Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.
The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’. I have posts scheduled for another few weeks but that will bring this current series to an end. Another series will begin in the new year.
In this series I will be sharing posts from the half of 2022
Today author and poet Elizabeth Gauffreau takes us back to her teen years and a treasured newspaper clipping and her first byline…..
Juvenilia: “They Felt Like Clapping Hands & Jumping Up & Down”
My First Published Byline
Apparently, this was my first published byline, which appeared in the Enosburg Standard somewhere around 1967-68. I’m the dejected chubby girl in full Girl Scout regalia in the back row.
I’ve often wondered as I consider cleaning out an overstuffed closet whether one’s juvenilia is an important enough record of a writer’s development to preserve. In my own case, common sense would say no, of course not, don’t be silly.
Yet, I refuse to part with any of it, even though these painfully immature little poems and stories tucked into the folders and boxes that clutter my daily existence are of absolutely no use to me and certainly of no use to posterity.
Regardless, this little article from the Enosburg Standard is worth preserving because it tells me how much I was loved as a child, even a chubby and dejected prepubescent child. My mother had clipped the article and mailed it to my grandmother Velma, who saved it with her papers, leaving it behind when she died in 1975. “They Felt Like Clapping Hands & Jumping Up & Down” came full circle back to me in 2016, when as the eldest of the current generation, I became the keeper of The Family Archives.
In Case Anyone Is Interested . . .
On December 6th Girl Scout Troop 185 had their candlelight ceremony to get their pins.
The middle trefoil was lit by three patrol leaders and the other ten candles were lit by the other patrol leader and nine other girls who did not receive pins.
The fourth graders who received pins were: Cindy Carpenter, Lisa Robtoy, Cathy Myott, Kathy Hayes, Patty McDermott, Nancy Green, Linda Fortin, and Cindy Deming.
The fifth and sixth graders were Marlene Hemond and Nancy Laflam.
The four patrol leaders, Debby Patch, Ardell Beaulieu, Colleen Colburn, Cindy Broe, received their leaders cords.
Two girls received badges. Liz Gauffreau earned the collector and Colleen Colburn earned the housekeeper.
On Nov. 15th and 22nd, Mrs. Amlaw taught the troop square dancing.
The girls have taken up as a service project, collecting books for the men in Vietnam.
©Elizabeth Gauffreau 2022
My thanks to Liz for letting me delve into her archives and I definitely believe this is well worth preserving for future generations. Wonderful that it has been treasured all these years. I know Liz would love to receive your thoughts on the subject.
About Elizabeth Gauffreau
Elizabeth Gauffreau writes fiction and poetry with a strong connection to family and place. She holds a B.A. in English from Old Dominion University and an M.A. in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently the Assistant Dean of Curriculum & Assessment for Champlain College Online, where she is an Associate Professor. Her fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines and several themed anthologies. Her debut novel, Telling Sonny, was published by Adelaide Books in 2018. Liz lives in Nottingham, New Hampshire with her husband.
Books by Elizabeth Gauffreau
One of the reviews for Telling Sonny
Family dramas are not my usual choice of genre, but the historical basis for the book, set in the US in the 1920s when vaudeville shows were at the height of their popularity, captured my interest.
The story is simple: small town girl, Faby, is swept off her feet by a handsome dancer from out of town. All too quickly she falls pregnant and her life is changed forever. Forced to marry, she accompanies him on the small time vaudeville circuit, on a series of increasingly uncomfortable train journeys and cheap hotel stop-overs as her pregnancy progresses.
As the story unfolds over the few fateful months of Faby’s pregnancy, and I found myself totally immersed in the small but uncomfortable details of this unfortunate and naïve young woman’s life. But although she weeps, she remains stoical. She observes, she questions and she reveals so much about her inner self through the way she describes her experiences on the road. The dual narrative of the physical and the psychological is gripping, yet it is told seamlessly with so light a touch.
A fascinating and clearly well-researched read, replete with beautiful prose and keen observation, I can’t recommend this novel highly enough.