A scrapbook of whatever I'm making, collecting, or just obsessing about
at the moment.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Girl Graduate

Years ago, there was a nice antique store cum flea market in Lake City, Michigan, that I used to love visiting whenever we were in town. And I kept seeing there, every visit, a "Girl Graduate" scrapbook that insisted on coming alive in my hands. It was full of photographs, autographs, notes, pasted-in newsprint articles, and handwritten transcriptions all preserving the treasured high school memories of a certain young lady from Ionia High School in 1906.

Her name was Louise Miske; she had been her class's secretary and her book is evidence that the class chose well for talented record keeping. But what kept me coming back to it were the exquisite portraits of Louise and her fellow seniors, 18 altogether. I couldn't take my eyes off them! But still, every time, I resisted buying the book--$15 was really a bit much, considering that none of my relatives were in it.

One day I went in the store to visit the book again, and it was gone! Too late, I realized how much I had valued that book and wished to own it. Well! Fortunately, that isn't the end of the story. Later on, I was back in that store with my sister, and started telling her about how I'd missed out on a truly terrific book...and then, there it was again, on a different shelf! I'd just missed seeing it, or maybe it had been removed for a while. But this time, I grabbed it and bought it.

And a good thing too, because later that summer, the store building was struck by lightning and caught fire. Much of it was damaged, and though the store owners rebuilt and re-opened the store, it was without the book section--that had been completely destroyed. 

Since then, I have enjoyed gazing at the pictures and reading through the articles and texts. And it has occurred to me that the relatives of these young people would like to see it also, and that maybe I should donate it to a library or historical society in Ionia. But that was fifteen years ago...Nowdays, we have a better way to make treasures widely available: the Internet! So it is my hope, plan and intention to publish scans and transcriptions from Louise Miske's "Girl Graduate" here on my blog, so that any researchers who try googling a name it contains will find it here, and have a look at this marvelous book.

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