Ally Hirt didn’t agonize over what to wear on the first day of school.
She put on the same yellow dress her great-great grandmother made in 1950 for her daughter’s first day of kindergarten. It has been worn since by every girl in the family – including her grandmother, mother, aunts and cousins – on the first day of school.
Ally, who attends Park Elementary, was among hundreds of children to start school Tuesday in Durango and Bayfield. Kids in Ignacio and at Mountain Middle Charter School started Monday; Cortez starts Wednesday and Pagosa Springs starts Sept. 6. A few districts in the region started last week.
Ally, 5, is the 17th girl in the family to wear the dress, said her mother, Jenny Hirt, who wore the dress in 1981.
“She calls it the special dress,” Jenny Hirt said. “She’s excited to be part of the tradition. ... She’s also really excited to go to kindergarten.”
The bib dress has embroidered purple flowers, puff sleeves, a ribbon that ties in the back and purple and yellow plaid trim. It is in perfect condition, still bright with color.
“Super timeless,” Jenny Hirt said. “It’s held up remarkably well. They don’t make things like they used to.”
The dress has been worn in seven states: Michigan, North Carolina, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, Ohio and Florida.
The dress next travels to Oregon to be worn by Jenny Hirt’s niece, who starts kindergarten next year.
“It’s something special that we can all share,” she said.