I must say, it was quite a lot of fun awaiting the announcement from the Vatican about the new pope.
I have always been a fan of St. Francis, so I thought the name a good choice.
The tailors in Rome who are charged with making the new pope's papal outfit were very much on pins and needles, pardon the pun. There is no way for them to know what size the pope will be so there are always three outfits made: small, medium and large. Before the conclave starts, the three outfits are delivered to the Vatican and left in a room next to the Sistine Chapel. The new pope must dress in his vestments quickly and appear on the balcony to bless the crowd.
Once or twice the outfits have had to be altered in haste. There have been several plump popes and some very athletic ones. Safety pins have been called into play many times. You only see the front view of the pope, so what happens in the back stays in the back.
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The first time the pope is seen in public he wears a white wool cassock with a white cape. Popes wear white so they can be easily identified in public. The cassock is held together by 33 silk buttons, which symbolize the years of Christ's life. The pope also wears a white hat that looks a bit like a beanie. Bishops wear one in purple, and cardinals have one that is red. Since people's head sizes and the amount of their hair varies, there also have to be three sizes of these.
The last item are the pope's shoes. Popes wore red velvet slippers embroidered with a gold cross until the 1960s. Now the popes choose their own style of footwear. I personally love the red moccasins. I wonder if that is something they take bets on in Las Vegas.
* If you have always wanted to start your own business and need help The Don Ryan Center for Innovation will offer advice from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month. The center is located at 400 Buckwalter Place. The group also will help those who want to take their business to the next level. Some innovators with business ideas may be offered space in the incubator.
* Easter is one of my favorite times of year. Everything is fresh and beautiful. When our children were small, we would spend Easter Sunday at Matthew Peeples' house on Pritchard Street. Matthew loved children and always offered to hold Easter egg hunts in his yard. We sometimes had as many as 30 children joining the fun. The grown-ups enjoyed drinks while the hunt was on, and then we would share a beautiful lunch in the yard overlooking the river. Once in a while, we had entertainment. One of my favorite Easter Sundays was the time Joe Jordan, who was about 12 then, beautifully sang several of his favorite gospel songs.
I hope you have a new chapeau or frock to parade about in. If you get up early enough on Easter, there are several sunrise services you can attend. You can just go in your most comfortable clothes -- so you can hop out of bed and watch the sun come up in your night clothes. Either way, it is a joyful time, so relish the newness of the season.
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.