Comes the end of August and children with their parents are concerning themselves with getting ready for the trek to the halls of learning. This means shopping excursions, for no one would ever go back to school unless togged nearly exactly like classmates.

At least, that is the way it was when we were children and, to a somewhat lesser extent, when we went on shopping sprees with our own youngsters.But - times, they have changed!

Far be it for me to criticize the next generation for its casual dress, but still it surprises me when I see young girls, hair crimped and standing out, wearing shorts and T-shirts, barefoot sandals and looking so self-assured as they ponder the most expensive clothing in the most exclusive of stores.

Remember white gloves? As soon as a young girl reached teenage years, it was assumed that from then on she went to Salt Lake City to shop for school clothes, church clothes, or clothes for any occasion at which she was expected to dress and act "ladylike."

It was quite a chore to keep the gloves sparkling white through the seasons of wear. Even wintertime called for white gloves, unless one was so affluent she could afford genuine calfskin gloves, which fit snugly. It was very easy to lose one calfskin glove. Young people nowadays don't lose one calfskin glove; they are much more likely to lose one contact lens.

As I notice the calendar I nearly succumb to a fit of nostalgia. How I long to buy the right plaid dress for my first-grader. But if I were shopping for a first-grader now, she would prefer jeans and a Levi's jacket, I'm sure. No stiff petticoats for today's little girls.

Crimped hair of today is sort of like marcelled hair of a couple of generations ago. Flappers had their hair marcelled. There were marcel irons that had to be heated in a stove but were not unlike the crimping irons of now.

My mother was never good at fixing my hair, although she would occasionally wind my shampooed locks in rags that would make the hair curly by morning. For Sunday-best, she would heat the curling iron on the stove until it sizzled when spit upon, then she would curl the hair and burn the ears, this last certainly unintentional!

I venture to say that not many youngsters in our society wear made-over clothes. How could a pair of Dad's old pants be fashioned into name-brand jeans? And nobody, absolutely nobody, would wear a skirt made from old pants, even if the only part of the pants showing lots of wear was the seat that would be discarded in fashioning the skirt.

I can't condemn today's fashions or even the children or adults who wear them. I envy them! I wish I were young enough and brave enough to go to a fancy store looking like I just finished canning a bushel of peaches.