education Center, I reverted back to this thrifty method to make a new dress to attend the AEC.  I also went to the same store my mom used to go to to buy a piece of fabric.  I headed to Krauss Department Store.  As long as I can remember, Krauss always had a huge bargain table filled with all kinds of beautiful leftover fabric or remnants.  From that bargain remnant table I picked out a wonderful piece of fabric and, from it, made an A-line dress.  I was so proud of my new and beautifully made dress.  (My mom taught us girls well on how to sew.)

Krauss Department Store, 1962

Krauss Department Store, 1962

The first day I wore my dress to school, Mrs. G. (like my mom) complimented me on the dress.  The love in her eyes as she commented on my dress touched my heart.  She made my day!  After her loving, lovely, affirming comments, I told her that I had made the dress.  She proceeded to further compliment me on a job well done and she said she admired my creativity.  Her comments on how talented I was boosted my self-esteem off the charts that day.  And to this day I can still remember that interaction; it’s a keepsake of my heart.  

Mrs. G. always saw a roomful of possibilities for us.

Also, with graciousness and sincerity of heart and in an amazing soft and delicately kind and sensitive voice, she remarked that my dress looked familiarly like her new draperies.  (That’s when I realized I had chosen a piece of drapery remnant to make a dress.)  Wow!  However, because of that unexplainable, gentle-spirited way in which Mrs. G. brought this to my attention I was not embarrassed by it.  (There was no malice intended in her tone.)  Mrs. G. did it in a way that was amazingly pleasant and considerate.  She had a way of speaking that was always full of grace.  I knowingly knew her comment was dispensed and seasoned with a force of love out of this world.  As always and each and every day at the Center, Mrs. G.’s love for us was so full.  Her speech to us was purposeful, gentle, truthful, loving and thoughtful.  A blessing to us all.  She handed out to us wonderful treasures of love from her heart.  She made my spirit sing that day.  She built me up in love that day as she pointed out what a fashionable and creative idea I had.

Mrs. G’s comments on how talented I was boosted my self-esteem off the charts that day.  And to this day I can still remember that interaction; it’s a keepsake of my heart.

Mrs. G. was genuinely kind and loving in all her interactions with me, with all of us.  She did not flatter me but more sincerely went on to celebrate my creativity.  She had an amazing nature which was stamped with concern for others.  Always one to point out our potential.  That day I was singing with pride.  She had in her heart super-sized goodness.

Mrs. G. always saw a roomful of possibilities for us.  She saw a roomful of beautiful, talented and smart young ladies.  She had a super-abundance of love for us.  (It reminded me of a mom’s love for her children.)

Mrs. G. was one who turned everything into success.  She had this spirit about her in which she transferred this same spirit of strength to us, helping us, empowering us, making us ready to enter the business world with a self-esteem so high nothing could pull us down.  Her gentle goodness was evident in every word she spoke and in every action she exhibited at the AEC.

Merial Hall Reunion Photo.JPG

In conclusion, the majority of us who attended the AEC can testify to the fact that Mrs. G. was so loving and caring, always lifting us up, propelling us higher; tenderly ministering, serving and providing for us.

Her wonderful nature was as precious a commodity as the skills we gained at the AEC.  We were precious to her and she always sought our wellbeing.  She was a ministering angel, always guiding and providing us with her love.  

P.S.  I loved that dress and proudly wore it many days at the AEC.  Mrs. G.’s sprit of love still remains with us today.