Betty Barr Boilesen

The Blue Hat - Going to the Picture Show


As told by Betty Ann Barr Boilesen


Perhaps you have seen my Shirley Temple doll sitting on my dresser. Oh, how I loved to play with that doll as a child. And I love to look at that doll as an adult and remember when I was twelve years old and Shirley Temple was my idol.


One day my mother came to me and said "Bettty Ann, how would you like to go to Grand Island tomorrow to the picture show and see "Heidi"? "Oh yes," I replied. Oh, the excitement I felt. We were going to the city, for we lived in the small town of Cotesfield.

We traveled to Grand Island on Saturday with Aunt Tay and Cousin Eudean. When we arrived in Grand Island we parked the car and went shopping, first at Kaufman's Department Store. Kaufman's was right next to the picture show. I remember my mother taking my hand and going over to the shelves where the children's clothes were located. There, on a shelf, was a royal blue hat with white fur around the edge and a lovely tie that went under the chin. Mother put the hat on my head, my blond hair gracefully hung down the sides and my bangs upon my forehead. I looked in the mirror. Oh, it was perfect! I looked so grown up, I thought. When mother said she would buy it for me, how important I felt!

Now I was going to be able to go the picture show with a beautiful blue hat with white fur that tied under my chin. As we stood waiting in line for our tickets I thought I must be the most beautiful little girl in the world. Could everyone be looking at me in my beautiful hat? As I walked down the aisle of the movie house I was sure everyone was looking at me.

It was time for the movie to start. Carefully, I took my hat off and placed it on the vacant chair beside me. Intently, I watched the movie wishing to be that little girl, my idol, Shirley Temple.

When the movie was over we left and were standing outside talking with Aunt Tay and Cousin Eudean. All of a sudden my mother said "Betty Ann, where is your hat?" In the excitement of the picture show I had forgotten my hat on the seat next to me. We rushed back into the movie house to look for my beautiful blue hat. Oh no, it was gone. It was no where to be found. Sadly, we all walked out. My hat was gone. I felt like crying my heart out but instead, trying to be brave, I said, "Well, if someone needs my hat more than I, then let them have it!"

I only had that little blue hat for a few short hours but I shall always remember it and how I must have looked that day.


Shirley Temple in her red velvet costume from the 1937 movie "Heidi"