Hens and Roosters

I spent the first 11 years of my life in a downtown Cincinnati apartment and had very little acquaintance with chickens, but I was always fascinated by them.  Our Grandma lived in rural Vandalia outside of Dayton, Ohio, and she had lots of chickens.  When we weren’t trying to avoid getting pecked by them or trying to chase them from the outhouse before we went in, we sometimes got to feed them.  I notice in this 1942 picture that Mother had made my little sister and me short sets for the summer.  This was very unusual because although my parents married as teenagers, my 20-something father went back to the early 1900s for his rules and he didn’t like to see his women in slacks or shorts.

We saw chickens in wooden crates in the butcher shop at the old Sixth Street market but otherwise, our only contact though the years has been at  county fairs. 

For Mother’s Day in 1994, my oldest daughter made two handpainted aprons for me which featured my favorite morning glories and a flamboyant rooster. 

After the aprons became worn, I cut out the painted portions, not being sure what I would do with them.    The remnants surfaced this past week and I made a wall hanging from one section – fusing the rooster and flowers onto a background fabric and adding borders. 

I didn’t want to put the other section back into a box for another 4 or 5 years, so I made a table cover with it, fusing and using a blanket stitch to sew it down. 

I like the bright colors and cheerfulness of the two pieces and especially like the idea that I’m able to get some more enjoyment out of this beautiful painting.

Published by


Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s