musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Saturday, February 14, 2015

time travelling ... it's all about love

Last month I wrote about discovering my Aunt Margaret's autograph book and shared some gems she collected at high school. For me, the most special autographs her album were those from our family. I can't think of a better post for Valentine's Day than this one, full of their love and humour.

My favourite was inscribed by my Mom. She was much younger than Margaret, age 7 in 1930 when she wrote this. Made me giggle. I wonder what she thought it meant?

Margaret May is your name
Toronto is your station
lucky is the little boy
that makes the alterations.
Mom (right) and Aunt Margaret, circa 1930.
Mom used to tell me her mother put a bowl
over her head and trimmed her hair around it.
She hated the look. I can see why!
Another favourite is this autograph from my Uncle Ernest Osborne, Margaret's beau at time of writing. They later married and lived happily ever after. Funny thing is, I always thought of Uncle Ernest as someone who completely lived up to his name: serious, thoughtful, lacking in frivolity... especially the latter! But reading this bit of whimsy makes me think of him in a whole new light.

They strolled the lane together
The sky was studded with stars
They reached the gate in the meadow
He lifted for her the bars
She raised her brown eyes to him
For there was nothing between them now
For he was just a country boy
And she a jersey cow.

The next two are from Margaret's mother and father, my grandparents. I spent a lot of time with Grandma and Grandpa as a youngster and their familiar handwriting and wise advice really tugs at my heart.

Look up and not down
Out and not in
Forward and not back
And lend a hand. - Father

There is room for me in your album,
There is room for you in my heart,

 There is room for us both in heaven,
Where true friends never part. - Mother

Here's the family in 1941, 11 years after those autographs
were signed. Left to right:
my Dad, Philip Cooke, wearing his
Regiment of Canada Kilt - this must be just before he went overseas;
Aunt Margaret; Uncle Ernest; Grandma and Grandpa May.

Mom is missing so I'm sure she took the photo. (She
was famous for her unintentional head cropping!)

The rest of the family autographs are from aunts and uncles, some I remember but others are a mystery. Label your photos, people! And make time while you still can to talk to your elders about family history. You'll be glad you did.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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At 1:05 pm, Anonymous Susan McNicoll said...

These are lovely Cheryl. I loved lots of them but especially the one by your grandfather. Wise words.

As for marking photographs, oh how true. I worry too about the modern technological age and what happens to photos then, with both storage and naming of people in them. Having just spent a lot of time moving photos from one computer to another I can see them getting lost. Yes, I know about clouds. Just not ready to go there yet!

Thanks for my Saturday morning wisdom.

At 2:36 pm, Blogger Cheryl said...

Hi Susan,
I often think it's a shame we don't do photo albums these days. One of my planned retirement projects is to attempt to organize my digital photos and, yes, somehow add captions/labels to them. Might even investigate one of those services that prints photo collections in book format. We could fill a library with books of cat photos!


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