Does anyone know if kids still collect autographs in mini autograph albums? Or if they are still manufactured these days? In my day it was a right of passage, usually just before you became a teenager, to be given your little album. All your friends and family would write messages for you to reread with nostalgia in your adult years, which seemed so far away in the distant future. Sometimes a minor celebrity would come to town; I managed to get Falconetti’s signature, which he signed as his character from Rich Man, Poor Man, instead of his real name. That show was an enormous hit in South Africa, William Smith all but disappeared afterward – from our shores – Wikipedia tells me he made about 300 films), while Nick Nolte and Peter Strauss have enjoyed both popularity and notoriety over the years.
My grandmother’s inscription in my album reads “Make new friends, but keep the old; the one is silver and the other gold”.
It’s trite, sentimental to the point of over-sugared and makes me picture cutesy drawings of kittens, or those photoshopped photos of babies lying inside flowers. But still, despite the kitschness of the quote, it rings very true. Tell your friends today how much you appreciate them.
Now … I must see if there is a clean page left in my album, I need to get Gordon Ramsay’s autograph at the Good Food and Wine Show tomorrow.
YAY! Thanks Tandy!!


66 Comments Add yours

  1. slpmartin says:

    I do believe the practice is still in place but at perhaps different stages in a youths life…I recall children moving from 5th to 6th grade (generally associated with a change of school location in the States) collecting autographs of teachers and friends/..and duirng senior year in high school…other than that…I am uncertain.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, I also remember it being like that, am looking through my album and find a big difference in the maturity of the entries.

  2. nice call to action. i appreciate u

  3. Jamie Dedes says:

    I had completely forgotton about those. We did treasure them, didn’t we?

    Cindy, you have several comments here:

    Thanks again!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Jamie, will pop over in a minute or so.

  4. Tandy says:

    I hope you have the most amazing time. My experience with an autograph book was not good – I got the hiding of my life and was grounded for a year!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Oh dear, you can’t just tell me that, I want the whole story!

  5. earlybird says:

    I’d completely forgotten about my autograph book! Now I’m trying desperately to remember who signed it apart from all my little friends. I have a distinct (although fuzzy) memory of a Celebrity’s signature…

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’m having great fun reading through mine, have just found an inscription by a teacher: “Dear Cindy, Good luck and best wishes for the future. I hope you will calm down sometime. Greetings, Mrs Roos.” What did she teach anyway, I have no recollection whatsoever of her?

      1. earlybird says:


  6. Leeswammes says:

    I used to have a book like that, too. But not for autographs, it was for little poems (like that of your mother) that friends and family would write. it wouldn’t be for celebrities. 🙂

    We had them around the age of 9 or 10. I think I still have mine (I had two, actually, because the first one filled up so fast!).

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’m very glad I kept mine, ours were also full of little rhymes and sayings 🙂

  7. souldipper says:

    I wonder where mine went. Out of all of entries, I only remember the verse my father wrote. He almost never wrote anything so this was a big deal when I discovered that he secretly wrote to surprise me – get ready…drum roll…”Roses are red, violets are blue. Angels in heaven, know I love you.” Of course, I believed he created the verse and the world adopted it!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Your dad was very sweet, my dad wrote “When Cindy was a little tot, she used to wee wee quite a lot, but now she’s getting old and grey, she only wee wees once a day.” Jeez Dad!

  8. I don’t think it’s a trend anymore, but I remember having an autograph book when I was young. Thanks for the happy reminder, Cindy!

    1. theonlycin says:

      You are welcome Celia 🙂

  9. Tilly Bud says:

    These days they buy them on eBay.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Autographs or the little books?

      1. Tilly Bud says:

        🙂 Autographed photos.

  10. MaanKind says:

    Ek is SO spyt ek het myne onlangs weggegooi!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Ag nee, Trisa, ek huil sommer 😦

  11. sonsothunder says:

    Oh, Cin; “My grandmother’s inscription in my album reads “Make new friends, but keep the old; the one is silver and the other gold”. I am truly tearing up. You tell your granny, where ever she is today, ( Probably Heaven if she is anything like you) that her words were more Golden than any celebrities autograph on this planet…and twice as true!!!

    (~~“~`shaking it off~~“~`) And you tell Gordo Rambo;.. Slap him first, of course…and tell him Sonsothunder said “Duh Huh”!! He’ll know what you mean!!!

    And tell him I went to K-Mart, ( Where I NEVER go, ) to purchase some of his signature cookware, and found it to be inferior even to the line for Paula Deen!!! (Sort of like a bunch of plastic”eAsy bAkE OvEn” toys, electroplated in stainless steel). I wouldn’t waste the “Nickle” they put into the stainless for that junk!!!

    But, don’t tell him I realize his marketing genius, as given the Economy, Foodie Network, and Culinary Craze of the average TV viewing consumer today…He’ll earn “A Hoe Lot Mower than Pawlla in Murchendizzze in the U.S.” Even in the South…
    Love ya
    God Bless

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yep, my granny has long been in heaven.
      LOL, I hope I get enough time to give Gordo all your messages, I may have to jot them down and put them in his pocket. LMAO at your Southern accent, you sound just like Paula 😉
      Much love xxx

      1. sonsothunder says:

        Actually, I probably do…vernacular wise… Well, without the whinny. But we all say Ya’ll, which, contrary to Hollyweirds widely televised misconception of its usage, the word Ya’ll always pertains to…you all, or all of you, and NEVER in the singular. So, I will never call you, Ya’ll, unless you are with a group ie…family etc.

      2. theonlycin says:

        I will make a mental note of that and make sure I don’t insult solitary Southerners in the future, Paul 🙂

  12. Hmm, don’t think kids would really appreciate this type of thing today – too many things have progressed and changed!
    Oh, how cool, hope you get your autograph – have fun.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      I hope so too, at least I am assured of getting some photos to share here 🙂

  13. pinkpolkadotfood says:

    I haven’t seen one of these in ages. I wonder what happened to mine?! Enjoy the show!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hope you find your book, pinky!

  14. adeeyoyo says:

    I very much doubt this tradition still exists.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Quite sad, isn’t it, adee?

  15. Payday Loans says:

    Really interesting article, bookedmarked! Now, back to the washing up! 🙂

  16. Tes says:

    I used to obsess with the autographs books, but I don’t even know where they are now. What your grandmother wrote in your book is so beautiful 🙂 It must feel so overwhelmed looking at that after so many years 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      It is a bit, Tes 🙂

  17. klrs09 says:

    I had one of those! Lost it ages ago, though. Never had very many signatures in it. For us, it was more of a school year-book thing. I think I’ve still got one of those kicking around somewhere. Should dig it out and see what pithy words of wisdom my friends had for me.

    OOh, Gordon Ramsey! You lucky lady. I know many aren’t, but I’m a huge fan.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I have mixed feelings about him, but I am very excited 🙂

  18. nursemyra says:

    I’ve still got my autograph book – Douglas Bader signed it!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Wow, Myra, you could probably sell that for a pretty penny!

  19. Lets hope your Ramsay autograph is expletive free 😀

    1. theonlycin says:

      Now why do I doubt that it will be, Kate? 😉

  20. ceciliag says:

    I know, i am thinking where is mine, in the end no-one famous ever came and all my friends signed each others! it must be on one of my boxes, i am sure i wold not have thrown it out! c

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hope you find it, Cecilia 🙂

  21. Those are some wonderful memories; definitely something I’d keep – I’m sure you agree. I’m also sure there’s a little spot for him in there somewhere! Have fun at the show. By the way, you seem to then be feeling better – that’s good 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      I am feeling much better, thanks Lee 🙂

  22. suzicate says:

    Now I love what you quoted on FB that your dad wrote, priceless!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hehe, he could be a devil at times 🙂

  23. SidevieW says:

    I wonder if it will be polite or havea fanciful f-word thrown in

    1. theonlycin says:

      I will let you know 🙂

  24. Linda says:

    I remember those! I don’t think any does that anymore.

  25. nrhatch says:

    We used to pass around our “yearbooks” to get friends and teachers to sign as we left one grade and moved on to the next. I know a few people who had autograph books like Mickey’s . . . but not too many.

    So . . . are you going to share your thoughts on Hell’s Kitchen with Chef Ramsey??? 😉

    Feel free to delete after reading:

    1. theonlycin says:

      Excellent, I will leave it here for others to read too 🙂

    2. nrhatch says:

      You rock!
      Have fun at the Food and Wine show! 😀

      1. theonlycin says:

        Thanks, Nancy, I will be back to tell you all about it 🙂 You rock too 🙂

  26. gospelwriter says:

    What a great idea to carry the autograph album into adulthood, whether simply to peruse and reminisce, or to continue using. I’ve thrown away so much of my childhood – too much I wanted to forget, and still I regret it.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Something I greatly regret is not having bought a visitor book and had all my friends write comments in it at my dinner parties over the years. I suppose it’s not too late to start?

  27. libraryscene says:

    Oh, my book was a sad little thing. I’ve not remembered its red covered shell in my memory bank until this post. What became quite the trend in the states as I got older, and still is as of late (one wonders with the digital age) is the signing of yearbooks. Always great fun, but a bit of a popularity contest that hurt feelings~

  28. theonlycin says:

    I guess Facebook is the new yearbook?

  29. Lots of memories come back as I read your post, Cin. I did have such an album, mainly for drawings or pictures. I will also remember your words :”Tell your friends today how much you appreciate them”. Thanks.

    1. theonlycin says:

      And thank you, Isa 🙂

  30. dearrosie says:

    After my mother passed away two months ago we found her autograph book (from the 1920’s) in her things. It was so exciting to read the messages but when we found messages from HER mother and father – the only written communications we have between them – we all sat on the carpet and cried.

    So what the f— did Mr Ramsey write in your book?

  31. theonlycin says:

    Aw Rosie, Mr Ramsay was swamped with such a long queue of people that I gave up on waiting to meet him 😦

    1. dearrosie says:

      Ag man that’s a bloody shame hey!

  32. Jealous!!! 🙂 What a cool post.

  33. Mal says:

    Wow, I had completely forgotten about those autograph books! Mine are probably all yellowing with age, up in the loft. Must go and see..

    Thank you! 🙂

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