Sunday, January 21, 2007

Remembering our good old Nancy Drew Days

Reading a post from Regina Clare Jane (one of the Sunday Scribbling's participants - I Still See A Spark ... in You) made me laugh, as it catapulted me back to the days of childhood when my sister Kathryn and I developed a fixation with Nancy Drew the girl detective.

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Wherever we went, we would look for 'clues'. Everything, even the most seemingly ordinary occurrence ("Footprints!") or sighting ("Follow that car!!"), became 'a mystery'. We would draw treasure maps on thin tracing paper or grease proof paper, rub it in dirt or mud and burn the edges to make it look authentic (aged and tattered). Once, digging 'for treasure' at the bottom of the garden of the house we lived in at the time, we actually found a buried box of old rusty keys.
I remember once we were holidaying in St. Vincent (where Daddy is from) and staying at a beach house. (It was the year that Lady Di and Charles were married). Somehow that summer we were at the height of our Nancy Drewness. One of our mysteries was the rusty remains of an old boat ('shipwreck') in the shallows of the beachfront. I can't remember what the exact mystery was or what we named it, but I think we used to keep watch over the 'shipwreck', monitoring any strange activities or lights in the night.

The most intense mystery that summer however was one that we called "The Mystery of the Single Rose." Granny at the time had a young girl named Fleur staying with her. ('Fleur' is French for 'flower' and she was always by herself - hence 'Single Rose'). We even made up a theme song (The Single Rose) for this particular 'mystery'. Fleur was very quiet - perhaps just shy - but to us (budding Nancy Drew initiates) she was full of secrets. We observed her closely, discussing her movements and actions. Our main question was: Why did she leave the house so early every morning?!! The mystery heightened one day when we glanced at the house next door and saw a girl looking just like Fleur, sitting in the verandah with the next door girls, chatting as though it was the most normal thing in the world. Our first question: What was Fleur doing next door with those girls?! Was she telling Granny and the rest of us she was going to work and then slipping next door to associate with her accomplices?!

That was when we decided to go and search Fleur's room. Not in any malicious or maco way ... just in a concerned, Nancy Drew way. I can't remember who found us innocently searching her room for clues (whether it was Granny or Fleur), but it brought that particular mystery to an end.

Turns out Fleur had a twin sister who stayed next door ...

Interestingly, maybe Nancy's spirit of solving mysteries never left us. When I 'grew up' I was drawn to do my Masters in Criminology, mainly due to an interest (at the time) in understanding the deviant mind (perhaps my own?) But even though I have that degree, I can't see myself being a Criminologist. Would rather be what I am now.


Anonymous Marilyn said...

Great post! I read Nancy Drew, too, mainly because my mother had loved the books and made sure I had them. But I was so serious and literal in my reading taste when I was young that all I cared about was just finishing them. (There was little to no pleasure to be had along the way--just get to the end so I could say I'd completed it.) Although I secretly loved the idea of sleuthing and mysteries, I wasn't emotionally equipped at the time to allow myself to escape into them. I should probably re-read them...I'd probably really enjoy them NOW. :)

7:41 AM  
Blogger Kaivalya said...

Hilarious post, E! I too read the Nancy Drew Mysteries when I young. The Trixie Belden and Meg Mysteries were good as well and I have astoundingly vivid memories of these books. Although I'm not sure I lived out my full potential for 'Nancy Drewness' as you did, I really enjoyed the books. My mother also read Nancy (and Trixie) when she was a girl. When she came across with my nose buried in a girl-detective-mystery she would become very nostalgic and she even remembered some of the story lines!

8:05 AM  
Blogger Webgrl said...

you are taking me back! I was obsessed with nancy drew books and i absolutely detest the new covers. I'm sure the books are as juicy but i prefer the old, worn vintage looking books.
A friend of mine has some and i borrowed them to read about two years ago to see if they still held the same appeal and they almost did! I felt those old feelings of excitement and what next rushing back. All i needed were some pimply friends, a pathetic looking teenage boy to gossip about and a trip to the mall wearing three pairs of layered neon socks with my LA Gear sneakers.
lordy this is funny.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

Wonderful story. I read them too. You have a degree in criminology? Wow. The young woman who sold me my movie ticket tonight is working on her degree in criminology.

I learned a lot about that when I was married to a convict.


1:15 AM  

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