Pieces of the Past – An Antique Notebook

Sometimes it happens during my travels that I find somethings that stirs not only curiosity but also my emotion. And sometimes, I doubt that I should be the keeper of the bit or scrap of paper, documents, letters, memos, receipts. If found in an archive, these bits of the past are classified as documents, if of course, they make a contribution to a nation’s history and subject to the space limitations of any library – well, except for the incredible, amazing, crazy wonderful, awe inspiring Library of Congress. One such “official document” is the following donation by a French Notable duly noted and registered by Parisian notaries in the early sixteenth century. . . . love the flourish of the signatures! Can’t believe that I spent so much time reading documents like these.

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Les archives hospitalières, Paris

Lately I have found some interesting papers that illustrate American life and culture. . . I found an old school notebook – rather dirty – no doubt stored in a barn or basement forgotten until years later the area was emptied. . . maybe after the house sold or the family moved.

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As I was sorting through the old box, I looked at the notebook again and noticed the back. How sweet – Frederick practicing his signature, his hearts – finally, carving a heart. Frederick was smitten . . . was she the first, the only?

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Frederick also left this drawing of a house after ripping out most of the pages. Did he draw this? Was it his house? Was it something he imagined in the future – or remembered or even,  a home to share with his sweetie? I am soooo sentimental . . .

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Looking again, a week later, I found this hand made mask fashioned from needlepoint fabric embellished with yarn, a heart, a pearl . . .

 

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and antique buttons.

Detail of Button, Joene Mask

My first cursory google search yielded a Frederick R. Ricket who enlisted in WW II. I cannot wait to discover more. . . Like if the Irene Wehrle, who signed the back of this book is someone he met while serving in France.  . . or is she the one? Since I googled her as well, and found a woman by this name – I don’t think she was. So curious. But so good to know that men daydreamed about love and home then as well as now. . . or do they?

I feel so privileged to know Frederick Ricket in this way. hope the photographs inspire you in some way. You can admire this treasure this amazing document, after our summer break at Eclipse Company Town – the weekend of August 14.

If you can add anything to this history or know anyone who can or have your own story about papers that have captured your imagination – I would love to hear your story.