Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Book and A Signature

A textbook...a textbook that my grandmother used in 1899 (copyright 1889 - a year after her birth).  I remember as a small child looking at the cover and running my fingers over the rivers and the mountains that were indented and raised on the map.

This had been my grandmother's book in 6th grade.  I would look at the pictures and read the text inside.  On. pages 86 and 87 at the top of the pages she wrote in pencil "Hurrah! for McKinley.  Bryan is an old cabbage head."   I would always laugh at the term "cabbage head" and be amazed that she thought about politics because as my grandmother, I never saw her as having an interest in politics.  She always seemed interested in me!   I would imagine her as a sixth grader and wonder would we have been friends.

And then I would look at the front cover page and notice her beautiful signature and my attempt to write like she did.   And then I smile once more...because when I look at that signature I remember that my grandmother was the sixth of six children.  She was given the name Avo without a middle name.  She told me that she felt her name was too short and so added Mildred for length.

And I smile again because children of a certain age (12 or so) need to exert their independence and this is a glimpse of my grandmother's individuality that I loved.


  1. What a treasure to have! How fun that she have herself a middle name. She must have been a fun grandmother.

  2. What an amazing piece of heritage! Do you share it with your students? I am always fascinated by old school books. I was thinking sadly about the month coming to an end, and that I would miss reading some of these wonderful slices, then I remembered I should "follow" the blogs. Yours is the first one I followed. I have enjoyed reading your work

  3. I would treasure this for sure. My grandparents could only write their names--not able to read or write anything else. I wish I could find something that has their name somewhere. I don't have a middle name. Maybe I should write one so my grandkids could see it.