Friday, April 1, 2011


I have two books sitting in my living room and one in my car. No, I don't read while driving, but I carry it with me in case I'm going to be in a waiting room or if I go to the park on a rainy lunch hour. These three books were all loaned to me by two different women....much earlier this year. For some unknown reason, the books just haven't caught my attention, but I'll keep trying.

There is a book that I have been reading. It was printed in 1939. It's a true story full of hopes and dreams. It's a book about finishing the old, and about new beginnings. It can be read frontwards or backwards, or opened to any page at all.

I don't know why I picked up this book. The high school is nowhere near me and I don't know any of these folks. Perhaps I just wanted to read all the signatures and sayings. Or look through the hairstyles that were popular in 1939. But I've thumbed through it a few times. I'm amazed at how friendly and courteous the students were to each other as they bade each other farewell. How nice it is to read "...a swell fellow..." as a compliment. Here are some of my favorites:

Lots of luck and don’t drink too many coca-colas

Voted Best Dresser. I say “Ditto”!

To the best______?

To a darn nice fellow.

Smooth Sailing

You certainly do dress the part

And the names are amazing. No baby is given any of these names anymore:Muriel, Gertrude, Blanche, Beatrice, Althea, Elsie, Herbert, Clifford, Roderick, or Edwin.

The young gentleman whose book this was, was on the Basketball team, Championship Intramural Swimming Team, Print Shop, Usher and Guard Service, P.S.A.L. Pins, Blue Cards. (I don’t know what all of these were, but he was busy!) The quote underneath says: “Strong and content I travel the open road.”

I can't help but wonder if these folks were truely prepared for what was to happen in the world once they left school, started families, or joined the military. Did they keep those happy, young students within them? How many went on to become successful business persons? How many went on to teach, maybe you or me?

There was one young woman who didn't get a chance to do that. On a page dedicated to her, I read about one of the happiest, most charming persons in the school. She was the third girl in the school ever to be elected to G.O. presidency.

"She revelled in the simplest things, in frankfurters for instance. Whether strolling past the counter in the five-and-ten, or stopping at a road-stand in the middle of a bus ride, El would order frankfurters.

In her grammer school days, she was pure tomboy, climbing trees and walking off with the best marble-players' marbles."

Those of you who have been with me for a while know that I love looking into the lives of folks from our past. Finding this book was a real treat for me. But, you already knew that, didn't you ;)

By the way, I'm typing this post in true html, adding in paragraph breaks and everything. Blogger is having some sort of problem, so this is my work-around. Cool beans, huh?! I guess you CAN teach an old dog new tricks ;)


Maria said...

Oh, I love old yearbooks....what a find! Beatrice was my grandmother's name and my sister's middle name and we call her Bea! Blanche is an aunt's name and a cousin's name! Love that you found those names!! And one of my dearest friends is Elsie (she is 81!). The only person I know with that name!

I love "Don't drink too many Coca-Cola's"

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Hi Maria,
How lucky that you know ladies with those lovely names. Those were some of my favorites. And I've never met anyone named Elsie! Maybe the next generation will like the unique-ness of them, and they'll come back into fashion?

Firefly Mom said...

My 15 y/o son is a WWII buff and apparently it has rubbed off on me a little more than I'd thought, for my first thought when reading that the date was 1939 was: "How many of those young men in that yearbook never came home from the war?" Like I said, blame it on my son. :)

I do love the sweetness and innocence of the sentiments. It sure was a different time...

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Hi Firefly Mom,
How lucky that your son is interested in such an important part of history! And as a mother, naturally, your first thought was about the boys. Mine, too.

Thank you for stopping by to comment, and keep encouraging your son to explore history :)

Mug said...

Wandering through an old yearbook like that ..... As a child, I could sit in a corner for hours with my parents' old yearbooks and photo albums and become totally immersed in wonder at the thought that they had lives "before me" ...... Even now(or last year when I was teaching:), the day the yearbooks were passed out was almost like a holiday ...the students were sooo excited to sign and have signed :) And invariably those who finished work early would pull out their yearbooks to read and reread what friends and teachers had written.