Every time I hangout with my Grandma Nancy, she teaches me something new. She’s brilliant. And she has the best stories! I just spent the week at her house and I think I’m still full from all the delicious bites she served! Delicious. Grandma and I share a love of antiques. I’ve been to enough antique malls and auctions to know how much value ‘something old’ can have. But even though I like to look at nice things, and even have nice things, the value of antiques is not what I care about. It’s about a unique find. Antiques carry stories with them.
My Grandma showed me something I had never heard of, a High School Memory Book. It didn’t belong to her; she picked it up at a sale. It’s a handmade book, tied with a shoestring, filled with handwritten notes and poems. The memory book belonged to a girl named Elizabeth “Betty” from her high school days in 1925. It’s filled with all things sweet, strangely silly, and even a little saucy!
I could not stop laughing at some of the things they wrote! Betty must have a wild side because a guy named Ed Burke wrote this in her book, “The sea is wide, the land is level. Come to my arms, you sweet little devil!”
That’s not all. Mary Fawsett wrote, “High as the heights of heaven, Deep as the depths of hell, Here’s to the girl who can have a good time, and has sense enough not to tell.” Oh. My.
“When you get married, and your husband gets cross, pick up a broom, and say ‘Now who’s the boss!'” -Helen Davenport
“What say Betty! Bread is bread, cheese is cheese. What’s a kiss without a squeeze?” -Margaret
“Remember me on the mountain. Remember on the lake. Remember me on your wedding day. For I want a piece of cake.” -Mildred Laggard
“As sure as my dad’s cow has a tail, my love for you will never fail.” -Rosaline Kaplan
“Here’s to the girls that steals, lies, and swears. Steals into your arms, lies there, and swears she’ll be true.” -KAO
“When you are married and spanking six, think of me between the licks.” -Perry Gibson
“What we admire, we see in looks. What we value, we read in books.” -Mary Payne
Something that absolutely surprised me was a note that mentioned Frederick! It was written by a girl named Dorothy Lee Sampson, who said, “When you look upon this page, think of all those happy days up in Frederick with Mrs. Dawson.” I’ve been living in Frederick nearly a year and a half now, and even though it’s not my hometown, Frederick is my home. This is where I met and fell in love with my (soon-to-be) husband. This is where uprooted my life and my photography studio, after six wonderful years in Savannah. So, reading a floppy paged book from 1925 might seem silly, but when I came across that page the said, “all those happy days up in Frederick,” I felt a connection. That is what makes me adore ‘something old.’
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite pages, written by young Frances Sherman, “May your life be like arithmetic. Your joys added. Your sorrows subtracted. Your friends multiplied. And your enemies divided.”