|Ghosts of Past and Present, Autographed
||[Apr. 3rd, 2009|12:14 pm]
I'd read about turn-of-the-century autograph book "The Ghosts of My Friends" quite some time ago, and after patiently scouring ebay managed to score the ideal- one older, more decrepit book filled with signatures and one empty book in excellent condition. I've finally photographed the former, and will begin to fill the latter with signatures of my friends.
Here's how it works: the book's pages are pre-creased; your friends sign their name in ink on the semi-glossy pages and fold it over to create a personalized Rorschach blot, to which they can then add little legs, arms and features, should they so wish (only one or two examples in my book had this). The same company created a book for 'Hand-O-Grams', something most of us have done in Kindergarten- leaving one or more thumbprints on a page, you doodle a little picture on them. Birds seemed rather popular.
This book features signatures from three periods- 1909-1912, when the owner of the book had her friends and family sign the majority of the pages in a heavier brown-black ink, 1922 & 1930, when another relative picked up the book and had some repeat signatures along with new ones in a thinner black ink, and on the back of some pages, 1943 from a younger generation of the family done in a blue ink. The images are presented in the order they appear in the book.
It's hard to lose the blotting paper habit but the results are worth it.
"We" are no other than a moving row
of magic shadow-shapes that come and go
Round with the sun illummied-lantern held
at mid-night by the Master of the Show
"If life an empty bubble be- How sad for those who cannot see the rainbow in the bubble"
"The best in this kind are but Shadows"
"Inscribe herein your 'bug'.
November 10, 1909
Katherine Lewis Guthrie
The blue is the signature from the 40's- Qualrar White (?)
Alice Heath Enslow
Grace Shepard Alishin
Margaret C. Shepard
Ann Elise Van Bibber
Look upon His cares (ears?) my Love
And (phame)?? them with true eyes!
Eleanor Hamilton Enslow
Eleanor Enslow Stable
Rolland C. Mossmau
Frank B. Graves
Margueriuli Huitaker (?)
"Forsaernet me olim meminisse invalit."
(This is literally Greek to me. They were still teaching Latin and Greek in schools; I came from an age where handwriting was cut as so much wasted nonsense.)
It will be a pretty day tomorrow if it doesn't rain. Yes?- No?
There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood leads on to fortune omitted and _______
Virginia M. Tyler
It is the sad,sad fate of a school girl's heart,
To meet, to love and then to part...
"Not this way at Marshal."
There was a young Polly that lived in an Oak
The more she saw the less she spoke
The less she spoke the more she heard
Why can't you be like this wise young bird.
Catherine B. Enslow
Charlotte B. Tyler
You asked me for something original, but I hardly know where to begin
for there is nothing original about me except my original sins.
Margarett Kahle Russell
"The sweetest nut hath sourest rind!!
Such a nut is my Constantine"!
Juo L. Kable
W.T. Dabney, Jr.
W. J. Loth Jr.
Jm S. Gibson
Sam W. Loer
Women are super-numerary when present
but missed when absent.
Laugh, and the world laughs with you,
Weep and you weep alone-
For the sad old earth must borrow its mists
But has sorrow enough of its own-
Here today & gone tomorrow
they'll all forget- none will sorrow
Being minus the gift of verse
one so dense might easily do worse
To search the poorly stored mind
In the futile effort to find
A few lines full of emotion
Expressive of my deep devotion
For you, Lady of the ghost book
-So turn this page without a look.
H. Fitzhugh Gray
"Facilis descensus Anerno, noctes abane dies patet atri Ianua; sedreno care gradum superasque evadere et auras, hoc apus hic labor est."
May my ghost never return, "Dan."
Charles B Baldwin
When a man begins to see snakes and one head looks like three it's a cinch he's not far from H---
(I'm guessing the last word stands for H-E-Double Hockey Sticks)
Ruth U. Coonley
Constance Anne Czizek
Mary A. Welmore
III Constance Enslow
Mary Alphonzine Welmore
III Constance Enslow
(this is the only 'ghost' where someone doodled little details on; I think it wonderfully adds to the signatures.)