I blame my fiction addiction on Nancy Drew.
We were supposed to wear our Halloween costumes to school, but somehow I missed the memo. (I’ve been missing memos ever since, BTW.) Mrs. Sloss, my elderly first-grade teacher, took pity on my poor, un-costumed self, and asked me what character I wanted to be. I think I shocked her when I said “Nancy Drew.”
Mrs. Sloss taped a roll of masking tape to a pen to create a magnifying glass. That was my costume for the annual elementary school Halloween costume parade. No one knew who I was. Surprise.
While that is not necessarily a pleasant childhood memory, Nancy Drew and her adventures are. I clearly recall visits to the local bookstore, asking if the most recent Nancy Drew novel had arrived. Some things haven’t changed… nowadays I find myself perusing the new releases at the local library.
It wasn’t enough for me to read the Nancy Drew mysteries. I needed to act them out. I enlisted my best friends, Geri and Deanah, as George and Bess, and we set out to solve Nancy-style mysteries on the playground of Bolitho Elementary. At home, I snatched drinking glasses away from my parents’ hands to dust for fingerprints (long before they were finished with their beverages).
At one memorable point, I convinced my mother that my best friend (Geri) and I would be perfectly fine with being tied up and gagged in the cellar of our house. God bless Geri. She endured far more than any best friend should have had to endure. We managed to loose our bonds, of course, and escape. To this day, my mother is traumatized by the fact she tied us up in her basement, at my insistence. (It’s all right Mom, we turned out OK.)
What was it I loved about Nancy Drew? Was it the plot? The characters? The suspense? Or was it simply the familiarity of each and every story, knowing Nancy would emerge victorious, no matter how threatening the villain or how desperate the scenario?
What stories marked your childhood?
For more “N” posts in the A2Z take 2 meme, click here..