Call me unhip, but I like old things. I seek out old buildings and worn out things with my camera, and ooh and awe over items I see that were in style decades ago. It's a wonder we don't live in an old homestead up on a hill with a barn and several outbuildings on the property, filled to the brim.
So turn me loose in a building with four floors chock full of antiques and I am in heaven. During a recent visit to such a neat place I found a treasure. It's a leather-bound Autograph Book with "Conneaut Lake" stamped on the cover. For those of you who aren't familiar with Northwestern Pennsylvania, Conneaut Lake
is a small amusement park set on Conneaut Lake, of course, a lake with a large hotel on the grounds Jack Nicholson would have loved to haunt.
We used to go there as children and I vividly remember my first roller coaster ride on the Blue Streak and how I thought I was going to fly off into space. Visiting a few years ago, I was amazed at how small the actual park is. Things seemed so big when we were small.
Anyway, I bought the autograph book, hoping to "up cycle" it into a different type of journal. But I am not sure I can alter it and still feel good about it.
The owner, Elinor, must have been a young girl in 1936, when the first entries were jotted down. Her friends and family didn't just write their names, they wrote little ditties that ranged from the sentimental one from Aunt Betty: "I hope your friends will love you long and true, the same as my love is for you." (August 23, 1936) to the more direct from Al: "Butter is butter, cheese is cheese, When you kiss them, don't let them freeze. Yours till I hate you."
The one thing about liking old things, however, is that it is often sad to see such personal items lying in piles in an antiques store instead of in the hands of a family member. Elinor may still be alive and missing her autograph book, but there's no way to know.
Prompted by reading these little poems, I went in search of two autograph notebooks I have saved from when I was in grade school, back in the day. I will introduce you to those tuff, sharp, like wow, man
notebooks in a future article.
In the meantime, if you can't help yourself, visit my Boom This! blog
for more examples of Elinor's autographs.
By Teresa K. Flatley