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September 9, 2009 by 8junebugs

1. A letter from my great-grandmother, Grandma Whipple, to my parents in the summer of 1975. It begins “Dear Children,” but is clearly written to my mother after a visit. My parents had broken ground on the house and Mom had talked with Grandma W about wanting to have children right away. Grandma W urges her to be patient — she didn’t get pregnant right away, either. The letter also addresses the issue of my uncle, who had just knocked up his girlfriend at 16. “Don’t be too hard on him,” Grandma W advises. “He is just trying to show all of you that he is a man.” She is clearly pulling for the young couple.

2. A story I wrote titled, “My Grandfather Died.” Also my recorder (in its case), my flag and rifle from color guard, various NKOTB posters and ephemera, and every school notebook I had between 1st grade and 12th.

3. Commencement announcements and programs for the MUHS Class of 1971. Neither of my parents, for the record, were honors students. Also found: A scrapbook containing the graduation story from several local papers and the cards my mother received upon graduating…38 years ago.

4. Aunt Anna’s photo albums (Anna Parker was my great-aunt, my Grand’s sister). In these photo albums, we see that Uncle George, their brother, was always at least 50 years old. There’s also a picture or two of Sarah, the sister they lost when they were young. I don’t remember how she died.

5. Dad’s report card from a year at St. Mary’s School v1.0 (all As and Bs, in spite of item 3). His was the last class to graduate St. Mary’s before it closed. It re-opened as a Roman Catholic school in 1999 (K the O teaches music), but I’m not sure if it’s still a parish school. It’s no longer run by nuns, though, which is likely an improvement.

6. Photos from Mom’s pageants. She was Dairy Princess one year (I think it was just for Addison County), as well Miss Vermont World (I don’t think they even have this contest anymore…?). That’s right. I’m the daughter of a beauty queen whose legs went up to her freaking ears. NO PRESSURE.

7. Christmas photos that show my Uncle Marc as a child (as well as my dad, Uncle Paul, and Aunt Marianne looking very 1970s). These photos disprove my theory that my cousin Aaron looks like his mother’s side — he does look like his dad, just like a very early version of his dad.

8. The cast of of my teeth before braces. Dad has asked to display this on his mantle, not unlike the tusks of an African safari trophy. He did pay to fix the teeth, so…

9. Every school photo ever given to my mother. Ever. Each frame was like a treasure chest, too — whenever we took out the visible photo, another one was stored behind it.

10. Ad booklets for exotic dancers and escorts from the Reno trip my parents took with Uncle Steve and his first wife. Whether they saw some boobs on that trip or not, I’m fairly confident they brought the booklets back for shock value…and then they were packed away in a manilla envelope in a box that was moved to California, moved back to Vermont, and stored for me to find after Mom’s death. W00t.


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