'One day, the 1920s story goes, a young man asked a city girl if he might call on her. We know nothing else about the man or the girl--only that, when he arrived, she had her hat on. Not much of a story to us, but any American born before 1910 would have gotten the punch line. 'She had her hat on': those five words were rich in meaning to early twentieth-century Americans. The hat signaled that she expected to leave the house. He came on a 'call, ' expecting to be received in her family's parlor, to talk, to meet her mother, perhaps to have some refreshments or to listen to her play the piano. She expected a 'date, ' to be taken 'out' somewhere and entertained. He ended up spending four weeks' savings fulfilling her expectations.'--from From Front Porch to Back SeatBailey, Beth L. is the author of 'From Front Porch to Back Seat Courtship in Twentieth-Century America', published 1989 under ISBN 9780801839351 and ISBN 0801839351.