Friday, April 21, 2017

Uncommon, Unusual Books

It occurred to me recently, that it had been a while since I had read a book that I wrote over a decade ago about my earlier life, for the benefit of my offspring; and I wondered how much of it I’d remember having written – because now, at the age of 68, I’m aware of memory losses, or inefficiencies thereof.
Well, that exercise indeed proved that very diagnosis and I was reminded of plenty.  But then I thought about how it indeed had come to have even being written.  Here, memories work fine: -
Pam wanted to write a book about her early life and explains why so in her introduction, cut and pasted from the actual text file…



Over the years, various people have suggested to me that I should “write a book.” This was undoubtedly due to the very long letters that I used to hand-write and later type, on a regular basis to family and friends.  I didn’t take this suggestion seriously, as it seemed to me that I had nothing interesting to write about.
However, when a friend (Pat Dudley) mentioned to me that her daughters had given her a lovely Journal in which to write what it was like growing up in her day, it got me thinking that perhaps I should do something similar for my girls.
After a little deliberation, I commenced writing this on the 16th August, 2002.  I really thought that I would have “my story” completely finished within a few weeks.  I didn’t expect to be able to remember so much, and I have also discovered that one thought can lead on to another, and so it goes.
So for my two caring, wonderful daughters Sharon and Jeni and their families, I have tried to recall items, places and events etc. the best I can, and hope that the following pages give an insight into what it was like for me growing up in the 1950’s, 1960’s and until the mid 1970’s.  As with Eric’s story, I will stop mine with the arrival of Jeni.  In the future, if you wish to do so, you may have the opportunity to add your own stories.
So that’s Pammy’s Introduction, and I will say that while she refers to my book, I only began to write mine as a direct consequence of my beautiful Pammy writing hers.
The actual layout for both books came from my Aunty Margaret Lamb, who wrote a massive 11 volumes of her story – which she called ‘Kewp’, named after the 1920’s Kewpie Dolls that were popular then – and probably still are…
Aunty Margaret was married to my Uncle Arthur Lamb, who was my mother’s brother.  Margaret and Arthur had five brilliant boys (including a pair of identical twins) – their names are Trevor, Peter, John, Robert and Graham.  (Peter and John are the twins).  All of these men are highly Googleable!  So do yourself a favour…
I took a photo of our two books, properly printed on high quality paper and bound by Doncaster Bookbinders in Moorabbin, as were all of Auntie Margaret's Kewp volumes. 
Here's that photo…
Sadly, the photo-perspective of these books doesn't indicate their actual thicknesses - Pammy's is an impressive 2.8 cm thick, cover to cover, while mine is just touching 2.7 cm.

As you can probably see, Pammy’s book is called ‘Rambling Reminiscences of my Early Years’, and mine I called ‘A Past of Quaint Validity‘  (Pam had her name printed on the cover, mine didn’t – dunno why!)  Pam's book has 233 pages, mine has a measly 199. 
Pam and I went to quite a bit of trouble to write the text and Doncaster Bookbinders produced four beautifully bound sets of each pair – one pair for each of our girls, one pair for us (me, now sadly) and one pair to lend to interested family/friends.  Each contains a plethora of informative text and plenty of B/W and colour pictures.  (I only read Pam’s – again – yesterday and the tears built up like you wouldn’t believe.)  She was the best wife I could have wished for – always happy and smiling, beautiful, never complaining, loving and loved by everyone who knew her.