Monday, 12 December 2011

A Treasure from Childhood

Inspired by my fellow-blogger, Natalie, who has been posting about her childhood secret spy diary (I love it) - I present a wonderful treasure from my childhood - my Autograph book. This is not the kind of autograph book that was used to collect signatures from famous people. Rather, it was used to collect very silly sayings from friends and family. When I was very, very young (back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth), this was a fad. Every one of my friends had an autograph book and we all wrote stuff in each others' books. And I still have my book from 50 years ago, somehow preserved through numerous life changes, marriage, children, moves, separation, deaths. It is a little the worse for wear, but miraculously intact nonetheless. 

The book is about 4 in. by 5 1/2 in. When it is opened, you find little gems like this one, written by my sister Marilyn - "If you someday plan to kiss him, Be sure not to miss him." 

We would take our books to school so we could write in each others' books at recess. I actually managed to get my teacher, Mrs. Read (what a great name for a teacher), to write in my book. Her entry is very school-teacher-ish - "May your life always be as humourous as the sayings in this book." She was my favourite teacher in grade school, and I was teacher's pet that year.  

Some of the poems are silly in a typical childhood way - "When you get married and get a divorce (spelled "divorse" here), Come to my stable and marry my horse."

This poem was written by one of the rare boys in my book - "Roes (he meant roses) are red, violets are blue, it easy to hide from a dope like you."  Our insults were just silly fun when we were kids. I suspect childhood is not so innocent now.

Some of them are very strange, like this one - "When you get married and have a husband and he ask for a drink, take (him) by the coler (collar) and throw him in the sink." Wise words to prepare us for adulthood. 

Some of the innocence is amazing to look back on. This one says "High on the Mountains, green grows the grass, Down came a billy goat sliding on his over coat." I can just imagine us all giggling because we knew what word rhymed with "grass". 

There are dozens of entries in my book. This is on the last page and two friends were vying for the coveted honour of being last to write in the book. The first entry says - "By hook or by crook, I be the last in your book (I hope)." The second was written by a different friend at a later date and says - "By pen or by quill I'll be darned if you will." It all seems so quaint now, compared to kids today with their iPads and cell phones. But what a treasure nevertheless!


Ronna said...

Love it! I have one of those too but don't know where it is. As I recall, my grandmother was the one who wrote that saying about being last in my book...

Sarah said...

What a great memory to still have!

Elaine said...

Hi Evlyn, I am delighted to become a follower. I love this post as it brought to mind a little pink autograph book which I had - I hope I come across it one day. In the mean time I have really enjoyed reading yours.