Monday, November 03, 2003


Finding old family treasures is always fun, and I got a few on Saturday. The first was Great Grandpa Boone's shape note book, that Monee and Pa found and gave to me. It was published in 1899, and has inscriptions in it from the original owner and also from Grandpa Boone when he got it. This isn't the actual copy that he used, but a similar one sent to him by McPherson College in 1991. (He had attended McPherson and donated a lot of money over the years, and my grandparents, I think, asked the college if they could find a copy and send it to him.) It has several of his favorite songs marked in it, though, and one that was a favorite of his father's. Glancing through it so far, I haven't found any songs that I recognize from the Sacred Harp, which is what most shape note people today sing from. But I did find one song that's on Testimony's CD, Echoes. That was kind of neat.

Another neat thing was a newspaper article Monee and Pa dug up somewhere and put in one of the photo albums. It was from 1961 or so, and had a picture of them having just won a "Best Dancers" award in their dance class. Very cool. (By the way — thanks for the dancing genes!)

The last treasure was a video of Grandpa Boone at age 100, reciting the "Vacation Time" poem which was apparently a bit of a signature piece for him, though I don't think I had ever heard it from him myself. It was a somewhat amusing poem, but the best part was to see him recite it. It really felt like he was telling a story, and it just happened to be rhyming as it went along. He stalled somewhere in the middle, not remembering if there were more verses or not, but once he got going again, he was really into it. He put about as much energy into it as you could imagine a 100-year-old man doing, and it was really neat. It was also nice just to see him again, even just in a video. He died when I was in high school, and I had only seen photos of him since then. It brought back lots of memories to see him and hear his voice again.

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