My parents grew up less than a mile from each other, in similar working class neighborhoods, with nice homes tucked in among the not-so-nice and a scattering of automobiles parked at the curb, where there was paving.
But to read their autograph books, you’d think they were from different planets. Maybe it’s just the difference between boys and girls in the 1930s, but their autograph books have strikingly different tones.
Mom’s is definitely G-rated, peppered with phrases like “Yours till Niagara Falls” and “4-Get me not.” And, thanks to schoolmate Pee Wee, we now know that mom’s nickname (at least to Pee Wee) in the mid-1930s was “Tally Wally.”
Margaret “Dahlia” Reynolds penned the following ditty in Mom’s book:
She swallowed it one day,
And now she takes castor oil,
To pass the time away.
There were some clever entries in Dad’s book, too:
Like a bobtailed chicken on a watermelon rhine.
On a mule we find two legs behind and two we find before,
But we get behind before we find what the two behind before.
But Dad’s book also had a few entries that I would describe as dark or even disturbing:
I’ll kill my best dog and send you the liver.
One day last night
Two dead boys got up to fight
A deaf policeman heard the noise
And came and shot the two dead boys.
Along the roads of life we have traveled,
And traveled far and near,
Let us hope that we will not
Reach our destinty (sic) for awhile
That destinty is death.
Despite those differences, Mom and Dad seemed to hit it off right away, marrying five months after they started dating. And they stayed married for more than 66 years.
Writing prompt of the day: Compare and contrast your parents’ lives up until the time they met and examine how any differences affected their marriage.