Friday, February 1, 2013

Sepia Saturday: The School of Love Biking

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.




This week’s Sepia Saturday photo prompt triggered the faint memory of a drawing among the souvenirs in my mother’s box of photos.  Folded neatly in a torn envelope is a sheet of school letterhead on which SOMEONE had drawn this cartoon:


Love-Biking cartoon of Mary Eleanor Davis and Beverly, Shenandoah College 1946-1948
Gee But you'd look sweet on a motor bike
built for two

I recognize “Dooney” (or Duney) as my mother’s crazy nickname that followed her from her high school days, but the identity of “Beverly” remains a mystery. 

Evidently her high school sweetheart was on his way out of her dreams.  Maybe with him at Davidson College in North Carolina and Momma at Shenandoah College and Conservatory in Dayton, Virginia, absence did NOT make the heart grow fonder.  Instead, it was a case of “out of sight, out of mind.” 

So who was Beverly?  Momma had no yearbook to investigate as the school had voted to do away with it when money was tight at the small Methodist college.  While The Arrowhead, the school newspaper, continued to provide a record of events, they bear no mention of a Beverly.

Mary Eleanor Davis and Unknown guy on a bridge

Was this Beverly?  














Mary Eleanor "Duney" Davis and 2 unknowns at Shenandoah College and Conservatory
The white sign in the background says "Conservatory"


Was one of these hunks Beverly?  

Did Beverly actually draw the cartoon himself as a flirtatious expression of a wish or of a memorable outing?  

Or perhaps a dorm-mate sent the cartoon to tease "Dooney" about her not-so-secret admirer.


Whatever the back story might be, the envelope certainly teases the imagination.

Dooney Davis
Girls Barracks
Shenandoah School
of Love-Biking!


Pedal over to Sepia Saturday for more stories of love, mystery, bicycles, and bare feet.


49 comments:

  1. A clever little sketch. It must have meant something to your mum as she kept it safe all these years. Good luck in your search for Beverly.

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    1. Apparently so. If I ever find the answer, I'll be sure to blog about it.

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  2. You find the neatest things to share!

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  3. Replies
    1. Intriguing alright, but with no answer to be had.

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  4. Had me thinking for a while as in England Beverly is a girl's name!

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    1. Funny you should say that because I think of Beverly as a girl name too. But it's unisex and quite popular at one time for males in the mountains of Virginia where Momma went to college. My brother-in-law is named Beverly (he goes by Bev), and I know several men of that generation named Bev too. But where I live, the only Beverlys are women.

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    2. My science teacher in junior high school was a man named Beverly. There was also a man at church who worked as a bodyguard named Beverly.

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  5. What a mystery! I hope someday you find out Beverly's identity.

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    1. I seem to be running into a bunch of mysteries with no ending.

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  6. Maybe someone researching Shenandoah College will see your post and recognize the name.

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    1. Oh, you have given me hope! Three distant cousins have found me just this week, so anything is possible.

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  7. This just makes me laugh. Is Beverly a last name too? Did your Mom and her friends think up secret codes for their crushes ... as in Bill is "B" for "Beverly" and John is "J" for Jolene? I hope that you find out, this mystery is very intriguing.

    Maybe your Mom went on a motorcycle ride with "Bill" and her girlfriend sent her the drawing for fun? The possibilities are endless.

    Kathy M.

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    1. I never heard Momma say they used code names, so I trust Beverly is Beverly. Cute story though.

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  8. What a fun little mystery! I love the drawing.

    You've had three distant cousins contact you this week?? Was this through your blog? However they found you, congratulations!

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    1. YES! Three through my blog - two of them a brother and sister. Talk about Cousin Bait!

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  9. Lovely drawing, happy photos and such an interesting story. I have a distant cousin, Beverly, I found her a few years ago from Arizona:)I didn't know that Beverly is also boy's name.

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    1. Yeah, even though I know men named Beverly, it still sounds odd to me.

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  10. Humorous little drawing. Girls Barracks? What was the whizer - the motor? So you're looking for a one-eyed guy with a bow tie named Beverly? Shouldn't be too many of those around.

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    1. "Whizer" is really a misspelling for "Whizzer" which was indeed a motorized bicycle. Hmm, bow tie -- I wonder if that was a signature accessory that might offer a clue.

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  11. A simple but beautiful drawing, Wendy. It betrays a certain talent. I bet the draftsman was good at drawing cartoons!

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    1. I'm amazed at how perfectly round the wheels are. "Momma" reminds me of Olive Oyl.

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  12. It's great that the Arrowhead continued to provide record of events though Beverly slipped off its pages. I'm with Peter about the drawing. It's beautiful.

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    1. Yes, the Arrowhead has given me lots of OTHER clues, but none for Beverly.

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  13. What a charming memento to have, and the possibility that Beverly appears in one of those photos adds to the intrigue. An excellent Sepia Saturday contribution.

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  14. Your Mum Had A Brilliant Happy Smile!

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  15. cute story. I was away but am home & reading your blog once again.

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  16. AS soon as I saw this it reminded me of an old song about a bicycle built for two which you can listen to on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEXfIkydIi4

    That's a great sketch. I was confused by the Beverley name as well.

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    1. I always thought naming men Beverly, Evelyn and Shirley was a British thing. Maybe not.

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  17. Don't forget Beverly might also be a middle name too. I'd say the drawing has a masculine hand, even draftsman like. The photos are super, with unusually captivating smiles.

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    1. Oh - shucks, that's right. I had not considered the middle name.

      While the drawing looks masculine, the writing doesn't have the precision of a draftsman. But what do I know?

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  18. That cartoon drawing rocks! So cute! It's sure true with me, that if it means something special to me, I sure hang on to it. I wonderful if there may be more photos or another relative that may be able to share some light on Beverly! What a curious nickname for your mother too! The stories behind nicknames can be quite interesting too!

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    1. I'm sure Momma told us the story behind her nickname, but I can't remember it. I'll check with my sister - she might know. Maybe if I'm lucky there will be a blog-worthy story there.

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  19. No idea who Beverley was, but he certainly had good taste. Those photographs featuring your mother seem to represent everything that is good about youth and joy and excitement for the future.

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    1. You're right - Beverly had excellent taste!

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  20. Lovely little drawing and a great memory. I hope you don't find a dead end in your research. She looks like a very happy person.

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    1. Yes, Momma was a happy person. I think she really enjoyed her high school and college years.

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  21. So sweet that your Momma kept the drawing all these years. What a wonderful treasure for you. I hope you find Beverly.

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  22. What a fun post. Love that little illustration that has survived all this time.
    My father's middle name was Laverne! I don't think he ever wore a big "L" on his jacket though.
    Nancy

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  23. "Girls barracks"?!?
    Sounds more like boot camp then high school...
    :D~
    HUGZ

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    1. I'm wondering if that was just intended as a joke, much like kids refer to their school as a "prison."

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    2. Well, they looked pretty cheerful there,
      so I guess it couldn't have been that bad.
      :)~
      HUGZ

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