Sunday, July 3, 2016

Be careful looking through those Greycliff Girls books

One day last month, I was sorting through numerous boxes of old books1 and, at one point, I was leafing through a copy of The Greycliff Girls Ranching, a 1925 novel by Harriet Pyne Grove.2

According to the foreword, this is the eighth volume in the series, which also includes such titles as Cathalina at Greycliff, Greycliff Heroines, and The Greycliff Girls in Camp.

(The foreword also states: "an effort has been made to comply with requests from young readers to 'marry them all off, at least the most interesting girls.'" Oh my.)

Before it came into my hands, this book was owned by Mary McKay Shuford3 and John Brake, according to separate inscriptions on the first page.

Anyway, I was leafing through the book, and this piece of paper popped out...

Apologies for not giving you a Clown Trigger Warning beforehand, but I didn't get one, either.

I suppose it's possible that Mary McKay Shuford drew this little sketch, but there's no way to know for sure. And we'll never know why this particular clown doesn't have any feet. The good news is that, with no feet, it will be very difficult for this clown to chase us. I hope.

If you're a clown-fearing masochist and that wasn't enough content for you today, here are some past posts to check out:

1. This sorting expedition is the subject of a longer post that I haven't yet finished. So this post is kind of getting ahead of itself.
2. On the cover, you can see that the title is printed as The Greycliff Girls' Ranching, with an apostrophe after Girls. The apostrophe is a typo.
3. According to A Guide to the Wine Family Papers, 1899-1943: "Mary McKay Shuford (b. 1920) grew up in Harrisonburg, Virginia, raised by her aunt and uncle, John E. Wine and Nell Wine. Mrs. Wine and Mary Shuford's mother were sisters. Mary Shuford's father was Dr. Edward L. Shuford a veterinarian in Asheville, North Carolina. In 1925 Mary's mother, Jean Fennell Shuford, died, and Mary went to live with the Wine family. In 1943 she married Dr. John J. Dobbie of Richmond, Virginia."


  1. Clown looks traced. Is it on really thin paper?

  2. Hello Footless Clown nightmares. Thanks, Chris.

  3. A fear of clowns is known as "coulrophobia" -- or is it? Although the phobia is certainly real, the term itself appears to have been contrived in the last few decades.

    Then again, all words need to start somewhere, sometime.

    -- M.F.