By Bianca Dias-Halpert and Carol Norwood, USA
Do you remember your “Poezie Album” ?
This is an autograph book which belongs to Carol’s mother. It was a tradition to have family members, classmates, neighbors write something in it such as well wishes. This particular book contains autographs from her classmates while attending school on the island of Sumatra back in the 1930’s.
Some were always signed, “Ter Herinnering Aan” (to remember). The first one to write in it was usually your mother, then your father. It was embellished with special decorative stickers. They were not self-sticking like nowadays, instead homemade glue was used made of crushed rice kernels or rice flour mixed with water. Some stickers had sparkly things like glitter.
What follows is a literal translation and does not rhyme:
What shall I write on this page… Oh yes, I know what. Go through life in good humor.
Greetings, Cita and all the best
Precious,I have my Grandmothers it was passed onto me in 1992 when she past on, it was given to her as a child when she was 9 years old in Holland. Nan was born in 1915 and I am so proud to have this it is so special to me that she kept it after all those years. Things get misplaced over the years but this stayed safe to have her father’s writing in the book amongst other relatives is a blessing as I am big on family tree in our family this means so much to me, I am very blessed to have this to pass on to the next generation. I am happy to share my grandmother Claziena Van Dissel’s memory. Claziena was married to Pieter Starrenburg.
I believe other website proprietors should take this internet site as an example , very clean and good user genial pattern . “Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” by Carol Burnett.
My sister Grace, still has several of these little books. It’s amazing how something so simple can leave such lasting memories. Many of the entries were made by our father. Appropriate for upcoming Father’s Day.
When I grew up there was no TV; but there was radio. We listened to radio for all our enrtainement. There were series of stories, love stories or fiction. Just like the soap operas of today, the story would end for the week at a point where you were glued to the radio and usually we had fits to think that we had to wait an entire week for the continuation of the story. All the newest songs we heard on the radio and there was always somebody in charge to write down the words. All through the week we would memorize the words and many of the words I still remember 60 years after we heard it for the first time. We taught each other to dance on radio music, the waltz, the jive and the two steps were the easiest. Every station reserved about an hour every week to broadcast music by request (verzoek uurtje). We could call in or write in a request for a special song to be played for somebody special.This was also a way to express our hidden love for this one or that one. It was very popular among young people since we had almost no contact with members of the opposite sex while we were teeners. To protect us from mother superior’s wrath we spread rumors of our fake names through a network of friends who did not live in the catholic dorms. The heavens would open and poured all its blessings upon us when such a request was approved by the radio station and there for all to hear would come a special message through music and romantic lyrics for “just me” Okay forget for a moment 20 other teeners who all thought it was for them as well because they were part of the plot. We shared the joy of the moment but everybody knew who it actually was for. That secret lives forever in a teener’s heart even when she is 72.
A poezie album was one of the first treasures a young girl has when she enters grade school. The first one is for parents, siblings and extended family. As you grow older and reach the tender age of 11, 12 and 13 years of age you add a second album and this is more for “best friends” When you get to write in such an album you know you are somebody’s best friend and at that age that was all that mattered. Then comes a time that your “best friend’s” brother thinks that you are cute. Living in a boarding school where such notions of boys thinking you are cute are very close to capital sin and should never see the light of day for mother superior. But hormones have leggs and somehow the album reaches the forbidden territory and the young boy in love manages to write a few lines in it; usually dripping with honey, sugar and marshmallows (he usually is 11 or 12 years as well). By similar magic the album comes back and in the hands of swooning teeners who all take turns inhaling the love declaration and promises of marriage and happiness ever after. The beauty of it was that we all thought that it was personal “just for me” We all dreamt of one day kissing a boy, for now we just kissed sweet words on a white page of paper in a friend’s poezie album.
Goodness, this takes me waaayyy back!
I still have my own poezie album, mine started in the late 40’s. My Mammie, uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers and friends wrote the sweetest and silliest poems, adorned the pages with stickers and drawings. Last year I came across it as I was cleaning out a drawer, became rather nostalgic and misty-eyed for some of the poets have gone to the great limerick gathering in the sky. Thought it was worth preserving and put it in a special place.
And wouldn’t you know it, I’m experiencing a long-lasting senior moment, I haven’t a clue where that special place is anymore…..