In our post last week about Growing Up in Gettysburg, we made a brief mention of autograph books which were popular in junior high schools back in the Forties. The idea was for each classmate to have his or her own book and to ask as many people as possible to sign it.
About twenty years ago, Nancy and I were looking through a box of memorabilia, and we found the autograph books we started in eighth grade.
Everyone who signed Nancy's book, thought she was pretty sweet and said so with unoriginal verses like:
Sugar is sweet and so are you."
"Roses are red violets are blue.
No one I know is as nice as you."
The boys were a little more creative with their messages:
"Roses are wilted and violets are dead.
The sugar is lumpy and so is your head!"
We don’t remember autograph books at Gettysburg High School. Perhaps that’s because our yearbooks, signed by friends and fellow students, were a substitute for autograph books.
We were pleased to discover that autograph books are still popular. Certainly, finding our books signed long ago helped us remember the friends of our youth, especially the friend who signed Nancy's book with this beautiful verse:
“When memory with her golden key unlocks the past, remember me.”
We hope Growing Up in Gettysburg is a “golden key” that helps readers unlock the past in our hometown.