Monday, October 24, 2016


When I moved my desk from the second floor attic to the basement a week or so ago, I had dumped the contents of my desk drawers on a pile on the floor.  They sat there for a bit, and when I was putting things back where they had previously been, I found two items that I rarely think of, in fact had completely forgotten that I still had.

When I was a child - about eight years old, My Aunt Margaret came for a visit from the States.  She came almost every year and she always brought something for everyone.  I remember her arrivals so vividly because she came by grey hound bus and we always were the ones that went to pick her up at the bus station.  In my eyes she was a movie star - she was always dressed in a dress with a matching jacket, with a hat and high heels, gloves, and a purse - when she stepped off the bus, my heart went into overdrive - because she was so elegant and beautiful.

One year she handed me this.

If you are my age or older you might remember or still have one of these little treasures in a box in your closet.  All young girls had one, and we carried them around or brought them out, especially when going visiting or when people came to visit us.  Everyone had their own special verse that they would write when asked.  Mine is filled with verses and ditties from school friends, cousins, aunts, from that time.

Here are a few of my favourites.  The first entry is usually from the person who gave you the book - so My Aunt Margaret's sentiment comes first.

a couple more that mean so much are from my parents and my Great Grandmother.

Here is one from a second cousin..

"Gather a line for every page, that she may read in her old age!"

The words of Aunt Margaret's sentiment are reading so true to me - and how fortunate am I to be able to pick this little book up and read all the lines written by so many people - many who are no longer here.

I suppose you could say that social medial is sort of a "cyber" autograph book  - but sadly it's pretty much gone after it's written.  No one is going to be able to pick it up and see what was written to them in 10 yrs, or 50 years or even 80 years!

Yes -  80 years - check this out!

My Mother's autograph book...

Her front page was from her cousin - who gave her the book  April 21, 1936!

She too had entries from her brothers and sisters, her cousins...

My Dad from their courting days... he wrote the same thing in hers as he did in mine!  And he signed it "Sunshine Joe"?   

My Grandmother - hers is in German - I so wish I knew what it said.

And here is something that really blows my mind - there is an entry from my Mother-in law.  Gary's grandparents lived beside my Aunt in Chicago in the 30's and my mother and his had met when they were children - through my Aunt in Chicago.  When they were writing in each other's autograph book as children - would they even have believed that someday their son and daughter would meet and fall in love and marry?  How special is this!

I believe this one is from her teacher...

And then the special ones from her sisters...

This is an example where the past outshines the present.  This activity should be brought back again.  Children of today will never have something like this to pick up and read in their "old age".  Does it matter you ask?

I believe it really does.  These two little books have brought both myself and my husband such pleasure reading the verses and imagining the people who wrote them these past few days.

Yes - it matters!


  1. I have my Mother's and a book of my own signed by school friends. It is interesting to go back and read them..."yours till the mountain peaks and see's the salad dressing.'

  2. I well remember autograph books! Fun custom it was!
    When you get married and have two twins,
    Don't come to me for safety pins!

    Peaches grow in Florida and California, too,
    but it takes a place like Winnipeg to produce a peach like you!

    Those are two ditties I remember.

  3. Dale, I loved this entry! Somewhere I have my little autograph book from 1970. It's a hoot! If you would like the German transcribed, there are German Facebook groups who will help you. I've had Welsh postcards transcribed by kind people on Welsh Facebook pages.