"The Basic Rules For Clotheslines."
We had a long wooden pole (clothes pole) that was used to push the clothesline up so that longer items (sheets/pants/etc.) didn't brush the ground and get dirty. You had to wash the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes-walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around each line.
1- You had to hang the socks by the toes-not the top.
2- You hung the pants by the BOTTOM/cuffs-not the waistband.
3- You had to hang the clothes in certain order, and always hang
"whites" with "whites" and hang them first.
4 You never hung a shirt by the shoulder-always by the tail! What
would the neighbors think?
5- Wash day was on a Monday! Never hang clothes on the week-
end, or on a Sunday for heaven's sake.
6- Hang the sheets and towels on the outside line so that you
could hide the "unmentionables" in the middle (perverts and
7- It didn't matter if it was sub-zero weather...clothes would freeze-
8- Always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry cloths!
Pins left on the lines were "tacky!"
9- If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each
item did not need the clothes pins with the next washed item.
10- Clothes off the line before dinner time neatly folded in the
clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.
11- "IRONED"???!!! Well, that's a whole OTHER SUBJECT.
A clothesline was a forecast to neighbors passing by,
There were no secrets you could Keep...
When clothes were hung to dry.
It also was a friendly link,
For neighbors always knew
If company had stopped by,
To spend a night or two.
For then you'd see the "fancy sheets",
and the towels upon the line;
You'd see the "company tablecloths"
with intricate designs.
The line announced a baby's birth,
From folks who lived inside,
As brand new infant clothes were hung,
So carefully with pride!
The ages of the children could,
So readily be known
By watching how the sizes changed,
You'd know how much they had grown!
It also told them when illness struck,
As extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too,
Haphazardly, were strung.
It also said, "On vacation now",
When lines hung limp and bare
It told, "We're back!" with full lines sagged,
With not an inch to spare!
New folks in town were scorned upon,
If wash was dingy and gray,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows,
And looked the other way.
But clotheslines now are of the past.
For dryers make work much less.
Now what goes on inside a home,
is anyone's guess!
I really miss that way of life,
It was a friendly sign when neighbors knew each other best.
By what hung on the line.