Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Where are those Yearbooks?

Stephen D Matthews, Wesleyan University '58

I realized this morning that it has been a week since my last post. Blogging is not on my to-do list today but I am trying not to let more than a week go by between posts so I was thinking about possible topics while doing other things and then I passed by this caricature of my father that hangs in our back hall.

My father and grandfather both received their bachelors degrees at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Both of them worked on their yearbooks at Wesleyan and before that at prep school. My father hoarded books, a great deal of my last visit at my step-mother's was spent going through Dad's books and resisting the urge to bring them all home with me. But we could not find any yearbooks, none of Dad's, none of my grandfather's! I know my parents had a leak in our home in Rockville Centre when I was little that damaged many things beyond saving, but that wouldn't explain what has become of my grandfather's yearbooks since they wouldn't have been in our home then.

Luckily I have been able to find the Olla Podrida (Wesleyan's yearbook) on Ancestry from 1958, the year my father graduated and it is quite the find. I knew that my father was very involved as a student and I knew some of the clubs to which he belonged, but some were a complete surprise.

Major: English; High Distinction; Eclectic, Coragus; Olla Podrida; WESU; Glee Club, 3, 4; Jibers, leader 4; Fire Chief; C.A.; Canterbury Club; Pre Ministerial Club; French Club; C.B. Elections Committee.

He was busy! I do check ebay and some other sites from time to time for copies of their other yearbooks but hadn't ordered any until now because they weren't from graduating years, which tend to have the most information about a specific person and I was holding out hope of finding their copies.

Now that it seems that won't happen, I just now ordered a 1923 yearbook from Wyoming Seminary. That was my grandfather's first and junior year at the prep school in Kingston, PA so I may not find too much, but it was only $9.99 so what the heck. If I find anything interesting, I'll be sure to share it here.