Sideglances
by SARAH GREENE
Jul 31, 2014 | 848 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Watching a 1941 vintage movie recently I was surprised to see a woman who was apparently wearing a skirt leap onto a horse astride. Then it dawned on me that she was wearing culottes, a fashion that far preceded today’s women’s revolution.

The word culottes describes a split or divided skirt or any garment which “hangs like a skirt, but is actually pants.”

According to Wikipedia, during the Victorian Era (mid- to late-nineteenth century) long split skirts were developed for horseback riding so that women could sit astride a man’s saddle rather than riding side-saddle.

The term “culottes” was co-opted from the original French definition of the word to describe these split riding skirts. Later, split skirts were developed to provide women more freedom to do activities such as gardening, cleaning, bike riding, etc. and still look like she was wearing a skirt.

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Not being able to attend the annual Texas Press Association convention n Corpus Christ last month, I relied on the TPA newspaper to catch me up on news of wider interest than the newspaper world.

The lead obituary described the eventful life of John C. Taylor, who was TPA president in 1975-76. It reported that he bought the Seguin Gazette in 1954 and built it into a publishing powerhouse that printed more than 30 other newspapers.

He died at age 88 in a South Austin hospital last month.

Today’s Seguin Gazette Publisher Jeff Fowler is quoted as saying of Taylor: “He left a legacy in Texas journalism and an unsurpassed example in public service—in ‘giving back’ — to his community that should inspire us all.”

Taylor attended San Marcos Military Academy, graduated from Gonzales High School and joined the Marine Corps during World War II. serving from 1943 to 1945. Upon graduating from Southwest Texas State University, he joined the San Antonio Light. He left the Light in 1954 to buy the then-struggling Seguin Gazette, and made it the first newspaper in South Texas to convert to the photo offset printing process. That was in 1960. He sold the paper in 1979 to become its “publisher emeritus.”
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