All posts by

W. LeGrand Whipple at Takarazuka, Japan

Today I ran across this photo of my dad, Walter LeGrand Whipple. (Prior to serving in the U.S. Army, he went by his middle name “LeGrand.” As a soldier, he was addressed by his first name “Walter,” which he shortened to “Walt.”)

Dad told me on several occasions that he sang Handel’s Messiah in a chorus in 1945 at Takarazuka, Japan. Today I found a photo of him in uniform, taken December 23, 1945, in Takarazuka, Japan:

Photo of Walter LeGrand Whipple Sr at Takarazuka, Japan, Dec. 23, 1945.

Twenty-three years later, in December 1968, I attended two musicals at Takarazuka—one an all-girl revue, the other a traditional Japanese drama of Tom Thumb. Their website is at Takarazuka Revue.

Mothers, by 16-year-old Mabel

Mother is always ready,
And willing to do her part;
Her share and even more
For us does she impart.

Mother is always patient,
She listens to all our grief,
She comforts us when weary,
To her we go for relief.

Mother is always cheerful,
A home without her is bare.
And we who have a Mother,
Should guard her as treasure rare.

Are we always thoughtful of Mother,
Our dearest friend of all?
Do we try to make her happy,
Do we answer to her call?

Do we make her dear life brighter?
Vying always with one another,
To ease her daily burden?
Do we do enough for Mother?

— Mabel Law, Logan Utah, Age 16

I Love Old Mothers

By Mabel Law Atkinson

In the process of scanning old papers today, I ran across this poem by my grandmother:

I love old mothers in whose eyes
We find the calm of summer skies.
And in whose aging, paling cheek
Are faded roses, fair and meek;

Old mothers with the soft white hair
Like clouds of Heaven resting there;
Within whose tender, fond caress
Is felt the power to soothe and bless;

Old mothers in whose youthful hearts
The warming sun of springtime starts
And overflows in happy smiles
And bring contentment to the miles

We needs must travel every day …
Dear mothers showing us the way
To walk the path their feet have trod …
Sweet mothers leading us to God.

Illustrated Jingles for Walter and Willie

By Mabel Law Atkinson

This past week, while scanning part of the “mountains” of documents received from Walt and Erline, I encountered five charming hand-crafted books of pictures and poetry by Erline’s mother, Mabel Law Atkinson:

1. Illustrated Jingles for Walter and Willie

(View/read the book)

Mabel created the book in February and March, 1948, while a patient in Woodcroft Hospital in Pueblo, Colorado. She dedicated it to her two grandsons, Walter LeGrand Whipple Jr. and William Loren Whipple.

Might this have been her first venture into “publishing” a book?

Like the other four titles, all are written/drawn on 8 1/2-  x 11-inch (28 x 22 cm) drawing paper, with covers of construction paper in plastic covers. They are bound by three split brads.

2. Through Childhood’s Eyes

(View/read the book)

Dated 1948, this title bears the dedication:

My grandchildren,
    Whom I love as my own,
This booklet is dedicated.

In 1948, Walter and Willie were still her only two grandchildren.

3. As a Small Boy Sees

(View/read the book)

Written between December 27, 1948, and January 11, 1949, it bears the dedication:

To the memory of
  The beauty loving soul
   Of my first born son
       Melvin Boyd,
This booklet is dedicated.

Melvin had died in a car accident at Fort Ord, Monterey, California in 1942. (He and his father were working in the San Francisco shipyards to support the World War II efforts.)

4. In the Magic Garden

(View/read the book)

The only indication of a date is the handwritten dedication:

     Dec. 25, 1950
Merry Christmas
 Walter, William and Weldon

5. Memory Fragrance

(View/read the book)

It includes the dedication:

     To my brothers and sisters
Who share these memories with me
This volume is dedicated.

A handwritten dedication to Erline and LeGrand is dated December 25, 1950.

In addition to the above five titles, there are at least five additional “Hand-made Books Illustrated in Color“?

Read more about Mabel’s writings.

Let Me Hear Laughter

By Frances Myrtle Atkinson Berghout

When I am old and wait the twilight call,
Though body-worn, may I with youth’s delight
Hear quiet laughter in a waterfall
While moonbeams veil the loveliness of night.
May April fingers, tapping out a song
Upon my window, bid me see the hills
With greening bluebelled carpets; and a throng
Of nodding, waving, dancing daffodils.
Let me still hear the meadow lark in spring
Playing his flute, releasing crystal showers.
Let my glad heart forget its age and sing,
Climbing the hills of thought for April flowers.
Let me hear laughter in a waterfall,
When I am old and wait the twilight call.

(Note: This poem was printed on a series of pages of poems by Frances’ mother, Mabel Law Atkinson. It was published in The Relief Society Magazine, April 1955. An alphabetical listing of Mabel’s known poems is available here.)


Links to Mabel Law Atkinson’s Poems

Last month I finished inputting an alphabetical list of Mabel Law Atkinson’s poems, using her hand-typed list of poems as my source.

While typing that list, I wanted to read some of those poems.

Well, now you can! I went to one of her Google Sites that gives texts of her three (known) poetry books and constructed hyperlinks.

Mabel’s original list of about 300 poems grew to 513.

Some of the poems on the alphabetical list still lack hyperlinks. If you know of the missing texts, please contribute! (Also, please report typos and omissions …)

Enjoy …

Mabel Law Atkinson Update

This week I resumed inputting the papers of Mabel Law Atkinson (after a month or so hiatus). I’m still searching for the optimal way to organize her copious output.

For the time being, I’ve created a separate “home page” for her, entitled (interestingly enough) “Mabel Law Atkinson.”

Stay tuned for more updates during the next few months …