I hate wasting paper. Every notebook that I haven’t used up to its intended purpose, I fill with other things. So did Frank Parker. The archives have his teaching notes that bear the date 1908-1910.
But instead of silly doodles and hare-brained schemes, Frank filled the remaining pages of his notes with a mini-chronicle of the life of his Marjon classmates. He became a president of a chapter of the alumni club. Here Frank goes rogue and his neatly organized lessons give way to the more personal scribbles of the chronicle. Bring out the magnifier!
The part that contains teacher’s notes is beautifully caligraphed and is easy to read. The presentations are often decorated with illustrations. I’ve always marvelled at apparent skill of Majon students, who were putting beautiful sketches into each other scrapbooks. It is easy to forget, that they actually were taught to draw. Frank shows a steady hand with his sketches of scientific equipment, human anatomy and, in one case, with a picture of a very unhappy sheep.
The chronicle part might look messy, but it is well organized. Each of Frank’s friends has at least a page dedicated to him. There are current addresses and nicknames, as well as major events in the life of his buddies. But apart from the usual marriages, births and deaths one can see some more unusual entries. This way we know that his friend nicknamed ‘Hector’ fell off the moped in the fifties.:-) I wish I could ask Frank what happened to his friend Bolly and why the ‘phone call ‘troubles my conscience’’. I smell a mystery.:-)
The notes also contain newspaper clippings, calling cards, letters and everything that had even a remote connection to people of Marjon. The chronicles go well into sixties, so Frank collected everything for fifty years, showing how important to him was his time in Marjon. Back then ‘mass communication’ meant that you had to type one letter over and over, to get a copy to everybody. I can only imagine how much effort it took to keep the old friends together.