Thursday, January 13, 2011


 (My Report Cover was a painted photocopy)

Last October I shared with you about a trip my Mr. AGPMan and I made to Tuscumbia, Alabama where we saw firsthand the birthplace of Miss Helen Keller.  That little getaway did more to buoy my human spirit than any other vacation (big or small) I've made in recent years.
(Another water-colored Photocopy)

While digging for some special Christmas Keepsakes last December, I came across an old trunk my mother had given to me and tucked inside I found stacks of old school papers from my growing up years.

  I was truly overjoyed to find so many things written in my young hand because I believed most everything from my childhood had been damaged in a flood many years before.  I was over-the-moon happy when I found the book report I had done in March of 1971 on the life of Helen Keller.  I devoured everything I had written and found myself SMILING BIG at my wide-spaced penmanship and mis-spelled words (some things never change!).
How can it be that nearly 40 years have passed by since I penned the story of the life of a woman who still inspires me today?  I never could have dreamed back then that one day I would actually travel to Helen Keller's birthplace and see with my own two eyes the very place she once called home.
(That was an "A")

As I continued to flip through the piles of old reports my eyes were immediately drawn to a decorated folder I remembered very, very well.  Across the top was the name of a country I know I will one day visit...
 ~REPORT from December 1971~
(We are planning a trip to France in 2013)

As I picked up the cover that had gently faded to a soft red I recalled two specific things about my 7th grade Social Studies Class.  One...I seriously detested my teacher (he was a real creep...sorry!) who was nothing like my English Teacher, Mr. Whalen,  and how I had never forgotten the one and only thing he had said to me about my report...

"Becky...I am VERY aware how much of your quality time is wasted away by just playing!!!  You spend all this time trying to paint and draw while you should be studying! That FORCES me to ask you this question...Did YOU or someone else draw this cover.....?"

Now...I was no scholar in school, I can assure you of that.  I'd have been most happy to spend all of my time in art and music class and would have done just that if my Mom and Dad (and the school) had given me the high-five...

Still, after slaving over the writing of my assignment on France I was required (by my Momma, not the teacher) to decorate my book report folder.  Such things were important to her and thus became important to me.  She believed then (as I do now) that the "outward presentation" of one's work was equally important as what was on the inside!  Here I sit all these years later still believing with my whole heart that "packaging is everything!"

Anyway...although I ultimately received a good grade for my work about France my teacher made no bones about the fact he didn't believe I had drawn the picture of the Eiffel Tower shown on the front cover of my report...

Isn't it funny that here I am 40 plus years down the road and I still remember defending myself and my artwork?  I kid you not when I tell you that teacher made me draw the cover AGAIN (in his presence) before he would give me an "A" on the report.

And...for those of you who might be Mother had this amazing ability to turn from a fairly docile person straight into a BARRACUDA on a moment's notice!  She came to my rescue that day and I've never forgotten it.


After days and days and days of feeling absolutely crummy I'm finally off to work in my studio and hope to have some new website pretties offered up for your enjoyment this weekend.
 For some strange reason I feel totally led to design something with a sweet French Flair....

Blessings to you for a lovely day!
(Thank you Mom for your faith in me all these years...)


Julie Marie said...

Hi Rebecca, what a wonderful post!... I love that you uncovered these precious treasures from your past... and I love that you always tell it the way it is, your teacher WAS a creep!!!... your artwork is beautiful and I know you always put your whole heart into everything you do... love to you... xoxo Julie Marie PS I really LOVED your posts about visiting Helen Keller's home last year!

Sue @ Not the Good Scissors! said...

Oh my. What treasures. Your heart must have skipped a beat (or two) when you found your childhood writings. Your art work was beautiful then. Much like you I would have rather spent most of my schools days doing art and music.

Have a blissful day in your studio. Being in my sewing/studio room is when I am most content and calm. I cherish that quiet.

Big hugs, Sue
P.S. So happy to hear you are feeling better.

Jan's Blog said...

What a sweet remembrance. I too was fascinated and read stories of Helen Keller. She's become quite a hero of mine. As for France... I saw it the first time (Paris) at age 17 and it was a sight to behold. The last time I saw Paris was nearly 30 years ago. I wonder how things have changed. I guess I'll find out in 2013!!!

So glad you're feeling better!!!

Theresa said...

Beautiful post and FOLDER! I love it that you took the time to make the folder sooooo beautiful! Isn't it wonderful that you have all of these keepsakes? Your picture outside Ivy Green is so pretty!

Enjoy your evening! HUGS!

Dolores said...

Oh my goodness Rebecca.... this is the sweetest post!!!
Hey, you may not have tons of pictures from your childhood, but these wonderful stories and pictures that your sweet mother saved, are absolutely priceless!
I love this story!!!!

NanaDiana said...

I can remember just bawling when I read Helen Keller's life story. I was just so amazed that she could overcome so many obstacles to become the woman she ended up being.

I love those old reports. The covers are wonderful..You should frame them or something to preserve them. I kept a lot of my kids' stuff too and gave it to them in containers all sorted and catergorized a few years back. It was the hit of the day at Christmas.

Bless you- you are as sweet and dear now as I am sure you were in school. Hugs- Diana

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I didn't read the book but remember very well the movie with Patty Duke playing Helen.
Nice trip down memory lane and a great mother that kept these things for you.

Beach House 27 said...

Glad you're feeling better - that's a mean flu you guys had.

I WISH I was planning a trip to France! I am, however, planning a U.S. road trip - we're going from flea market to flea market with garage sales in between. Also at the top of my list is Helen Keller's home, a major highlight for me - I've always been in awe of her.

Love the old reports -

Oklahoma Granny said...

I can sympathize. I wrote a paper IN CLASS once and the teacher told me I had cheated somehow. Huh??? She said there was no way a junior in high school could have possibly had the insight to write a paper like the one I had written.

Jacoba said...

Hi Rebecca,
How wonderful you found these treasures, already showing your creativity. Blogging is such a wonderful means of sharing these (and your creativity) with the world.
Your teacher reminds of me of my exam official, asking me my study project: did someone else make this? Grrrr ....
It is a pity that often one gets intimidated in a negative way, instead of encouring one's creativity.
Well, Rebecca, despite all, your creativity was a stream that could not be stopped and we enjoy it everytime you post something on here!

Rena said...

Oh, you are such a dear, I loved this post! I had to LOL a couple times, just imagining what you wrote about your teachers, etc.

What a treasure in finding those childhood school reports!

Thanks for the ray of sunshine in my day...and the Lord bless you!

Barbara Jean said...

so great that you have those reports. I do not have anything from my childhood except report cards. (and those not too hot)

Off to catch up


barbara jean

Rita said...

I was thrilled to hear of your find! What a treasure that was. I wish now that I had kept more of my children's things like that so one day they would find them. I have a lot of their baby things, but didn't keep a lot of their school work. Great find and a great post!

Thearica said...

Growing up not 30 minutes from Helen Keller's Birthplace, she was always an inspiration to me. She was a remarkable lady! I am so glad you were able to come for a visit.

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