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September 16, 2010

Snips And Scraps

By Sara In AZ


So y’all, I was at this Estate Sale back in 2007. The lady that did this particular sale usually has things priced a bit high, so I wanted to go on the last day when everything would be half off. It was in a “fancy” part of town, where all the houses were big and I thought there would probably not be too much I was interested in. I walked around the house a bunch of times looking and scrounging for something when I found this scrapbook shoved in a corner under a bunch of other stuff.

I thought it was just beautiful. It was obviously hand made, and I could tell the owner really cherished it because she had taken the time to go back through the scrapbook and put those little hole reinforcement circles around each and every hole on all of the pages in the book. The book is made out of wood and it has a hinged cover. The ‘Bridal Memories’ is also done in wood and is raised up from the surface of the book.

When I first looked at the cover I noticed the wedding bells with the wedding date chiseled in it; I thought it said 1958, but I soon found out this book was actually from 1938!

I really had mixed feelings about buying this scrapbook, but not because I didn’t love it. You see, the lady who made this scrapbook – Helen, well her only son was right there during the estate sale and was letting these cherished family memories go. I really was heartbroken at the thought of him not wanting this book at all, when his mother obviously loved it so very, very much. I heard his mother was in a nursing home at that time, I’m sure she would have loved to look at her scrapbook pages again and again. To feel the wedding cards. To read the sentiments and well wishes……

 Her gorgeous wedding dress was also for sale that day, but the half off price was $175! YIKES!!! So, I had to pass on that. I hope someone gave it a good home though.

I could tell the way things were going at this sale the book was either going to end up in the trash or as a donation to Goodwill, or some other charity. This is a very fragile book, with construction paper type pages that are falling apart now; I could not picture this book surviving Goodwill. So, I paid my $10 and sadly walked away with Helen’s scrapbook full of memories.

Here are some of the scanned pages. There were many more pages that I did not scan. Pages and pages of wedding and shower cards, old Christmas cards, newspaper clippings, etc. You can see in some of the scans where the pages are chipping at the edges (and where Helen reinforced the all the pages with hole circles).  I also had to, kind of, glue many of the pages back together because they were ripping apart.

Click on any of the pictures for a larger view.

Here is her wedding invitation.

Here is a picture of her in her awesome wedding dress along with a wedding card.

Here is her wedding announcement.

Here are some pictures of the church and reception areas.

Here is her receipt for the marriage license. See 7/7/38! WOW!

Here a some Western Union Telegrams. So Sweet!

Here are some more wedding cards. I really love these old cards! You can see on some of the cards, that are just one sided, she wrote what she received from that person as a gift. Each and every wedding card had a note inside as to what the wedding gift was!

Here is a place card along, with a bridge card, and a clipping of Helen during a visit. She is so beautiful!

Here is a page full of newspaper clippings detailing the big move to Missouri!

So, Helen, where ever you are – your scrapbook is safe with me………………

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26 Responses to Snips And Scraps

  1. Lorie B Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Oh, goodness….This is such a beautiful thing! And it just breaks my heart that the son was just selling everything, regardless. How so sad. WHY didn’t her wedding dress go to a younger female family member? Why didn’t the son keep the scrapbook to share with his mother to make her life in the home easier? Why do people seem to shove the elderly aside as if they are not worth bothering with?

    It is such a sad topic, and all too common. We have a nursing home ministry at our church. It is so sad how some of these people NEVER have a visitor…yet the family lives nearby. They just cannot be bothered.

    Makes you wonder what Helen gave up in life to tend to this ungrateful son….and why he seems so ungrateful.

    Thank you so much for sharing this glimpse of history. It is a real treasure.

  2. Annie B. Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Oh, Sara! What an absolute treasure! You are the perfect person to “inherit” it, too. Helen would be so proud of you.

  3. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Oh my gosh, Sara! This made me cry! She was such a beautiful bride and the wedding looked amazing. For some reason, it’s the Western Unions that get to me. Something about getting one of those seems so important and touching. I guess because people don’t really do it anymore much.

    I have to admit that I want this story to end with you going to the nursing home to visit her and finding out that she’s totally lucid and then you share the album with her (and then she lets you keep it because you’ll become a frequent visitor). Of course, I watch too many movies with happy endings…but one never knows! 🙂

    I feel sad that so many of the sentimental things that the family *should* have wanted were being disposed of but let me tell you, if I were in her shoes, I’d want you to be the one to find MY wedding album. I know that you’ll keep it safe until you are an old, old woman.

  4. Barbara Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 10:55 am

    What a wonderful find! I love that kind of stuff!

    My brothers were cleaning out sheds and found old love letters from my grandparents to each other, letters from my dad to his dad during the war, etc., and were going to chuck them. I just passed my grandparents letters onto my uncle, saved my dads.

    I think things just don’t mean the same to sons as they do to daughters.

    The church is still there: 643 W 13th Ave, Escondido, CA 92025-5696; you can see it on Google. I’m sure it was smaller then!!

    But the best is the reception home – still very pretty.
    224 s. hickory street, escondido, ca

  5. Barbara Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Oh, one more comment – Do you think brother Aris and sister Avis were twins?

  6. Andrea Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    OMG, what a gorgeous dress! Is that the cape portion that has the fabulously long train?

    I am so surprised her wedding album wasn’t passed on to some family member of some sort, so sad. However, we all know that it’s definitely in good hands with you!

  7. Sara in AZ Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Lorie B. – Thank you so much. I am so glad you enjoyed seeing the scrapbook. I really wondered why the wedding dress did not go to a female family member too, so very sad. It really was a gorgeous dress. My Mom worked in a nursing home for many years, and saw firsthand how many elderly people were never visited at all by their family. That really breaks my heart the most.

    Annie B. – Thank You! 🙂 I really appreciate that! That is SO very kind of you to say!

    Eartha – I really loved seeing those old Western Unions too. She was sooooo beautiful and I could tell all her keepsakes were so cherished. I feel honored to be the caretaker of them until I am an old lady too! I actually did try looking her up here in AZ, but I believe she had remarried, so her last name was no longer Green. I could not find any real info as to where she actually was. I did want to try to meet her, but I never could find her. Thanks for your sweet words hon!

    Barbara – I definitely think Aris and Avis were twins! I am so glad you liked the post, thank you! All of your letters sound SO awesome; you should totally do a post on all of them. I looked up the house and church too! Isn’t it cool that they are still around after all this time!!!

  8. Sara in AZ Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Andrea – Thanks so much for your kind words, I really appreciate that! I was shocked that no one in the family wanted the album either. And yes, the cape portion had the long train – the dress was sooooo gorgeous, I wanted it SO badly, but it was just too much money.

  9. sablemable Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Saraaaaaaaaaaa!!!! Now I know why we are friends; you are such a sensitive soul!

    I’d like to put Helen’s son over my knee and rock his world for departing with family treasures as this.

  10. Jennfer Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Oh my! I am sitting here at work fighting back the tears after reading this. I enlarged every image and just felt as if I were apart of Helen’s life! My mother died when I was younger so ANYTHING that I have of hers I cherish. And being that I’m one of four children and I cannot have everything that was hers so the thought of someone selling anything that was my mom’s in an estate sale just breaks my heart. What a beautiful woman and person she was. So sentimental to have kept everything.

    If I were you, I’d be on a mission to find her and go to the nursing home. You can find anybody today with the internet! If she’s still cognizant, you’d probably make the last part of her life the best just by listening to her stories. Goodness, now I’m getting all choked up again.

    Enjoy your wonderful treasure.

    By the way, I just found you not long ago and I eagerly check my RSS feed several times a day in anticipation for updated postings.


  11. Sara in AZ Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Awwwww Sable! You are a sweetie! Thank You! Yes, I was really stunned that he did not want the scrapbbok – so sad!

  12. Sara in AZ Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Jennifer – Thanks so much for your comments, I really appreciate your kind words. I was really heart-broken that no-one in the family wanted the scrapbook – esp. her son. If I understood things right, he was also her only child. So very sad. I will try to find her, I promise! She does seem like a very beautiful and sentimental person and I am sure she has some really AWESOME stories. I totally understand about cherishing family memories – esp. the special mementos from your Mother, I am the same way. I am so happy you found us and like the blog! We look forward to having you around! 🙂

  13. Barbara Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Missouri Public Service Company

    In 1926 he sold it to the Fitkin Group again which merged with the Missouri Public Service Company. Green retired to Escondido, California where bought a 2,000-acre (8.1 km2) orange grove. He died in 1930.

    The Public Utilities Act of 1935 broke up utilities. Green’s son Ralph Green bought controlling interest in Missouri Public Service. Green was bring in Middle West Corporation, Missouri Gas & Electric Service Company and City Light and Traction Company of Sedalia, Missouri.
    [edit] UtiliCorp United Inc.

    Ralph Green died in 1962 and his son Richard Green took the helm. Richard Green, Jr. took over in 1982. The latest Green looked to expand it beyond its Missouri base and it was renamed UtiliCorp United Inc. in 1985.

    It bought People’s Natural Gas, Northern Minnesota Utilities, West Virginia Power, West Kootenay Power and Light in British Columbia, Michigan Gas Utilities.

    In 1989 it assigned its unregulated gas operations to a newly created subsidiary, Aquila Energy Corp.

    The acquisitions were done by issuing stock and reducing Green family control.

    In 1992 the company entered into a joint venture to distribute and market natural gas in the United Kingdom. From 1995 to 2000 it bought interest in utilities in New Zealand and Australia.

    In some markets Utilicorp placed electric and phone bills on the same bill.
    [edit] Aquila, Inc.

    In 2001 UtiliCorp spun off Aquila but then bought it back in 2002 and then renamed the entire corporation Aquila, Inc.

  14. Barbara Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Eeep! Family infighting – Looks like you met Jeff, Sara…


    Jeffrey Green is the only child of Aris Green, the brother of Rick Green’s father, Richard Green Sr., who ran Aquila predecessor Missouri Public Service from 1966 until he died in 1982.

    Aris Green, who died when he was 39, (per date of article and twin brother’s age, I assume he died in 1955) was the twin brother of 89-year-old Avis Green Tucker, a director emeritus at Aquila.

    Aris Green has not factored into Aquila’s history as prominently as his siblings. In the 1992 book “Power: The Story of Missouri Public Service,” which was published by the company, Aris Green is mentioned twice in 175 pages.

    His son has not shared that history, either. Whereas Rick and Bob Green joined the family business, Jeffrey Green went to Italy to study to be an opera singer.

    Read more: Pretrial deal spares Aquila’s Green family ugly feud about trust – Kansas City Business Journal

  15. Miss Marwood Reply

    September 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    This is so heartbreaking, how COULD he sell this beautiful book, which should be a cherished heirloom? It really brings tears to my eyes. Must be some insane crack-head who needs the dosh.

    What a proud bride – just stunning. But she is a lucky lady after all, thanks to you Sara she gets admired again in all her splendour by a very appreciative audience, 70 years later! How many brides can say that about themselves.

    I would not be surprised if you get contacted by some relative some day, trying to find out about her ancestors and who ended up on this lovely blog after googling her name.

    Yay to you, Sara! Keep it safe. x

  16. Sara in AZ Reply

    September 17, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Barbara – YOU GO GIRL! Look at all that sleuthing you did. I actually did see that story about Aquila a long time ago – right after I bought the book. Definitely there was some family fighting going on! Let me know when you find Helen for me! 🙂 Good work!

    Miss Marwood – She really was so beautiful wasn’t she. I imagine her wedding as something out of a fairy tale. Thanks for your kind words! And, I do hope someone contacts me someday about her, that would be great!

  17. Sharon Reply

    September 17, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Such a bittersweet story of a good find and the sad circumstances that brought it into your hands. I’m so, so glad that you’re the keeper of Helen’s memories, Sara. And now that you’ve shared her with us, we can all have a little piece of Helen in our hearts — we’ll keep her memories safe right along with you.

    Thanks for sharing this and for putting the photos of Helen into the Forgotten Bride group on Flickr. We are glorifying the brides that were left behind and celebrating their beauty — Helen is a wonderful addition.

  18. Sara in AZ Reply

    September 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Oh Sharon, thanks so very much for your kind words sweetie! You wrote it more perfectly than I ever could have. I just wanted everyone to know something about this lovely and beautiful lady.

    And thanks for starting the Forgotten Bride group on Flickr! That was such a GREAT idea!!! I’m so happy Helen is remembered with all the other lovely brides in your group.

  19. Pam P Reply

    September 18, 2010 at 3:00 am

    I love how the world can be so small. I live 2000 miles away in Missouri, but I grew up only a few miles from where this couple was married in Escondido, Ca and I have been several times to Grace Lutheran church. So wild! I love that she kept all of these treasures and now they are in safe hands.

  20. Pam P Reply

    September 18, 2010 at 3:17 am

    And even crazier, just looked closer at the first telegram and it was sent from Bill in Columbia, Missouri, which is where I live…wow

  21. Sarsaparilla Reply

    September 18, 2010 at 11:31 am

    How beautiful! I love vintage scrapbooks of any kind, but this one’s especially meaningful. The carved cover is fabulous.

    I’m so glad that you decided to buy it, despite the uncomfortable circumstances. The “bride” would be pleased that we’re all enjoying looking back at her special day.

  22. Sara in AZ Reply

    September 18, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Pam P. – Oh my gosh, that is really too wild! What a crazy coincidence! Thanks so much for your comment. I will definitely always treasure her scrapbook.

    Sarsaparilla – Thank you! You are so right, I know that Helen would love that we are all enjoying her scrapbook! When I saw that carved cover I was sold!

  23. martha Reply

    January 29, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Aris Green was a kind and wonderful man. My Mother, in fact had such a crush on him that she and my Father named my brother Aris. Aris and Helen were close friends with my Mother’s parents, who founded the Lutheran church in Warrensberg, Mo. My Mother was a teenager when she knew Aris, but he was so kind and handsome that my Mother was enamored with him. Aris always talked about wanting my Mother to meet his nephew Alson. When my parents finally meet at Aris’s funereal, it was love at first sight and they were married six months later. Both my parents have passed, but my Aunts and Uncles still talk about him occasionally, always with nice things to say.

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