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By Ginger Bonner

Rosie the Riveter
A few years ago, the theme for "National Assisted Living Week" was "Traditions of the Heart" and I decided to portray that by dedicating
each day of the week to a different era. Needless to say, I worked very
hard that week. One day I was a flapper for the 20's, sock hop costume
for the 50's, hippy for the 60's and a disco queen for the 70's. I found my old clothes in the attic at my Moms house!. Well, the week was
coming together, but I was having a very difficult time coming up with
something appropriate for the 1930's or 40's. I was stumped. So I went
to my residents and asked them what they were doing during the 1940s. Most were young housewives but then someone mentioned that she worked as a welder while the men were at war and that's when
it hit me!

Some of my girlfriends belong to  a motorcycle club. They are a
group of strong women doing charity work all year round. The Cycle Sisters  use "Rosie the Riveter" as one of their logos and I had just seen it on a flyer for an upcoming charity comedy show benefitting
Leukemia Society and Suicide Prevention. That's when I put two and two together and Rosie the Riveter Day began to be formed.
I thought the costume was going to be my challenge, but it turned out all I needed was a denim shirt with some round buttons. I wore short jeans and work boots and a flashlight hanging from my belt. That left her iconic symbol trademarks, her hair and the red and white bandana. I started doing research. I found a wonderful website and after a few phone calls, Ethel the Riveter, my resident, and I became special guests on their site "Women's Memoirs" run by Kendra Bonnett found here:’s-bandana/.

GingerKendra interviewed Ethel and myself from my office telephone and she felt like a star, especially when I printed it out and had her sign copies for other residents. It was a superb day . I can't find the exact video I used for creating my hair but if I did it again, I would use this video to create the look of Rosie on myself.
It took me an hour to do my hair with all the bobby pins, but I did it. I dressed up all the residents in Rosie bandanas. I cut out strips from fabric I bought at the art store but they have beautiful commemorative bandanas on Kendra's site.

The whole day was full of information about life in the 40's and how hard some women had to work and we thanked Ethel for doing something so patriotic to really help our country. It was nice to see her so proud. Although we were celebrating Rosie and learned the history of these women, the day was really about Ethel. She is even on a you tube video dedicated to Rosies and at the end it features her as
the oldest living Rosie. I can't find it but just again, take a second to look at who your residents are. Everybody has something to offer!

Happy Rosie the Riveter Day!

Ginger conducts her rockin’ themed programs for the young fashioned senior with love, learning, music and laughter, her ingredients for a great day! Her mission is to empower incredible senior citizens to feel young by creating a youthful attitude, because attitudes are catchy! Do you like Ginger's creative costumes and activities but don't have the time to coordinate these programs yourself? Learn more about Ginger's business, "Created Young", where she brings her themes right to you. Contact Ginger at


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