The largest city that I explored when I was young, was New York City, New York. I was poor and touring on pennies, unable to afford much more than the thrill of the big city sights that I was seeing.
I recall vividly being invited into a small fur shop on one of the finer streets downtown. I had paused to gaze over the fur coats displayed in the window of the shop, when the proprietor came out to invite me in. I demurred by reason of being penniless, but he insisted most kindly that I come in. The furrier was a slender, fussy, little man. Today I would understand that he was gay but then I thought of him as innocent of desire. He gracefully brought out several fur coats for me as if I were a starlet or loved by someone of wealth. I stood passively as he held them up to me, picking and choosing the one that he wanted to see on me. Then he chose a mid-calf length fur coat of spotted dark gold red fur, a leopard, cheetah or ocelot. I was too young to know. The furrier showed me the price tag as a tease, the rare fur cost a fabulous amount. He shrugged as if he thought that meant nothing to me, then swirled the coat onto me. It draped my young healthy body perfectly. The furrier had me twirl and posture. His eyes glowed with pleasure at seeing his beautiful coat modeled by me. I knew that my long dark gold red hair complemented the fur coat and I luxuriated in the furrier's approval. I was almost seduced by the extravagant of it. But the dead pelt of that beautiful coat was just a little stiff and it smelled of the animal sacrificed for it, so it did not matter that I had not and would never have the money for that sort of luxury. I did not want it anyway. I gave no hint of my feelings, only smiled and thanked the furrier for the experience before I hurried on my way.
Caption: Fur Coat Modeled by Annmarie Throckmorton—long ago when I was young.