Grandma Mellie's Scrapbook
Copyright © 2001, Michael S. Cole, M.D.

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Mother's Old Scrapbook

    In a reminiscent mood today, I opened an old antique trunk.
    Rummaging through it, I found my mother's old scrapbook. She started making it in the year 1890, before I was born.
    Over a period of years, she gathered poems and pictures, clipped from papers and magazines.
    In turning the pages of this old scrapbook, I see a picture cut from the cover of an old catalogue of the Great Northern Seed Company of 1899, and a cover of Park Floral Magazine of 1900. George Watt Park's picture was on the cover.
    There are cards of birds we used to get out of soda many years ago.
    There is a drawing of the old home place along with letters of the alphabet I made when I was seven. My mother's marriage license is pasted in, dated in 1891.
    There are copies of poems I memorized and "spoke" at school, Fourth of July celebrations, reunions and memorial services.
    At one memorial service, I "spoke" a poem entitled "The City of Peace." The poem had ten verses, eight lines to the verse, and begins, "On yonder lone hill stands the city of peace. And among its dark foliage there, I can see its white spires and glittering domes gleam forth through the still evening air." This poem still has a profound fascination for me.
    I remember many poems we "spoke" at school. They are called "readings" now, but that was the language we used then. On the last day of the school month, we would have recitation or a program. All pupils had to give a poem.
    I have recited "Maud Muller," "The Little Half-Worn Shoe," "At Grandma's," "Be Careful in Speaking of a Person's Faults," and many, many others, all found in the old scrapbook. My mother spent many happy hours making this book, and I shall treasure it as long as I live.
    Memorial Day is just a few days away. Let's all visit the graves of our loved ones. It is also a time of reflections. I think of the thousands of our men who have given their lives for our country, too young to die. When will wars cease and be no more? Not until our Lord comes back to bring eternal peace ... wars seem to be a part of civilization since the beginning of time.
    I like to visit old cemeteries. A sense of solemn wonder comes over me when I realize someday we will all rest in that city of peace.
    Looking upon the old gravestones, where they themselves seem to sleep as they slant in the grass, gives me a feeling of the greatness of it all.
    A happy June to everyone and special congratulations to the graduates!

Mellie Peery
May 26, 1966

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