Back Around the House II


This summer I finally completed a project I’ve been planning to do for 30 years. Contrary to what my family thinks, that project was not cleaning the front bedroom, or the attic, or the basement. Those aren’t all done yet.

I finally collected all of the columns called “All Around the House” that I wrote for the Greenville Advocate in the late ’60s and the early ’70s. There are 328 of them.

Way back then I was rather busy having and raising our eight children. Every week the Advocate gave me enough tear sheets of the columns so I had one copy for each child. I wish I had made scrapbooks then, but I didn’t. Not even one. I just shoved them into filing cabinet drawers. They’re still there.

One summer a couple of years ago I decided the time had come. I emptied one drawer and began to put the copies in order. One little problem—most of them were undated.

I tried for several days to put them in order. Then I decided the kids could make their own scrapbooks some day, and I dutifully crammed the copies back in the drawers.

Sometimes I thought about it, but I managed to fight the urge to sort, date, and trim the papers to make the scrapbooks.

Then I read about the microfilm scanner at Greenville Library. All of the Advocates were on microfilm.

My guilt was gone. I could get copies of the columns anytime, and they would be dated and in order. All I had to do was learn to run the microfilm machine.

Oops, that could be a problem. There isn’t a machine made that I can’t ruin without even trying. I manage to coexist with household machines because my husband Bill knows how to talk to them when I offend them.I procrastinated for quite a while. Then retirement made me brave. In June I went to the library’s genealogy room to confront the microfilm machine.

The librarian introduced me to the machine and explained its operation and the location of the microfilm. I looked it over and saw its name. “Microfilm Scanner. I began to relax. This was a closer relative to my computer and printer than my washer or dryer. I get along fine with the computer and printer, so I began the project I’d waited thirty years to do.

It took about 17 hours spread over three weeks to copy the columns. The librarians were always there to help when I got stuck.

I can recommend our library, the librarians, the genealogy room, and the microfilm scanner most highly. Stop in and try it out sometime.

Next I went through the boxes and drawers where I keep the photos I’m going to put in albums some day, and I found several pictures from those olden days to add to the book. Finally Bill designed a cover for the book.

I spent two weeks cutting and pasting at our dining room table to get the 340 pages ready for the copy machine. Then there were three long days at the copy machine which my friends Jan and Eileen kept me from ruining. The last thing done was punching and binding the book, and voila! With a lot of help from my friends, a dream came true.

Finally, each of my children and a few relatives and friends have a copy of all the columns I wrote about them a long time ago with a bonus section of pictures. (The copy machine could only make 15 copies in one run.)

Are they impressed? I don’t know. But I surely am. Who knows, I might get the front bedroom, the attic, and the basement all cleaned—someday.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate on Aug. 14, 1996.

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