Memories of Yore

Is the name of my newest blog category.

Yesterday when I was writing about reading binges, I remembered the MS Read-a-Thon of my youth. It came around once a year. They handed out packets with pledge forms, and the idea was to get people to pay you per book. And then to read for a month. And then collect.

I did it a few years in a row. I even canvassed in neighborhoods where I didn’t live. (Bold, I know.) And what I remember most is, a) people pledging for the most part 10 – 25 cents a book; and b) then being impressed and perhaps slightly annoyed when I came to collect—having read 10 books.

Of course, the guy who pledged 50 cents a book (thank you, Jennifer Baker’s father) had more of a right, but still. Five dollars? In 1980? Was that a lot back then?

For MS?

I also remember fretting terribly over whether the A Very Young X series—coffee table books comprising beautiful photos with some text—qualified. At some point I decided that a few of them were okay, so in addition to re-“reading” A Very Young Dancer, which I had read multiple times and of which I could never get enough, I “read” A Very Young Rider and possibly A Very Young Actress. And maybe even A Very Young Skier?

Heh. A Very Young Skier. I was really pushing the envelope on that one.

2 Responses to “Memories of Yore”

  1. lisa says:

    thank you for reminding me of the ms readathon – i may have gone to the grave without recalling the experience – the first thing i thought of before i even got to it in your post was that EVERYONE PLEDGED 10 CENTS! that was in rockville, of course – i guess in potomac it got up to a quarter or (gasp) 50 cents. there was a lot of encyclopedia brown in those days. and shortly thereafter i got to revisit those same homes peddling samoas and thin mints…

  2. Melissa says:

    Hee. I never peddled the cookies, but I definitely did the Read-a-Thon for a few years. Now I sort of can’t believe that these activities are sanctioned — i.e., ones in which children are required to become door-to-door salespeople. Or canvassers. Whatever.

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