February 3, 2010 / What Yearbook Means To Me

Yearbooks let Walsworth rep get to know her grandfather

Written by Mary Slater

While in Arizona for our company meetings in January, I took a few days of vacation to visit my Aunt Ruth in Phoenix.  It ended up being a visit that reinforced for me just how special the yearbook can be.

RSnelling1923YB

Mary Slater learned quite a bit about her grandfather, Richard Snelling, by looking back at his 1923 high school yearbook.

My Aunt Ruth remembered that she had her father’s high school yearbooks, so we dug them out, dusted them off, and I got to spend an hour getting to know the Grandpa I never knew.

My Grandpa, Richard “Dick” Snelling, was an athlete. He was a 12-time varsity letterman in college, and was inducted into the University of Dayton Athletic Hall of Fame. But he died suddenly when my mom was only 15, so I never got the chance to meet him.

Looking through his Cathedral Latin High School (Cleveland, Ohio) yearbooks from 1922 and 1923 gave me a glimpse of what he was like as a teenager.  It was fun to see him in his high school sports pictures, as I had previously only seen his college pictures.

But the best part was reading the senior pages.  Next to his senior portrait was this quote:  “The moments he spent in deciding, before he began, were few; but they hardly were worth the doing, the things he wouldn’t do.”  Hmmm. . .  sounds like he was a man of action, even at 18.

The yearbook editors included a listing of all the seniors with their “occupation” and “ambition.”  Grandpa’s were “being popular” and “to be more so.”  I had no idea he fancied himself a big man on campus, but now I know, thanks to his high school yearbooks!

Mary Slater