Scrapbook Stories


Scrapbooks, and the stories they tell, rarely follow any kind of prescribed pattern. There’s no map, and as you muddle through, the hints themselves are often murky, at best. Identifying the principals is the easy part — but who were these people, really, and how can we tell? Some scrapbooks are tapestries. Others are minefields. Most are somewhere in between, and the more you familiarize yourself with the stories, the more you want to know — sometimes forging a path that takes you beyond the scrapbook itself.




FRANCIS “POP” JOHNSON
On this page, we will share some of the stories we’ve uncovered — like the story about Francis “Pop” Johnson, from Waterbury Connecticut, whose big scrapbook went along with him to Europe and on to Asia, where he charted his many wartime adventures.
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ELINOR MOSES
Or the story about Elinor Moses, a beautiful California debutante whose 1927 engagement was featured in the society pages of the Los Angeles Times. I dug a bit and find the couple later moved to Paris, where they had a daughter, whose own nuptials were reported in the spring of 1956. Elinor Moses died in 1998. When I tracked down Elinor’s daughter, she was in her early seventies and had no idea her mother had ever kept a scrapbook.
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LYDIA BLANCHARD
Or Lydia Blanchard, the skillful young artist who hailed from Natchitoches, Louisiana, whose scrapbook puts me in touch with her friends and relatives, who are residents of the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase Territory.
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