A popular and often high-priced item I see at estate sales and flea markets are scrapbooks. They are exactly that, a collection of scraps meant to note important life events such as a birth or death or journey somewhere. They can also be collections of newspaper clippings and photos dedicated to a celebrity or monarch, songs, or recipes.
A few weeks ago I was permitted to rummage around the basement of an antique shop in Oakville, CT. I came up with a large scrapbook. At first I thought I would pass it up, there were so many personal items and too few of the icons of the eras I look for. Scrapbook items were never meant to leave their pages and most items are so glued down, it takes great pains to remove them cleanly.
I was not disappointed. This was a well organized scrapbook. Julia Santa Barbara Papini came from a large family. She had five sisters and five brothers. I can only imagine that some, if not most of the wedding invitations and announcements are family as well as friends. Her husband, the subject of the items pictured here, came from a smaller family with only a single brother and sister.
That became easier when I found, tucked in the center of the book, a packet of photo negatives. One look at the writing on the envelope...
I have written about this before, and under the same circumstances. A piece of WWII history, and a family connected to it, and no way to tell the full story without help - Click here to read. With this story I am concerned that I might not find a family member to take this scrapbook back, so I produced a documentary featuring the images. Take a look.
This is a Connecticut story, but this can happen anywhere, I know there will be others and hopefully this one will end like the last one - with a visit to a relative and a return of what is rightfully theirs. If you know a Papini, or a Santa Barbara drop me a line and I'll check it out.