2020 – The Three Little Books

(ignore 4-30-17 publish date – this was published on December 15, 2020)



The is the fourth – and probably the last – post to come out of this box of old family………..stuff (Leafe on the left, Kibbe on the right):


These Three Little Pigs…….uh, I mean Books, are courtesy of Nana (Dad’s Mom), though I’m not very sure about the first one, which is about 3” x 4 ½” x 1.25”:


On the very first page, you can see something that looks like a handwritten 1860. I can’t read what’s under it:


Turning the page brings us to the inscription, which says “To my mother from her son James   Christmas 1882”:


I have absolutely NO idea who James was. Perhaps he was an ancestor in the Dunbar line (Nana’s maiden name was Dunbar), but I have zero proof of that. All I know is that I found this book with another similarly-small religious book that was definitely Nana’s.

However, there’s one little monkey wrench in the mix: the book, titled, “Manual of Piety” says that it’s “a collection of Catholic prayers and devotions with the epistles and gospels” and Nana wasn’t Catholic:


This thick little book has 488 pages (!) and contains a fair amount of Latin (with translations), but only ONE other picture:

So don’t buy this book if you only wanna look at pictures.


Both this book (bottom) and the smaller second one (2.74” x 3.75” x 1”) have shiny gilt-edged pages and golden clasps from back-to-front to keep the books closed:


This is Nana’s First Communion book (created in 1899):


The inscription (from 1904) – is all in French:

Nana spoke French, but I don’t know how that came to pass nor do I know why her Communion Book is all in French.


The first two pages (separated by an attached – and ripped – piece of something like tissue paper):


Here’s Google’s title page translation:

“Piety flowers collection of own prayers to each Christian”

(There are no pictures in its 348 pages.)


The bishop’s imprimatur:


There’s an interesting loose item inside the back cover. It appears to be some sort of latticework paper with what I guess is a young female first communicant attached to it:

There appears to be a missing piece on the bottom, but that piece is actually sitting sideways on the left side near the bottom. I only noticed it after having completed the photography:


The grand finale is the big boy of the bunch: 4.75” x 6.25” and it also came in a plastic bag, a la Nana’s red rot Pilgrim/Alden lineage book:


The front and back:

It’s my father’s 1921 baby book.


Inside the front cover:


I have no idea who Mrs. M. A. Farrington is, but here’s the envelope and its contents:

What does a B&W negative of an adult have to do with my father’s birth?


Absolutely nothing. I scanned and inverted it to W&B. It’s my father. The palm trees indicate that it was probably taken at Nana’s home in St. Petersburg, FL in the early 1950s:


These 6 double-images and 2 single ones are all pretty self-explanatory:


What? Dad never had a first party? Oh, baby!


He walks! He talks!


Besides the ribboned curl, there was this little fold of paper that says, “Normy Leafe”(?) NORMY? I’ve NEVER heard that before. It must have been before Nana decided to call him “Spence” to differentiate him from his father. Good thing – I don’t think he would have lasted 5 minutes in kindergarten as “Normy”.

Anyway, the fold contained a lock of some dirty-blondish hair that’s not as yellow as the picture would have you believe (Who made this crummy scan? Let’s blame Normy.):


Look at all the gifts Normy scored!


If you think he got good stuff at birth, you should see his kids!




  1. Annemarie December 15, 2020

    Is that you in the suit and tie on the left?

  2. Bob Leafe December 16, 2020

    Sweet 16 and never been……….

  3. E December 18, 2020

    Thanks Bob, I would save things like this also. Nice little poems on the pages of the baby book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *