News Column

Snyder in style - Scurry County Museum hosts prom exhibit

June 25, 2014

By Josie Musico, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Texas



June 25--Snyder in style -- Scurry County Museum hosts prom exhibit

(Photos in DT local 06-27SnyderProm)

SNYDER -- Tandy Webb's proms were so memorable, the Snyder woman's dresses are now in a museum.

Webb's three gowns are among the displays at the Scurry County Museum's prom exhibit. The temporary display is dedicated to memories from those high school spring dances.

"It focuses on the history of the prom and the prom in Scurry County," said museum curator Danica Galbraith.

Visitors can view the dresses Webb -- then Tandy Brown -- wore each of the last three years until her 1991 graduation from Lubbock'sCoronado High School. A popular style at the time was knee-length with a bit of flare, she said.

"I remember going to the mall and looking in all the stores and trying on all the dresses," she said. "Back then it was so exciting."

A pink strapless dress she wore her junior year caught Webb's attention months before the dance, but was out of her family's budget. Unwilling to settle for less, she took on a part-time, after-school job and earned used the money to put the dress on layaway.

When the big night arrived, she went out to eat with a friend, then danced and made memories.

"It was more about hanging out with your friends and having a good time," she said.

Dresses in all shapes, styles and colors abound the museum, with accessories to match. A sign from a Las Vegas-themed prom is on loan from nearby Ira High School, while corsages from local floral shops can be found on a display table.

Browsing through the displays reveals dresses from present, past and farther-past.

"People like seeing the evolution of the styles," Galbraith said.

You can glimpse a mid-90s-era sequin-adorned turquoise ensemble, then go back a couple decades to see yellow and aqua-blue dresses with a sleek, simple style popular in the 1960s.

The pair come from the closet of Linda Cozart, a longtime Snyder resident who can remember sewing the yellow dress herself around 1965 with anticipation of the big night.

"We had a wonderful time, and we got so grown-up in our formalwear," she said.

The junior class decorated the scene and prepared a meal, putting extra effort into creating perfect memories. But because many of the Church of Christ and Baptist townsfolk of the time frowned on the idea of a prom, the event was instead dubbed a junior-and-senior banquet.

"In a small West Texas conservative town, not everybody was allowed to dance," Cozart said.

The title of oldest dress goes to one from Reba Miller Beck from about 70 years ago.

"It's a piece of history," said her granddaughter, Barbara Bailey, of Snyder.

Bailey's great-uncle -- Beck's brother -- was away in the military as his sister approached her junior prom at Ira High School. He sent money home so she could purchase the dress of her dreams.

Beck wore the pink dress to the dance and made some great memories, then treasured it as a family heirloom.

"She cherished it," Bailey said. "She still had the original box that she got it in in the mail."

josephine.musico@lubbockonline.com

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Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (TX)