This innocuous looking page from a high school yearbook captures a moment in time from 1949. Ten average American students are pictured alongside daft little rhymes describing their ‘happy’ and ‘trustworthy’ personalities, and some of them have signed their names.
One of the faces in particular now stands out. This handsome young man, ‘our regular basketball guy’, was destined for a fame he could not have dreamt of when he signed his name, ‘Jim Dean’.
This great piece of history reminds me of the Elvis Presley library card, bearing his 13 year old signature, that sold at Heritage Auctions for $7,500 last August. These items carry a ‘before they were famous’ appeal. They date from a time when the signer had no idea the path their life would take, the tremendous effect they would have on the world. There is something charming about that.