Friday, June 26, 2009

Old Ypsi Yearbooks for Sale: Unique Local Gift, Maybe for You!

The Archives has a number of interesting old Ypsi High School and Normal College yearbooks for sale, just marked down to $5 each. You can own a piece of local history -- maybe even find one with a relative's name (several have student-name indexes)!

These yearbooks, although unprepossessing on the outside, are full of charming tidbits and amusing features. You can learn a lot of the tenor of the time they were from just by gazing through them and soaking up the hairstyles, the various societies and organizations, and the funny remarks.

They're also a little bittersweet. The yearbooks range from 1901 till around mid-century. In the 1901 yearbook DD perused today, the young women's faces express individual characters ranging from sprightly and ebullient to reflective and somber. It was a little sad to think that they have all passed on.

But there was also a gem of humor in an ageless student voice: the 1901 Senior Will. It's copied here so you can read it in full but some of the highlights include:

"Second. We give, devise and bequeath unto the said Sophomores the interesting and exceedingly simple (?) text books, namely Wells' Geometry and Lange's German. Together with these books, we give, devise, and bequesath the two sweet and amiable teachers, Miss Hardy and Miss Bacon."

"...To the Sigma Deltas we bequeath, in lieu of their staunch and ever ready friend Mr. John Bishop, his luxuriant hair, as he will not be allowed to possess such wealth in Ann Arbor."

"Blanche McCarthy gives, devises and bequeaths to the clown and "King" of the High School, the "mitten" which has so often been given and taken back again."
[to "give him the mitten" was a slang term meaning to jilt an amorous gentleman, as in slapping his face with a mitten].

Readers of delicate sensibilities like Dusty D would be well advised to gently shield their eyes from Item the Last. I do hope the "r-word" contained therein refers to, of course, galoshes.


Dusty D said...

The Archives has an extensive library of old yearbooks in its "Library" section. The ones for sale are doubles or triples of yearbooks safely stored away.

Also, if there is a kind reader who is interested in the yearbooks but who has difficulty getting to the Archives, I would be glad to take a look for a relative, while the selection is still as good as it is now. Just send me the time frame and name.

Paul A. said...

RE: rubbers
Perhaps referring to this (and therefore "used" might indicate collecting on bets)?

Paul A. said...

Following up on my last comment: While watching "Lost Horizon" tonight on Turner Classic Movies I noted one of the characters suggested playing "a rubber of bridge."

Dusty D said...

Paul A: Good suggestions; thank you. Oh, yeah, a rubber of bridge; I'd forgotten I'd heard that.