Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn CrawlΒ is on through Sunday, September 25.

Contest Over!

Dear Ann,
Coming up for air after reading so many wonderful stories in the comments. Oh the humanity! The Schwinns! The matching halters and culottes! The gingham! The Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizzas! Cherry Ames, RN! Trixie Belden! Being reminded of Christy by Catherine Marshall, which I haven’t thought of in dog’s years, and the image of the cover blasting instantly into my brain. (Must read that again NOW. Worrying that it won’t be as good as I remember it.)
I was unable to locate a photo of my youngster self that had the perfect storm of seersucker short set, smeared glasses, and pixie cut, so I went with this view circa age 8, right before I was stricken with with myopia. This shows a very fresh pixie; maybe my mom had trimmed my bangs herself, seeing as how the photographer was coming. (Getting picture taken in our living room by a travelling photographer is another vivid childhood memory. He had a portable screen he put up behind us. Either my brother or my sister could be relied upon to cry; I sat stoically, bangs (what was left of them) facing forward. The burden of Oldestness.) I found photos of Keds, miscellaneous unflattering eyewear, a hot pink maxi skirt I sewed myself –but no seersucker, no appliqued fruit. From my sisters in the comments, I know that these short sets existed. I know I wore them. I got nothing to prove here.
I would like to announce the winners of our contest, who will receive signed copies of our new book when it comes out in September.
Random-draw winners are:
Someone who signed “~S” (sulitk)
Jill (jrfdalton)
I should know by now that there will always be too many good stories to pick just 2, but I had to, so I did. (Well, OK, I picked 3.) Story winners are:
Erica who was not allowed to check out The Life and Times of Albert Einstein at the library (why yes, she was a giant geek), because she was a child and it was an adult book. Nor was Erica’s mother allowed to check it out for her at the library, but all was saved by the bookmobile, which struck a blow for freedom.
Pat (“I could never do a cartwheel, and I blame the bookmobile.”)
Tracy, whose mom drove the bookmobile, and in fact WAS the bookmobile.
Winners please email your mailing address to bigbonegal AT hotmail DOT com.
Thanks so much to everyone who entered. I loved the stories of bookmobiles and libraries. And all those mean librarians of yore–surely they helped mold character. Perhaps they will get their just reward at that big bookmobile in the sky, where you cannot even think about checking out a Harlequin Romance for the first 10,000 years. I cannot believe the similarity of the books that so many read as children, regardless of generation or location, or the wide variety of books people are reading now. It’s given me all sorts of additions to my to-read list. Feel free to dip into the comments and find something good to curl up with on the rollaway, everyone.
(Which reminds me of a beloved college professor, whose 1950s high school yearbook caption said his ambition was to “curl up with a good book.” I heard the story from his wife of many decades. The former Miss Book.)
And a special thank you to Sharon for leading me to this YouTube, which should be called Disco Bookmobile.
I’m off to Omaha, where I may find evidence of seersucker, or at least culottes. My summer wardrobe could use some pepping up; I’m thinking: scooter skirt. I rocked the scooter skirt.
Happy Monday,



  1. heavy sigh. and congratulations to all the winners (said in an Eyeore voice….)
    enjoy the book and don’t give away the good parts while we wait for it to come to Japan…..
    and do you all remember the tape that our moms put on our bangs before she cut them so that they would be straight???

  2. Oh, so that’s what the strange garment I bought in Chapel Hill was. A Scooter Skirt. I thought I’d been mysteriously transported to Utah…those built in shorts. Very strange for a Brit. We don’t have them, you see.
    Very useful it was too: a short skirt, and none of the rugby team could see my scanties while I was sunbathing/catapulting across the pitch with the ice pack while we were touring near Duke.

  3. Wow! I won? I never win! I’m so excited; thanks!
    What a great idea this was; I really loved reading through all the comments. I was reminded of so many wonderful books and some great reading memories. There were some titles that were new to me that I simply must go find. Gotta go to the library and get some of those for my daughter … or for me!

  4. Dittos, Jan in nagasaki…
    But, yes, congrats to all of the winners; we were all in this together!

  5. OMG! Scooter skirts. I remember them. And the pink tape to hold the bangs straight. That was after the disastrous home perm had grown out. And I, insufferable prig, was allowed to do a book report on The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in sixth grade. Some librarian should have stopped me!

  6. Back away from the Christy, NOW. I decided to re-read it a while back, it is a cringe-a-thon. Leave it at your happy memories of weeping through the last third of the book as a 13 yo!

  7. Ditto the I won and gee how not to scream and draw attention to myself at work. Thanks so much for this contest and I did love reading everyone’s comments. Counting the days to Sept. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  8. ((((((Trixie Belden))))))))
    I had bangs just like that every picture day too. :o)

  9. Dude! How could I miss this?! How. How?!

  10. My grandmother, an elementary school teacher, would always cut my bangs VERY SHORT the night before, (no time for the bangs to grow out even the tiny-est bit), photo day at school. Problem was, I had very stick straight hair- so, my bangs were actually sticking OUT FROM MY FOREHEAD instead of just being TOO SHORT on my forehead.
    I also wore the searsucker short sets– but, alas I don’t have any photos from childhood with me– ok, at this moment- I don’t have anything of my own w/ me (considering the new move and I’m staying in a hotel right now).
    AND how could I forget to report about reading: THE CALL OF THE WILD, FLICKA, (or was that: Flicker?), BLACK BEAUTY, and some other horse story… I was big on the horse stories- I do remember that.
    However, my favorites were: THE BOBSEY TWINS (spelling?) and Nancy Drew mysteries. When I wasn’t reading about horses, that is. πŸ˜€
    Great contest… even if I didn’t win… w/ my pixie haircut w/ the sticking out straight bangs!

  11. I remember the pink tape for getting the bangs straight. I can also remember scooter skirts. My Mom made me several, I seem to recall having 4 that had matching vests. I know one was a white and blue stripe (but it was not seersucker, just about the same colors though) and a Stewart plaid. I seem to recall a black watch plaid pleated mini skirt.
    Congratulations to the winners, what a fun trip down memory lane.

  12. Scooter skirts! Yes! My mom made me scooter skirts too. And, due to my stick straight hair, I wore the glamerous “Pixie” cut also. I have pictures of me on vacation in my scooter skirts and Pixie cuts.
    Deb in Nebraska
    PS: If I should see you in Omaha, I’ll try not to swoon…

  13. Unfortunately, I’ve always had curly hair so the bangs were (and still would be) vaguely reminiscent of Shirley Temple no matter how hard I worked to straighten my hair. After reading all of the submissions, I’m going to my mom’s basement to find my old Nancy Drew’s and Flicka books too (among others).
    I guess scooter skirt is the precursor to the skort, no?
    Great contest.

  14. Congratulations to the winners…and how could I forget about Trixie Belden! The comments were so much fun! Long live the pixie!

  15. be sure to stop by Personal Threads in Omaha. Our best LYS they are in a new space so call first to make sure you have the right address

  16. I didn’t have a pixie, I had a DOROTHY HAMILL πŸ™‚

  17. Wow, I won! Albert Einstein and I thank you very kindly.
    And…I also had the Dorothy Hamill!

  18. I remember having a little denim top-and-capri-pants set with a red mouse appliqued on the front, which was my most favorite outfit, EVER. (I also remember my brother destroying it by running an open bottle of model paint through the wash with it.) I also remember a great deal of seersucker and my mother trimming my bangs (and it never ended well for me, either.) And popsicles, and hula-hoops, and this plastic lemon on a cord you wrapped around your ankle and jumped over.
    Now my mother-in-law buys seersucker for my daughter, and I stand over her with scissors, looking at her hair, and ask my husband, ‘where do I start?’

  19. OMG! I have a picture of me that is almost identical to yours!! I’m going to try to find it and e-mail you. We could be sisters!

  20. Those bangs look familiar.
    ‘You moved.’ ‘No, I didn’t!’ ‘Yes, you did, so they’ll be shorter.’
    Not so fond memories of Dad cutting my hair!

  21. brook brothers seersucker suits
    pink shirts for women
    brown and white saddle shoes
    tabu lipstick and bangs
    happy times to the winners

  22. You all *so* need to check out Wednesday’s Rhymes with Orange cartoon. Real close to home there ….

  23. No one in the previous thread mentioned this, but there is a mystery series by Ian Sansom, about a bookmobile librarian in small-town Northern Ireland. They are humorous (the librarian is Jewish in a place where everyone is assumed to be Catholic or Protestant) and have gotten great reviews. I haven’t gotten to them yet, but they have just bumped up a notch on the endless TBR list.

  24. Just wanted to say that I remember the seersucker shorts set. I myself was the proud wearer of several. Although I didn’t enter the contest I am so enjoying reading others comments about library memories, their childhood reading, and what they are reading now. Thanks!

  25. Hey, you could have been me – if only you wore the lurvly cat’s eye shaped glasses avec rhinestones at the corners!

  26. Hurray for all of the winners!
    Kay, I love your top in that photo. So cute!

  27. OMG! I had completely forgotten about the pink, PINKED tape on the bangs until Jan from Nagasaki dredged up that memory for me. What was that stuff called? And did anyone else wear “spit curls” (the girly equivalent of sideburns, I guess) plastered down with the pink tape? Wow — the memory is a big place with lots of doors still unopened.

  28. Back when I was in grade two or so, the school librarian wouldn’t let me sign out “The White Stag”. (I thought it was by T. H. White, but I can’t find it on Amazon, so I must have the author wrong.) I still haven’t read that book, and I still resent that librarian. (If it was too old for me, I would have exchanged it on the next visit. Would I really have suffered that much from one week without a book at my reading level?)


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