Friday, August 21, 2009

Found Treasure

The other day Craig brought up a long lost box from the basement filled with my old books, and a forgotten treasure—my grandmother’s high school algebra book, copyright 1929.


My paternal grandmother grew up in a small town in Ontario, Canada.  She eventually married an American (her brother’s wife’s brother, got that?), moved to the states and became a U.S. citizen.  She had three children, including my father, survived two husbands, and led a very full life until she passed away in 2007 at the age of 89.

This book offers me a rare glimpse of her as a teenager.  It is scrawled many times over with her name and address, doodles and poetry.  The kind that teenagers write in each others yearbooks.


Miss Pauline Watterworth, Glencoe High School, Box 232, Phone 55, Canada.  Her full maiden name was Pauline Lavina Maud Watterworth.  Her handwriting is familiar; it stayed much the same.

Inside were tucked some cuttings from a newspaper, although there doesn’t seem to be anything particular of interest on them, not even the whole comic.


They are from the London (Ontario) Free Press, Wednesday, September 20, 1933.

There was also a pressed leaf, on which she wrote her name.


Here’s is a caricature of Esther.  I don’t know if Grandma drew it or not, but it looks just like a girl from the 1930s should.  Esther may be forgotten, but Grandma stayed in touch with her high school friend May her whole life.


The poetry appears to be written by various classmates, and is quite humorous. 

IMG_3788“As sure as grapes grow on a vine/ Never depend on a young man’s mind/ For a young man’s mind is like a flower/ It blooms and fades in half an hour.”

On another page “They say it is a folly to flirt/ A cruelty unto man/ But my advice to you, Miss/ Is go it while you can.”

And this one, which makes use of the hymn Yield Not to Temptation  “Yield not to flirtation/ For flirting is sin/ Some sister will help you/ Her brother to win/ Fight lovingly onward/ Blondes ever subdue/ Look to the brown head/ He will carry you thru”.  I can’t read it without inserting the tune.

I don’t know why Grandma saved her algebra book, or if she did it intentionally, but I’m glad she did.  It’s a treasure indeed!

I’m joining Julia’s Hooked on Friday party and celebrating my grandma’s life at Melissa’s A Beautiful Life party.


Elizabeth said...

How neat! I have a stack of letters I found at my granny's house after her death. They are love letters written back and forth between her and grandpa (who I never met, he died when my mama was 13 yrs old). I wouldn't take a million dollars for them. They are priceless to me.

Primitiques 'n Poetry said...

Oh! I just love old family treasures like this! Such a wonderful possession. ~Mindy

Carmen said...

I love this! It just reiterates why we need to save stuff like this so when our grandchildren grow up, they can look at it. :)

Donna @ dh designs said...

Wow, what a wonderful keepsake! I love looking back at pieces like this every so often. I have an old scribbler from my first year of high school. I'm going to keep it for my daughters to do this with!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Nice to meet you!

Jennie said...

This almost made me cry :) I rarely think of my grandma (or my mom, for that matter) as a teenager. What a treasure you have!

The Whispering Creek House said...

I love the penmanship of old times..they really knew what they were doing! ours will be typed up and no history..blah.that's kinda sad isn't it? Lucky you having such a family treasure!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Holly, that is so cool! The drawings are so cute. I love sentimental things like that. Do you think you'll display it somewhere?

Jenny said...

That is a treasure! How awesome that you have it now.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

What a cherished treasure!

Wouldnt that be wonderful if we could take little trips back into the lives of our loved ones. It would give us such a different perspective, wouldn't it?

TTFN ~~ Claudia ♥ ♥

Christina said...

What a wonderful treasure. How delightful to go though and find her doodles and such. I love things with family meaning. My grandmother is almost ninety and has kept a diary for over 60 years. There are stacks and stacks of them. That should be interesting one day.

My dad had to have an emergency appendectomy on Thursday morning, so needless to say, we couldn't join in with you. I'm off to look and see everyone's treasures.

Brenda said...

Cherish this! I so enjoyed reading about it. I know very few of my relatives, so I know how very important this kind of thing is. Cherish it.

Xazmin said...

What an awesome treasure! I love the peotry!

I would love to have something like that of my grandmother's!

LuLu said...

Awwww I just love this found treasure. Maybe math was her favorite subject... it's my oldest daughter's favorite which made me think of all her doodling she does on the covers. So glad you have this,
happy weekend,

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful keepsake. I would say that is a priceless item.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful keepsake. I would say that is a priceless item.


Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Oh WOW, that is a true treasure!!

Erin said...

Those are the kinds of gems I love to come across. I have a name quilt from my grandmother that she made when she was 14. It will always be my favorite. I wish I could have known her then! Love the poetry in your grandma's book, and I especially love Esther's finger waves. :)

Thanks for the note on my blog - I have been away for a while. I haven't had regular internet access & am just getting back into blogging & reading my favorites, yours being one of them!

melissa said...

Holly~this is truly a treasure! I especially love the leaf. My grandparents are from Canada as well~and they still have Box 21. :)

rebecca said...

I just discovered your lovely blog fun. A big coinicidence is I live very close to Glencoe ont. What a small world.