Friday, October 25, 2013

Technology ~~ A "Sepia Saturday" Post!

This is the 200th anniversary of Sepia Saturday! I've participated off and on during the past four years, and didn't want to miss being part of its special week. Therefore, in accordance with this week's guidelines, I'm reprinting my favorite Sepia Saturday post, from March 26th, 2011. This and most (if not all) of this week's other Sepia Saturday entries will be published in a book called -- appropriately enough -- The Best of Sepia Saturday.

(Be sure to check out other Sepia Saturday entries!)

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Every parent, so they say, dreams that his or her child (or children) will have a better life than the parent had. A better education, better financial status, a better marriage (if that applies), etc.

There were more technological advances during the span of my mother's life than I could list, even in a post of my usual entry's length. And say what you will about some of the downsides of "progress," we certainly have it easier in many more ways than those who lived in 1917, when my mother was born.

My mom lived to see high-definition, flat-screen televisions. When she was born, radio hadn't even entered its golden age. Commercial air travel hadn't even gotten off the ground... errr... so to speak. And I could go on.

Even during my own childhood, computers were enormous monstrosities that filled half a room. Using one of those babies as a "laptop" would crush you to death.

Now, of course, we have "personal computers."

And we have eBay.

Thanks to eBay, I now own something my own mother never got to own (due to its expense), but should have: Her high school yearbook, from 1935!


Northern Lights was the name of the yearbooks issued by North High School in Worcester, Massachusetts (during the 1930s, anyway). I recently purchased one at a relatively modest sum from an eBay dealer. The copy I own was originally the property of Alice I. Maki, an attractive blonde whom I can only assume is no longer with us... like my mom.


Upon receiving it, I read the thing cover to cover before leaving the post office lobby, looking for my mother's main yearbook entry, and any other listings, photos, etc. of my mom's senior year. There weren't many. I'm sure her chores at home kept her from being a social butterfly.

But I did expect at least one or two music-related activities, and I wasn't disappointed.


It didn't take me long to spot my mom's photo among the many students shown above.


It would have been nice if I'd thought to look for this a few years ago, when my mom was not only alive, but when her vision was still good enough for her to appreciate such a find. At least I have the comfort of knowing that it's not something I thought of and then characteristically put off doing until it was too late. That would bother me.

Before I even received my package, it occurred to me that, even if she had never owned one herself, my mom might have autographed Alice's copy. And I was right!


That was a nice touch. Almost like a brief note from my mom to her son and daughter, which "only" waited 75 years before we got to see it.

Gotta love eBay.

Thanks for your time.

66 comments:

  1. What a wonderful entry. A magical, loving gift like that is so welcomed too, even if it was so many years later. It's just perfect, and a great presentation by you.

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  2. I love this post! How wonderful to be able to look back on your mom in high school.

    Dee

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  3. Funny how things sometimes just come to be in a roundabout way. 75 years in the making to get the note

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  4. What such a nice and lovely post.wellyou always in sepia try the best:)
    Love this like all sepia post!

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  5. I've read this before, David, but I enjoyed it just as much as the first time.

    Love,
    Janie

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  6. That must have been a spine-tingling discovery, to find her signature in the book. Good thinking!
    Nice to have such a treasure to remember her by. My mother has two editions of her old yearbook, but they are soft cover and falling to pieces.

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    Replies
    1. That's a shame. I hate it when you can't adequately preserve something like that.

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  7. A lovely story and it just goes to prove life is full of surprise opportunities. Sometimes you have to look for them, and sometimes they simply pop up. Either way - voila la!

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  8. This post was even good as left-overs. :) ha.

    I found my college yearbook the other day...Nugget and eaten almost the whole cover off of it! :(

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    Replies
    1. Good as left-overs? Thanks. And it didn't even need your touch?

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    2. No, but it needed my approval, if I recall correctly. :)

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    3. Your opinion is always valued, true.

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    4. Just seeing if you still answered the door here. ha.

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    5. Yeah...

      Someday I'll be back. You'll see!

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  9. that is pretty cool that you have her yearbook...that has to feel like a pretty cool connection...and how interesting to see your parent so young as well and get a glimpse into their life....

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  10. Well Discovered & Well Reported!

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  11. I wasn't part of Sepia Saturday when you first shared this, so it was fun for me to read those contrasts about technology. Another contrast is simply the size of schools and circle of friends. So I'm not at all surprised to find your mother's signature in someone else's yearbook. Splendid purchase.

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  12. Good point (about the "size of schools and circle of friends").

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  13. So cool that she's signed it! Amazing.

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  14. A super story that shows magic CAN happen! The invention of eBay has been revolutionary for historians and family archivists. Photos, books, and ephemera like this would haven been impossible to find in the pre-internet era.

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  15. School Year Books are not very common in the UK and definitely not in my parents time. Somehow school sports photos from my time could never match a find like yours.

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    Replies
    1. That's very interesting! I didn't know that.

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  16. So glad for this 200th idea, I get to read some really great posts from before I joined in. Love it - what a great find - a treasure to pass on to future generations too.

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  17. What a great find, her yearbook. Lovely post for Sepia Saturday 200!

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  18. A worthy entry for Sepia Saturday 200!

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  19. A wonderful Ebay purchase, something I'd not ever considered. This is a great tribute to your mother too.

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  20. A lovely story, especially the bit about the signature.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, that was the frosting on the cake, so to speak.

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  21. The internet has changed the entire world. One would never believe that we could find such a thing as an old yearbook and then to have it be personally signed by your mother. That is the blog of the year story for me today. I could envision myself standing in my post office going through a book like that. Thanks for sharing this post.

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    1. Right. The internet has changed things very much!

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  22. I wish I knew what schools my parents attended. I'm not even sure of the year.

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    1. I wasn't sure of the exact year at first. I estimated it by adding 18 years to the year of my mom's birth -- 1917 -- and confirming that my mom was indeed in there by emailing the eBay dealer!

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  23. This post tugged at my heart. So sad that your mother wasn't able to purchase a yearbook and then that you finally found one but too late for her to see it. At least we know she did see the original as her signature was in the copy. You must have been so happy to find that copy on Ebay.
    Great post.
    Nancy
    Ladies of the Grove

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  24. What a wonderfully sweet gift from your mom, to find not only her photographs but also her signature.

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    1. My sister and I both thought that was a nice touch.

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  25. This is so sweet! What a wonderful son you are, and how clever of you to have searched out for a yearbook on E Bay. I love that your Mom signed this one, and that you spotted her in the large photo. This is a great choice for the upcoming book, because it brings the spirit of what Sepia Saturday is all about.

    (Oh, I'm not on Twitter, but thanks so much for the invite. I am on FB though.)

    Kathy M.

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  26. Thanks for your comments! Not sure about the Twitter invite, though. I'm not on Twitter, so I didn't issue any such invitation. :)

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  27. I loved this post. I've got my mother's year book and I love looking at it. It helps to remember that our mother's were once real people and not just our mothers.
    Barbara (Banar Designs)

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  28. "...real people and not just our mothers." Love that line. Glad you have your mom's yearbook, too!

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  29. That is so amazing. It is like magic in some ways. Time brings change with it, some for the better some for the worse—as with all things.

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  30. My mother sure lived through some interesting times!

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  31. Fortunate that you could get your hands on a copy,
    and one that bears her signature also. Bonus!!

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  32. Replies
    1. Hi, Brian!

      This is going to sound like a bad joke. I've been doing fairly well, except for a mild heart attack one week before Thanksgiving. The heart attack has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I haven't posted in almost four months. I've just been totally uninspired.

      I wish I could promise that I'll be back to writing soon, but I need to summon up a little more ambition, it seems.

      Thanks for asking!

      Delete

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