She Wore Slacks for the Occasion - by Melissa Taggart

On the opening day of testimony, Eva arrived at the courthouse dressed in a white trench coat; it was only buttoned halfway. The undone silvery buttons reflected every ounce of light as she stepped out of the car—underneath was a white pearled silk blouse. This wasn’t what made the papers, though.

I was one of those photographers who rushed towards her frenetically. All of us were dressed in frumpy coats, with pockets bulging of extra flashbulbs and film. Our battered russet Fedoras were pushed back on our heads so that the brims wouldn’t get in the way of the big cameras. Flashbulbs were popping indiscriminately, embowering her in heartbeats of bright light. You would have thought she was a celebutante. Like a mischief we scurried hurriedly on the scent of her. Hazel eyes replaced the pupils of every Tom, Dick and Harry…money, rigmarole such as this would certainly pay handsomely.

I forgot to take pictures along the way— I had no more use for orthochromatic film and darkrooms illuminated with red light. History was happening in front of me. Onlookers waited in the hallway behind perse velvet ropes hoping to land a seat in the courtroom. Visibly open-mouthed, they stood eyes fixated, in their midi length bias-cut dresses.
Eva winked and blew kisses as she passed by. She entered the courtroom to testify as a witness to a home invasion. She was once more flayed by the judge for wearing what her blouse was controversially tucked into. It was the slacks, they were the whitest of white. She was flagrantly disobeying the judge’s orders once more. The soberest of faces washed over Honorable Malcolm Rowe.

“You were told twice to put on a dress next time you entered this courtroom…”

The brown hardwood gavel hit the sound block.

“Found in contempt.”

She chose to smile because equality wouldn’t be reached without a bit of drama. This potboiler sold a record number of scandal sheets the next day… A win for womankind, just as she had hoped.

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Hi Melissa - I really enjoyed hearing a voice with this story. Somehow the voice sounded very much like a reporter, which made the story come to life even more. I know this fictional account is based on a true story, and it really comes across as an historic event. Brava for the writing! I hope you’re doing well, and that the new year has been gentle and kind to you so far.

Thank you- Julie! I hope you have a great new year as well. Health issues persist. I haven’t been as active here because of it. I hope that changes soon!

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Hello, Melissa. How are you? How’s your health? Hope you are getting better.

Hi, Lotchie. Still dealing with health stuff. My heart and kidneys are now undergoing many tests. Lots of stress! I’m trying to hang in there! Thanks for checking in.

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Oh dear, Melissa. I am so sorry to hear of your various health challenges. I wish there were some way I could help. Know that there are many of us thinking of you with concern and prayers.

Hello, Melissa, I was reminded of your story a couple of days ago, when reading an article on Quora under the headline, “Extremely interesting facts.”
It contained the story about Helen Hulick, a 29 year old kindergarten teacher who came to court in 1939, dressed in pants, to testify against two men accused of burglary.
This must be the case that you wrote about! I had never heard about it before reading your beautifully written story, so thanks for enlightening me!
I hope that you are feeling better, Melissa, and that you soon will get your strength back. We are many here at praying for your recovery. All the best to you!

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Thanks, Julie! It’s mostly stress currently. I’ve had so many tests! I’m just tired of it all, both physically and mentally. ‘If’ it is something I’d like to know what, that way I can move on with my life sort of deal.

I am so sorry to hear that, Melissa. Sending my hugs and prayer. Everything will be better soon. just keep on praying.

Thanks so much for your kind words, Lotchie! Hearing from you means a lot to me.

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You’re most welcome, Melissa. I keep on praying for your recovery. How are you now?

Thank you, Lotchie. I have another appt on Friday. I’ll know more then. I appreciate your friendship!

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