Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 181/365 Forgotten Bookmarks

This is Cheryl Ann. She sent this to Granny in 1968, when she was 13, from Alcalka, Spain. Some people look good in polka dots. Cheryl Ann is one of them (I'm not). At some point during the last 41 years, Granny stuck this photo in one of her books, and it ended falling out into my hands.

People forget things in books. A month or so ago in a book club edition of Outlanders (my favorite book), I found $25 dollars in crisp new bills, pinned to a note that explained they were Sharon's winning lottery ticket. Who is Sharon? No idea.

Sometimes people forget things in picture frames. This little buck-a-roo is a classic early Sixties 11 x 14 print, complete with rolled up cuffs on stiff blue jeans, cowboy boots, and a shirt that I'll bet was red gingham. I'll also bet this was taken after school, and this kid ran home to watch Roy Rogers and sing "Happy Trails to You ... until.. we... meet...again."

Sometimes the photos are older. This one dates to the 1940's, and not only are baby and mama included, but so's the boxer pup. The back says it's Balboa, California, and in their black and white world it's October 18, 1942. All three are handsome and stylish in that wartime way. This one hangs by my desk - I just like these folks.

No writing on the back of this one - I'm imagining a homeplace back on the farm, and this is one of the sons visiting home from college, all dressed up in his 1920's suit, hair slicked back, and watch fob chain just so. He's holding someone's hand - maybe this was the first time he brought His Girl home to meet the parents. Maybe they weren't impressed, so they just took the photo of him.

This plain early American house was stuck in a 1920's fishing guide. Looks to be a former log cabin, maybe an old roadside tavern, updated to the 1930's, with the original rock chimneys. When closely examined, it's actually a black and white photo, and only the roofs have been tinted green, with just a faint rosy pink glow at the distant tree line. This was common in the Fifties. Marshall Oils (kindof look like pastel crayons) were used to colorize black and white photos.

And then - the ultimate find in a book:

A will.

Found in a 1953 Guide to Montgomery Alabama. Folded carefully, and tucked tightly in.

Don't worry -it's in pencil, and clearly labeled "copy" in the upper righthand corner.

It's addressed to Elizabeth, and mostly everything goes to her, nevertheless, there's quite a bit of specification:

Portrait of Great Grandfather William Armistad, 2 vases on mantel in livingroom, Sayre genealogy, some Virginian families. The blue and silver basket for sugar. Half of flat silver (who got the other half?) Chinese vase that was Rosalie's. Divide the china (but doesn't say among who). Sheffield tray on sideboard.

And then:

I leave Elizabeth my diamond crescent pin and my gold circle pin that I received on my fiftieth anniversary -given me by Philip's relatives. They are suppose to be in chest of drawers in living room.
(Signed) Lucy B. G. Trout

One may only suppose she means the pins are in the chest of drawers, not the relatives.

If any of these forgotten bookmarks belong to your family, send me an email. I'll keep them safe and sound, until I hear from you.

Actually, I'll keep them safe and sound even if I never hear from you. Cause I'm just like that.

Well, except for the $25 lottery winnings - that sucker is long gone.

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