Author: Luisa Perkins
•9:05 AM
My mother was recently doing some sorting and purging of old boxes at her house and came across a box of my mementos. She promptly sent it off to me along with these:And these:Very welcome treats; thanks, Mom! I can get neither Mother's Circus Animal Cookies (the Keebler rip-off version is a cruel travesty) nor See's Candy here in the otherwise perfect Hudson Highlands.

But even better was the box of stuff: old letters, diaries, and photos; programs and awards; every essay I wrote for Senior A/P English; and much, much more. Here are a few choice items:

*Updated* A lurker who prefers to remain anonymous asked for a detailed caption of the above photo. Clockwise (sort of) from noon: Madness concert program; The Police concert program; U2 concert sticker; first and second place ribbons for speech tournaments; visitor pass to NASA's Ames Research Center; essay from Honors History (grade: A); Merrie Miss achievement bracelet; Stanislaus County Essay Contest Scholarship certificate; Sam Gamgee journal; cover from Computer Programming class manual (loved that TRS-80); photos of Charles and Diana's wedding cut out of People magazine; mimeographed and hand colored worksheets on Elizabeth I of England; The Best of Omni, issue #6; a page from the 1980 Tolkien wall calendar, illustrated by the Hildebrandt brothers; and a rugby tournament program. There: I think that's everything.

One of the best (read: most embarrassing) items in the lot is that Sam Gamgee journal. I used that notebook to record what I considered to be my very best excerpts of creative writing between 1980 and 1981. Here are two snippets:


*Updated* Annette couldn't read the journal entries and was good enough to speak up about it, so here are the transcripts:

"Her golden hair sparkled and glistened in the last rays of the sunset, billowed and streamed in the slight breeze which fled through the meadow. It made a halo, transfiguring her into a fire queen, or a goddess of love. Her face took on a joyous expression, as if she were drinking in the last drops of warmth on her face. She spread out her arms in love and gratitude. Then the glorious moment passed, leaving the poor peasant girl to trudge home, sad and alone.

--March 1981"

"The wizard's mind was cold and twisted. Dark columns of evil hung from the caverns of his intellect, ruthlessly sharp and deadly. The expansive knowledge he had eagerly accumulated in his younger, fuller, years, when he was still "white," had gradually darkened and decayed until it was rotten. But in a way, as if it were being fed somehow, the knowledge grew, encompassing all manner of malignant studies and malevolent experiments.

As the years passed, these studies became increasingly cruel, often with people as their victims. Often, when one of those preyed-upon was screaming and writhing in agony unimaginable, he too would scream; but with laughter that chilled bones and curdled blood. He would become hysteric [sic], waves of hate washing over him. His insanity was horrific, and his name became hated passionately; and just as passionately feared. Mothers had only to whisper his name, and children were terrified into obedience. And so the legend was begun.

--April 1981"

Yikes. Talk about agony unimaginable; I was even more addicted to semicolons and adverbs at 14 than I am now. But progress is good, right?

We are talking Good Times, my friends. There is so much blog fodder in this box that I will be set for many a Flashback Friday and Soap Opera Sunday to come. Stay tuned.
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18 comments:

On 26/9/07 , Kimberly said...

Can't wait for the blog posts that lovely package is going to inspire. I'm grinning over the similarity of our past musical tastes, and the fact that I had a very similar journal once upon a time ago.

And those circus cookies? A confession? I used to babysit a little boy whose mum would include those in his snack back. And sometimes I'd snitch them. Whew...what a weight off!

 
On 26/9/07 , Jen said...

Okay, Luisa... more fodder for connection - The Police, U2 and Omni! LOL... this just keeps cracking me up.

 
On 26/9/07 , Jenna said...

What a fun package to get in the mail! Yah, Mom! I wish I was there going through it all with you. Sounds like so much fun. I'll bet you have a perpetual smile on your face as you peruse.

 
On 26/9/07 , Annette Lyon said...

What a blast from the past! Love it. I can't make out the journal writing, but I'm impressed at your handwriting. At that age, mine was chicken scratchings.

Okay, fine. It still is.

 
On 26/9/07 , James Dashner said...

That's pretty cool. My mom has a really old trunk at home that has all my junk in it. I love looking through that thing.

 
On 26/9/07 , soccer mom in denial said...

What a wonderful box your mom sent! How cool.

I was obsessed with Diana and Charles' wedding.

 
On 26/9/07 , Annette Lyon said...

I'm seriously impressed with the vocabulary and scope of imagination you had at thath age. Flowery and purple yes, but seeds of a great writer were already there. Thanks for the transcripts!

 
On 26/9/07 , Summer said...

I'm terribly sad that I can find neither Juicefuls nor Sonic Fast Food Restaraunts nor Hostess Jelly filled Powdered Donuts here in our area of Maryland.
Quite a tragedy for my poor gut.

 
On 26/9/07 , NH Knitting Mama said...

That's awesome! I bet you're having fun looking at it all, too.

 
On 27/9/07 , dawn said...

That is a great collection of keepsakes, and I look forward to the fodder.

You have probably noticed I am a comma freak, and to stir things up a bit, I add in some semi colons. I doubt I will change; I am not looking to become a writer, and I am not working at better writing skills.

 
On 27/9/07 , Jenna said...

Whoa, what a nerd! :)

 
On 27/9/07 , Julie Q. said...

I'm glad I didn't get here until after all the updates, although I do have to say, I love the handwritten version of your writing; you have gorgeous cursive!

I have the same bracelet. I think I'll wear it to church some day soon. (It was hard work earning all those little ovals).

 
On 27/9/07 , Sirdar said...

It is so neat to get old stuff from you past. Brings back such good memories I bet.

I like that your mother send you those items that you love and can't get where you live. We have friends in Guatemala and when they come up they load themselves up with stuff from here and others bring stuff down for them. We've sent them chocolate bars and of course Hawkins Cheesies.

 
On 28/9/07 , Carrot Jello said...

I realize this is my first visit here, but I would like to just get this out of the way.
I freaking hate circus cookies.
Sorry. Continue on.

 
On 28/9/07 , Mama Zen said...

Oh, wow! I remember getting up at 4 in the morning or something to watch the royal wedding. Ah, memories!

 
On 28/9/07 , Catherine said...

That is TOO COOL!!! Now I want animal crackers...

I've been thinking of doing flashbacks myself.

And...the Cubs magic number is 2!!! Although we can't seem to win a game. Can we REALLY be friends if I'm Cubs and you're Mets?? I was carefully taught to despise the Mets...

 
On 5/10/07 , Dapoppins said...

what a treasure box. My mom never sends me candy! AND: your journal stories are much neater than mine were. As in, more navigable.


navigable...not sure what that means, but it sounds good here. heh...

 
On 8/10/07 , rjlight said...

I've always love the frosted circus cookies but never understood why. It's nice to know others have my same taste!:) Thanks for the html stuff -- I might find time soon. How do you do all that you do?