This Thursday, I continue to plumb the depths of my memory box.
I received this autograph book at the end of sixth grade, when we were about to graduate out of elementary school. That September, we’d be assimilated into the Lord-of-the-Flies awfulness that was Beck Middle School (sink or swim, dog eat dog, etc.) with kids from about 7 other elementary schools. With all of those kids entering grade 7, we pretty much assumed we’d NEVER see each other again. We didn’t have yearbooks in grade school, so this is where we said our good lucks and goodbyes.
It’s actually a Girl Scouts autograph book, but in the aforementioned horrible middle school I put the (Lisa Frank?) sticker over the Girl Scout logo because I was no longer a Scout. The other sticker, a holographic one with rainbow detailing, a bear, PLUS my name on it got to stay.
Many of these pages have the phrase “hope to see you next year.” Not because we were macabre, but because in the pre-internet age, you never knew if one of your friends would move away suddenly during the summer and disappear forever.
After a page was signed, we’d fold the pages to make it easier to find the next blank one. For a while, I had one page folded differently so I could quickly find it and pore over its words while I listened to songs written for lovelorn teens. Later on, I folded it like the rest. My fingers can still find that page.
I used this book each year through the end of sophomore year of high school, when I think we all switched to signing yearbooks.