Friday, January 24, 2014

Wish Book

I found this memory book at an estate sale last Saturday.  It was $1.50 and seemed worth saving.  It was made especially for students of Froebel School for the class year of 1947/48.

Froebel School is now the Froebel Literacy Academy.  Surprisingly, it hasn't changed much.  It stands at 3705 Nebraska Avenue in St. Louis.

The owner of the book was Darlene Culigno.

Darlene was born in 1934 and was 14 at the time of this autograph book.  She lived at 2815 Chippewa Street.

It's a vacant lot now

Her parents were Italian immigrants named Mennato and Filomena Culicigno.  She had 5 sisters: Olivia, Edith, Elvera, Lorraine and Ermelia and one brother, Milton.  The only reference to any of them that I can find outside of census records was a small note in a local newspaper:

 Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Deeken and her mother, Mrs. Anna Niernann, will spend the holidays in St. Louis, where they will attend the wedding of Harry Stevens and Elvera Culicigno. Mr. Stevens is a brother of the Rev. Aloys Stevens here.

Darlene's Teachers
Note that all of the teachers were single.

Darlene's Favorites:

Author: Kathleen Norris
Book: Mystery House

Song: Ballerina was recorded by several artists around 1948 including Bing Crosby and Tommy Dorsey.

Favorite Sport: Basketball

Favorite High School: Barrett Center (I couldn't find any reference to this school)

Motto: "Yesterday's Work is Today's Reward".

Class Leaders, in Darlene's eyes.  All of them sign in her book.

Darlene's Classmates, along with addresses

Alas, we have no photo of Darlene.

The reflections and well-wishes in the book begin with one from Darlene's mother on January 5th, 1948.

Dear Darlene,
When you are in the kitchen learning 
how to cook, 
remember it was 
Mother who wrote
 this in your book,

Next up are her teachers, most with inspirational and devotional thoughts.

"There is nothing impossible to him who will try." Alexander

Best Wishes, Darlene
Thelma Koeln
Room 1

Dear Darlene,
Best wishes for your happiness and success.

Miss Huff
Room 2

Dear Darlene,
The Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.
-Psalm 84:11

Elda S. Frank
Room 6 

Dear Darlene,
"A thoroughbred controls his thoughts, words, and actions."

Best wishes,
Sarah Drennan
Room 10

Dear Darlene,
May you have a happy and successful future.

B Steber
Room 11

Dear Darlene,
Success and happiness is my wish for you.
Ruth Meyer
Room 12

Dear Darlene,
"Do all the good you can and make as little fuss about it as possible."

Sincerely yours,
Emily Koenig
Room 13

"All who joy would win Must share it -- happiness was born a twin."
Best Wishes,
Delphine Cleary
Room 16

Dear Darlene,
There are girls who can smile
when they're happy
And life goes along like a song,
But the girl worthwhile is
the girl who can smile
When everything seems to go wrong.

Best wishes to a sweet girl,
Margaret Miller
Room 18

Dear Darlene,
I'm sorry I didn't have you in my kindergarten.

Veda Lynn

Then some more light-hearted sentiments from her friends and classmates.

Dear Darlene,
Love your Mother,
Love your Father,
Love your sisters and your brother,
Love your playmates and your toys,
But never, never, love the boys.
Your friend,
Pat Hezel

Dear Darlene,
If all the boys lived over
The sea, what a good swimmer
Darlene would be.

Your Classmate
Roy Higginbotham
  2 bad
+2 be

I wonder if Roy is related to this Higginbotham.

Dear Darlene,
If ever a husband you should have
and he this book should see
Just tell him of your youthful days
and kiss him once for me.
Your Classmate,
Marilyn Mechler

Dear Darlene
The higher the mountain
The stronger the breeze
The younger the couple
The tighter they squeeze.
Your Pal & Classmate
Ray Dove

   2 good
+ 2 be
4 gotten
(I hope)

Eyes are made to sparkle
Cheeks are made to blush
Lips are made to ------
Oh no you just hush.
You Classmate
Duretta Ortner

p.s. Good Luck

Dear Darlene,
Think of me long
Think of me ever
Think of the fun we had together.

Your friend & classmate
Betty Wortman

Dear Darlene,
On this leaf in memory prest,
may my name forever rest.
Your Classmate
Bill Hartmann (The Great)

Dear Darlene,
When you go to a party
And come home late
Don't stand talking
And swinging on the gate.
Best of Luck
Your Classmate
Elinora Smock

2 good
+2 b
4 gotten

Dear Darlene,

Apples are grown in Washington,
They're grown in Oregon too,
But it took Missouri
To grow a peach like you

Jackie Svenson

Dear Darlene,
Never fall in water
Never fall in mud
If you fall in anything,
fall in love.

Your classmate 

2 cute
2 be
4 gotten

Dear Darlene
Under the spreading Chestnut Tree
The village Smithy stands
But instead of holding the horsehoof
He's holding Darlene's hand.
Friend and Classmate
Jane Slavik
P.S.  I forgot your poem.

Dear Darlene,
There are Gold Ships
There are Silver Ships
But there are no Ships
Like our Friendship

Your Classmate
Marian Kraus

Dear Darlene,
Write in your book for critics to spy
For learners to laugh at
No not I.
Your Friend
Virginia Nash

I wonder what Virginia would have thought of all the eyes that are spying her words now.

Dear Darlene,
When on this page you chance to look
Just think of me and close the book.

Your friend and Classmate

2 cute
2 be
4 gotten

for get me not (one word in each corner)

Dear Darlene

I wish I were a fish
I wish I was a bass
so I could climb the poles and trees
and slide down on the hands and knees.

Your classmate
Jim McClane

Not sure what Jim was trying to get at there.  I'm sure it was meant to be a play on the expected rhyme for "bass", but the second verse reads like he lost all train of thought.

Dear Darlene
I thought & thought & thought in vain
at last I thought to write my name
Your classmate
John Drews

Dear Darlene
Darlene had a steamboat
The steamboat had a bell
Darlene went to heaven
The steamboat went Toot Toot.
Your classmate
James Provaznik

Dear Darlene
When you get married & your hubbie's cross
pick up the broom & say "I'm Boss",
Your Classmate
Violet Lyons

Dear Darlene,
I had a little doggie
I fed him on tim cans
And when the litle puppies came
They came in Ford Sedans.

Love & Kisses,

Dear Darlene:


That Harry.  What a jokester.

Dear Darlene,
When you get married and have twenty-five
Don't call it a family, Call it a tribe.
Yours till Niagra Falls
Warren Underwood
2 cute
+2 b
4 gotten

Dear Darlene,
It is not the pen that writes friend,
But the friend that writes with the pen.
Your Classmate
Robert Bundy (?)

Dear Darlene,
May all your troubles
be little ones.
Your Classmate
Bob Hughes

When evening draws her curtains
And pins them with a star
Remember me Darlene,
Though I may wander far!
Arabia? Venezuala. Alaska - Kentucky?
Best wishes for the future with 
fond memories of the past.
Betty Boop (it's as good a guess as any!)

Dear Darlene:
I wish you luck,
I wish you you joy
I wish you first a baby boy,
and when his hair begins to curl
I wish you then a baby girl
Your Classmate
Christine Polewski
2 cute
2 b
4 gotten

Dear Darlene,
That delectable dish
May perhaps be fish
But remember the blue book
That taught you something to cook.
Minnie C. Grant

We now leap forward 2 years to May of 1950.

Dear Darlene,
I don't know anything witty to say so I'll just wish you lots of good luck in the future.
Your Classmate,
Charlotte Steffen (or Stiffen)

Dear Darlene:
First comes Love, then comes marriage, and here comes Darlene with the baby carriage.
Best wishes and happiness for your coming life and career.
Your Classmate,
Celestine Applean (?)

Dear Darlene:
I wish you success and happyness in the future years of life. 
May you and that ( ______ ) of yours be always in good health
and happyness.
Love Mary (Butch)

Dear Darlene
Life is like a deck of cards
When your in love its hearts
When your engaged its diamonds
When your married its clubs
When your dead its spades.

Your friend
and classmate
Carol Mueller

Dear Darlene;
I know this page
is saved for your lover
but the heck with him
he can write on the cover.
Your pal and classmate,
Betty Hampton

Dear Darleneee
Love and trust few,
always paddle your own canoe.

Love & Stuff
Donnie Deliberti

Yours till pillow cases goes to court.

Dear Darlene,
I love you little
I love you big
I love you like
a little pig.

Your Classmate
Dolores Walcher

for get
me not

Dear Darlene,
Just to show that I'm a clown,
I'll write my name upside down.

Marilyn Sartori (?)
Lots of luck and happiness in the future.

Dear Darlene,
Roses may wither
Flowers may die
Friends may forget you
But never will I.
Your pal
Virginia Koenig

I don't want to wax too sappy, and believe me,at times sap runs through me like a Maple in spring, but I wonder where the wishes go when the life has been lived and those that vowed to remember them forever are gone.

We'll never know if Darlene's friends did remember her forever, but thanks to the internet, Darlene won't be forgotten.

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