The year my grandparents sold the house in town and bought a small travel trailer, I stopped by while Mama was cleaning out the house. In the pile of trash she had tossed into the yard I spied Mother’s scrap book and rescued it. It was from the final year of high school through her junior year in college. I was stupefied that Mama still had it, and that neither she nor Mother thought it worth saving. Sunday while cleaning out a stack of items stashed in bags in the linen closet, I found the bag that had the remnants of the scrapbook, either having long since forgotten where I had put it or simply had not had time to think about it. Most of what was in the bag was trash–things I had saved like the notebook from my student teaching in 1973 (and I have no idea why I would have thought it worth saving, let alone bringing to Mississippi 30 years after the fact).
I carefully sorted the empty pages to throw away (the tie that held the book pages together had long ago fallen apart) and looked at the pages for photographs or other items I wanted to keep. I had seen the sketch below several times, glued to a scrap book page. The artist seems to have been a woman named Daphne (the signature with its big looping B, y, D, p, and e) appears to read “By Daphne.” Based on the dates in the scrap book (1944-1947), it could have been a high school friend or a college friend. The woman has hair, eyebrows, and clothing typical of the 40s. Short box jackets of shaggy knit or fur were popular, as were sweater clips. While her wedge, ankle strap open toe shoes were also the style, can you imagine this young woman trying to walk on feet this tiny? This was the era of pin-up pictures and the glamorous movie stars–several of which were in Mother’s scrap book as well.
It is not as well-documented as A Hundred Years Ago and Sheryl’s grandmother’s diary, or Merhling Muse and Anne’s letters from England. There have been so many things I have thought of in the last 3 years of “I should have asked Daddy about that” and “Why didn’t I ask Mother about that?” I know a lot about my family, but there is much more I wish I knew.
Mother in her yearbook pictures as high school freshman, college freshman, sophomore, and junior.