Last Thanksgiving, I was raiding my grandparents’ dresser drawers for photos to include in the book we gave them for Christmas. My grandmother keeps lots of things in guest bedroom dresser drawers – newspaper clippings, empty picture frames, thank you notes, old Christmas cards, and tons and tons of pictures. Side note: MeMe would be an awesome blogger if she understood what blogging (or the internet) was. She has years and years of photos of different holiday table displays and decorations, some she got my grandfather to take while she stood proudly in front of her dining room buffet. She’s so cute!

In my search for pictures of her adorable grandchildren, I stumbled upon something much better than thank you notes from high schoolers and random newspaper clippings. It was a Date Book, made by Hallmark for either 1948 or 1949. It was intended for a young lady to use to keep up with important dates in the lives of her family and friends, like birthdays and anniversaries. Instead, my grandmother used hers as a record of dates she went on, the men she went with, and gifts and cards she received after those dates.

It was very interesting to see who she went on dates with – some of them were names I recognized has husbands of her long-time friends. One of the funniest things I saw was a three week block of no dates, “RESTRICTION” written boldly across it. Turns out, she and her twin sister, along with another friend had left their college campus without permission for the weekend.

My grandfather, who played football in college, tells a story I love of finding out the school was going to give a new car to his head coach after a game. Prior to the game, he asked if he could borrow the coach’s car to take his girlfriend on a date. “Clanton,” the coach replied, “I only got one car, but if I had another I’d let you use it.” So, after the game, he took my grandmother out (along with another couple, I think) in the coach’s car. They drove all night and returned the car with almost no gas left in it because, “we were in college and we had no money.” My grandmother recorded this momentous occasion in her date book with, “Ray took us out in Coach Howard’s car!!!!” Gotta love the extra exclamation points. I loved seeing her note, with at least double exclamation points, when she received telegrams from him as well, most notably when he traveled all the way to Massachusetts for a football game.

The most surprising thing though, was seeing that she went on a date with another man the day before my grandfather proposed! She noted the other man was quite upset with her (wonder why, MeMe?). I did ask about all the dates with so many different people, and was informed that’s just what everyone did back then. In college, my grandmother wasn’t allowed to leave her dorm in the evening unless she had a date, and the date had to sign her out of her dorm. She says she was only ever serious about my grandfather and that everyone she went out with knew that; but, she liked going out, so if getting dates was the way to do that, by golly she was going to do it.

I looked for this book again during my most recent trip to my grandparents, but I didn’t have any luck finding it. I hope it hasn’t been hidden from my prying eyes, because I so want to take pictures of it!

Advertisements