Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Life

Typically I am quite the smart ass but I think today I'm going to give you a heartfelt one. Because ya know in reality, I'm a kind of nice person....I said, kind of.

For one who frequents, thrift stores, the bins and estate sales. I have gotten to where I rarely think about where these items come from. I remember a time when an estate sale could lead me to tears. It just doesn't happen much anymore. When faced with death every weekend, you kind of have to let it go.

But sometimes there is that one object that still finds a way to speak to your hardened heart. This was one of them.

I found it at the goodwill outlet of all places. I spied these adorable elves first.

Sure it was really (really) trashed but I figured I could at least use the front cover. I did a quick look through and found a rather odd scrapbook. I actually put it back and after another pass through decided, eh what the hell. Its not like I had to pay a lot for it.

This is what I saw.

Items like a wooden ice cream spoon with hand writing on it, a lot of graduation announcements and napkins. But mostly it was this......

Which was one of the more strange scrapbooks I have run across. Who keeps envelopes? I dragged it home and put it away. I didn't think about it for months until I stumbled across it while getting a load of stuff ready to post on ebay. Thats when I really checked it out.

It didn't take me to long to realize the envelopes held this......

The scrapbook was started by Lucille in 1937, she started to chronicle her life with valentines day. I don't even know if I have valentine's cards from 1937, they have a wonderful litho look to them.

And evidently the 30's where fond of scottie dogs.

Along with the cards, Lucille had added notes written to her when she graduated. She even in some miracle added notes she herself had written to friends and family (I'm guessing she never sent them?).  This girl was a crack up, even through the years her sense of humor shined through. She had many friends, a steady boyfriend who as she said, she got a long with. Obviously she had many friends and family as the cards where plentiful.

While graduation was a big deal and about thirty percent of the book. She didn't stop there, she threw in a picture of herself as a child, pictures of friends, a lock of hair. Announcements to her wedding, valentine from her true love and eventually an announcement for a bouncing baby boy!

A life lived

Being a wife and mother must have been a full time job for her because that is where the scrapbook ends. I've ran the gamut on scrapbooks and even journals. Its those pieces of time captured, a life lived, that always touch my heart. Lucille became human, she fleshed out before my eye's. I know her ups and downs. Most of how we live our lives and what we do day to day. It's surprising to see it's not that much different than it was in 1937.

I wanted more for Lucille than a crumbled and destroyed scrapbook. I thought maybe just maybe I could preserve some of it, in my own way.

So she became a part of my art journal. Meet Lucille Griffith. She graduated from high school in 1938, took a picture with her beau on that day.  

She had a positive outlook on life and said to a friend, "everything is ok even in love and war."

She wrote to another friend and jokingly called her Olive Oil and signed herself fattie. 

By all accounts Lucille made a positive impact on other people's lives. She was invited to many parties, received many letters and I have no doubt lived a life filled with joy, tears and probably sadness, grief, boredom.

While I rarely talk about it. One of the true joys of finding these treasures is the ability to see life for what it is. Beautiful in its simplicity. We have the ability to reach through the years to touch a stranger's life. By the most simple of acts, a journal. We can whisper in someone's ear.........It's worth it.