More From The Autograph Files

Of all the autographs in these three little books, I think these are the two I like the best, simply because they’re from my mother’s sisters.

I must assume they knew her well.  There are other gems:


In the parlour there were three, He, the parlour light and she.

Two is company without a doubt. That is why the light went out.


Always do a deed of kindness, Never say you don’t know how.

If you ever see a cowslip, Quickly run and help the cow.


If in heaven we do not meet

Hand in hand we’ll stand the heat.


Think of me when far away and only half awake.

Think of me on your wedding day and send me a piece of cake.


Love many, trust few, But always paddle your own canoe.


All things are not as they seem

Skim milk masquerades as cream

Black sheep dwell in every fold

And all that glitters is not gold.


Many a ship was lost at sea through lack of coal and rudder.

Many a fellow lost his girl by running after another.


Life is but a one way street – we have to trust to luck.

If we can’t thumb a swell sedan, we have to climb a truck.


Drifting down the stream of life in your little birch canoe

May you have a very pleasant time and room enough for two.


It’s hard to lose a friend when your heart is full of hope

But it’s harder still to lose the towel when your eyes are full of soap.


When you get old and ugly, as people often do

Remember that you have a friend who is old and ugly too.


There was a terrible hurricane and all the world was shaken.

A little pig turned up his tail and ran to save his bacon.


As over lifes road you jog along, May you always have room in your heart for a song,

Always a rift in the clouds so gray, And many and many a perfect day.


And finally, one from her future husband, always a wealth of information, who would have been embarrassed to write anything too personal for others to see.

Autograph Art

I used to practice writing my autograph when I first learned cursive writing.  I wanted it to be honed to perfection for that bright day in my future when I became famous.  Famous for what, exactly, wasn’t as important to me as the embellished and flashy signature I’d be ready to write out for my adoring fans.  (It did come in handy for signing cheques and important documents eventually, but hasn’t been useful for much else.)

Three autograph books are part of the little stockpile of interesting things I brought from home this visit.  One belonged to my dad and two were my mom’s, all filled with autographs from their schoolmates and friends in the 1930’s and 40’s.  This past-time of collecting little bits of wisdom in small books probably evolved into the year book autographs of later years.  I remember someone writing to me “Roses are red, Violets are blue, I shot my dog Cuz he looked like you” and thinking the whole custom was highly overrated.

These books do contain a lot of similar silly little poems and sayings, but one of them also contains art work by some people who were more ostentatious, or maybe simply had a bit more ambition than to just scribble a signature.

Imagine taking the time to do this, and then signing it “You know who.”



These little sketches and water colours were of course something you would not want to toss away, and along with the signatures of old OLD friends, made these books significant enough to be cherished mementos for over eighty years (…and counting).