Make New Friends But Keep The Old by Bev Cumming

25 Jun 2021 9:37 AM | Anonymous

Make new friends but keep the old

One is Silver, the other Gold

These lines were favorites of my Mother’s to recite and to write in her friends’ Autograph Books.  She must have written this little verse many times over the years and it is still good advice.

Do you remember your Autograph Book from way back when?  Yours might have come from a store - hard covered, embossed lettering, and tightly bound pastel-coloured pages.  Or, like many of us, you made your own book.  We designed the cardboard cover, cut lined notebook paper to size, and used brass Brad fasteners to hold it all together (this was the best because you could add pages as needed! )   

In your golden chain of friendship

Consider me a link.

Apparently, autographs are still collected today, but often consist of a scrawled signature of a celebrity in sports or entertainment.  These signatures often are found on programs or on the back of a team jersey.  The value of these is determined by the scarcity of the signature and the fame of the signee.    Back in the day, we wrote verses and messages hoping that we would be remembered in the future.

Down near the meadow, carved on a tree

Are two little words, “Remember Me.”

The verses and comments written by family, teachers and classmates might reflect a time when we didn’t really value these connections as much as we do now looking back.  A name and a few lines will jog a memory and we do think of a different time and place.  I wonder what simple things will be valued by the texting generation. 

My Mother wrote this profound ditty in my Father’s autograph book:

I met him in the garden

The night was still as death

I knew he knew his onions

‘Cause I smelled them on his breath.

The thoughts were sometimes serious, or friendly, or just plain silly.  If you skip to the back page, the final message (maybe written the first day in your new book ) will bring a smile to your face . . .

By hook or by crook

I’ve signed last in your book!

By Bev Cumming


  • 7 Aug 2021 11:28 AM | Anonymous
    Hi Bev,

    I enjoyed your article as it reminded me of the autographs in my book signed by Camrose friends in elementary school; some of whom I still know.
    A popular one was,

    "As you slide down the banister of life, beware of slivers!"

    We use to giggle about the literal meaning of this as children but as an adult, the advice became more metaphorical. One of the slivers for me was divorce!

    I wrote a poem when hiking with the Skyline Hikers for a week in the mountains and I think it would be a good autograph:

    "Forget Me Not with eye so yellow peeking out as if to say,"Please don't forget me today."

    One little flower flourished on a rocky trail even though it was whipped by the wind and soaked by the rain. Another autograph metaphor for persistence and resilience in life.

    Kathy Newman
    Link  •  Reply
    • 12 Oct 2021 10:04 AM | Anonymous
      Sorry that I am so late in seeing and appreciating your response. Love your "Forget-me-not" metaphor.
      Link  •  Reply

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