I’ve written before about how much I love the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace. Click here for a link to a post I wrote in 2015.
For some reason about a week ago I went on eBay and typed in Maud Hart Lovelace. There were lots of listings to scroll through — mostly Betsy-Tacy books — lots of them newer paperback versions of the books. Then I spotted a posting for a Woman’s Day magazine with a short story written about Betsy in 1944! The magazine was found in an attic in Maine and claimed to be in good condition. Two seconds later I hit the buy button.
The magazine is almost like new. The front and back cover are above. Some of the pages are a little yellowed but there’s no tears and it doesn’t stink which was my biggest worry. The magazine itself is fascinating, but that will wait for another day. Look at the price — two cents!
The story is titled “An Errand for Miss Canning.” In the story Betsy is eight and in third grade. Her teacher asks Betsy to run an errand for her — to her house! (Can you imagine that these days?!) Miss Canning wants Betsy to retrieve a notebook from a secretary in her parlor. Betsy says yes, but is too embarrassed to ask what is a secretary. I shared every distress Betsy felt as she walks to and enters Miss Canning’s house. It’s a trademark of Lovelace’s writing to put the reader in the middle of the story.
Spoiler Alert — Of course the story ends happily when Betsy figures out a secretary is a desk, but it takes some fits and starts to get there. She does get a doughnut out of the deal.
Above is the table of contents. The magazine itself is an amazing glimpse at life during World War II. The ads, recipes, and articles all pertain to the war. And there’s a delightful story about a Westie — talk about serendipity! I’ll share more about that another time.
Readers: Do you ever buy things from sites like eBay?