Preservationist Helen Gage, known as “the Apron Lady,” will host a “show and tell” 3 p.m. Wednesday at East Ridge at Cutler Bay.
Gage will present her collection of folk aprons, and speaking about their history. She began collecting aprons in the 1970s, adding to her stock through finds at yard sales, bazaars, thrift stores or simply as gifts from friends or family.
Aprons may be eye-catching or unusual, prompting Gage to add them to her constantly growing selection of aprons. Whether vintage aprons from the 1930s or more modern kinds, Gage’s collection has climbed into the hundreds over the years.
After their heyday in the 1950s, aprons fell out of popularity. Gage is happy to see that they may be making a comeback.
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“After World War II, housewives wore them to look pretty in the kitchen. Today, younger women are refashioning them to wear atop jeans as a fashion statement. Just look on Pinterest and Etsy for fashion ideas,” Gage said in a news release.
When she is not adding to her collection, Gage works at the Bethel House Bahamian-American Museum in Perrine, which has exhibits of African-Bahamian culture and serves as a cultural center for Perrine residents.
Originally built in 1937, the then-dilapidated Bethel House was scheduled for demolition in 1995. Gage spearheaded an effort to restore it, and Bethel House eventually was moved to its current location at 18201 SW 102 Ct., Perrine.
Eleven years after its scheduled demolition, work on the building was finally completed, and it still stands, thanks to Gage’s activism. Gage will discuss Bethel House during her presentation.
The show-and-tell event will be held at East Ridge at Cutler Bay, at 19301 SW 87th Ave. East Ridge is a life-care community spanning 76 acres and offering a continuum of care, independent and assisted living, respite care, and rehab.
The Gage presentation is free, and the public is invited.