Tuesday, January 13, 2015


This is an autograph book that belonged to my grandfather.
  It is full of fond remembrances from his high school friends from 1898.

My grandfather, John William Allred,
 aka Bill or Willie

That, in itself, is very special to me. 
 But beyond the obvious, there is a significance that sets my mind to wondering.
  What kind of human beings were these people? 
 Do the words that they write tell me anything about them?

With this comes a reminder of a history lesson.

One thing that stands out is their handwriting. 
 All the words written, no matter how many the individuals, are almost identical. 
 The sentiments may vary slightly
 but the form is precise
 and appears that each one was written with a magical pen 
that allows all final copies to turn out exactly the same. 
 Nothing like the scattered scratchings of some of the letters
 I've seen from my generation and beyond.

  The names, too, seem to have a different sense about them.
  Today, you might know an Oliver 
that wears his cap turned backwards 
and his pants at half-mast,
 and think nothing about that, 
but see a boy from another era,
 with the same name and he sounds, and looks, mysterious.

Post cards from long ago
 are also something that makes me wonder 
about the ones who sent them.

Post cards from way back 
usually portrayed a colorful and poignant scene on the front,
 and while that is what first catches the eye,
 don't lose track of what is written on the other side,
 as that is what tells the real story.
  Here again, the writing looks similar 
  but the messages are what holds the wonder.
  They are all short and to the point
 due to the space on the cards
 but what is the underlying
 meanings of the words?

Was this a night on the town
 ending in unexpected circumstances...

...or this, 
a marriage proposal gone bad?

Evidently, the crops in South Dakota 
in 1903 were good...

...but it was a bad year for crops
 in North Dakota in 1913.

A Christmas post card from way back
 still conveyed the similar season's greetings that are seen today 
but some of the hand written messages 
are just a bit more embellished...

...or, on the other hand,
 said as little as possible...

 Maybe, in case you haven't heard from your sister in a long time,
 you might have to sign your last name
 as well
 in case she can't 
remember who you are...

...and even though 
you are under the weather
 you can still find beauty in the world.

These are all so much fun to collect
 and while they are all unique
 in their own way,
 when it comes right down to it,
 they are not so different from today's letters or e-mails. 
 There is an underlying message
 from then to now 
that we all wish our friends and families
 the best that life has to offer, 
sent with love
 to one and all.


Sharing today with:


  1. I just adore old post cards and letters...So sweet. I especially admire the beautiful script people wrote way back when. Thanks for a terrific post. Jane

  2. Love the old autograph book, and postcards. How wonderful that you still have that old autograph book too!
    I miss snail mail. I miss sending and receiving letters :)
    Any more the only mail one gets, are bills***smile**... not nearly as welcome, or sentimental as a letter from a friend or loved one.


  3. Judy I love going through bins of old postcards and photos at flea markets. I can stand and read through them for hours. And I too always wonder about the people who sent the cards or in the photograph. And why did they end up in a flea market bin? Your collection is really lovely and it is amazing that you have such a wonderful photo of your grandfather at such a young age. Thank you so much for sharing and have a great day!!!
    XO Barbara

  4. What a delightful post, Judy! I, too, love old postcards and always wonder what the people were like.... Your grandfather is a very handsome man and how special to have his autograph book.

    Thank you for a lovely post. Enjoy the remainder of your week. Hugs!

  5. Hi Judy,
    You know I admire all those things! :) I thought the cover was a scrapbook instead of an autograph book. I have a scrapbook that looks a lot like that cover.
    Have a great day!

  6. It is interesting to me that the handwriting in the autograph book was all straight up and down, very cramped and had many similarities in style. Then I guess later the Palmer Method came into being and we all were supposed to learn to write with a slant. The sentiments are cute on the cards - and I love the addresses - just a name and a town or county - things were much simpler than.

  7. Those are all just wonderful reminders of by-gone times, Judy. What fun. I love looking at the old handwriting styles, too. xo Diana

  8. This is a wonderful look back into the past Judy. I really noticed the very neat cursive handwriting which was so important back then. Certainly today it's not as important and barely even taught in the schools here. Thanks for sharing these old memories. Hugs. Pam

  9. That was so sweet, Judy. I enjoyed reading all the old messages.
    I have an autograph book from my childhood, and one from my mother's high school days. All the writing in both books is lovely to see, and makes me sad to think that writing is no longer taught in school here. It's all printing and typing.

  10. Judy,
    How fun to have these wonderful pieces of history. Back in the day when handwritting was so important and the art of a letter too. I heard they do not even teach kids cursive writing anymore in school in this age of typing on a keyboard for communication!!! I love things like this and to have your grandfathers autograph book is so special.

  11. You have a beautiful collection of old postcards. They make wonderful textures for your photos also.

    I wrote yesterday's post in a hurry and probably missed a few details....but the go to font that comes up in the blogger template isn't my first choice which is frustrating. I do know if you write your post on another format let's say Microsoft word, or Windows Live Writer there is code that will be changed by Blogger. That's why it looks different. Hope that clears it up.


  12. Your grandfather's autograph book is such a special treasure!!! My mom had one too....now I wonder what ever happened to that? I will have to ask my dad sometime.....
    I too love old postcards!!! They are so much fun to read and I love the handwriting.
    Have a great weekend!!!

  13. Hi Judy, these writings on postcards and notes are incredible. I love to read them too when I find them and collect for creating. Makes you wonder about the sender and even the receiver. Hand writing was so important way back when and a lost art today.
    You have a great collection and thank you for sharing.
    Have a nice weekend!!
    Hugs and Blessings

  14. Oh Judy, I have a lot of post cards from the 1800's. I have my Grandmothers book and it is so funny to read. Some of the penmanship is beautiful and some not so good.
    What a wonderful treasure for you. I so enjoyed the post.
    Have a great week.

  15. Judy, these are just enchanting! I love looking into the past and imaging the people and their live. Fabulous collection. I so jealous!

  16. Hi Judy and what treasures you have. I love the history of our past! The graphics of the olden cards and book are so sweet. Not to mention, the handwriting! Thank you so much for popping in to see me and your kind words. They do mean alot to me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  17. OMYGOODNESS...these are all so wonderful...I must drag out the love letters between my Great Aunt Bettie and Uncle Bryson and do a post....how fun....

  18. Oh how much fun I had reading these old cards and the autograph book of your family. You and I are kindred spirits when it comes to this. I always wonder about the lives behind the words. One of my favorite passtimes :)))
    sending hugs...

  19. Hi Judy, how interesting and fun. I have a love letter my Grandfather wrote to my Grandmother. So touching and a treasure.

  20. I adore old postcards. I love the one where sister signed her last name. Hilarious. The penmanship is beautiful. My daughter writes letters to her friends. Thanks for sharing these.


Your comments are so special to me...Judy