So I obviously got very in to the Betsy-Tacy series back there. One of my favorite things was reading the real history behind the stories at the end of each book. Maud Hart Lovelace grew up in a Minnesota town and she based most of the series on her own life. Included in the biographical sections, with pictures (!), were a few fun facts that completely drew me in.
1. Maud (and thus Betsy!) was born on April 25th, 1892. I was born April 25th, 1982. Love sharing birthdays with people!
2. In their later years, Maud and her family moved to Claremont, CA. I live in Montclair about 5 steps from Claremont. I grew up around Claremont. My mom lives in Claremont. Etc. etc. This was way too exciting to me.
See? Nerd. Ahem.
After I finished all the books I tried to find out just where this Claremont house was. I know that her Minnesota homes are all on tours and easily located in guidebooks and websites and everywhere, if you’re a Betsy-Tacy fan. I couldn’t find the Claremont house though.
So, being me, I wrote to the President of the Maud-Hart Lovelace Society. I know. I’m a nerd. Shush.
She oh-so-kindly replied with the address, where she had found the address (The Besty-Tacy Companion, currently sitting on my bookshelf thanks to the LA County library, just waiting to be cracked open), and told me she would just love if I could send her a picture of it. Then she told me she thought the Claremont library might have more information for me (it doesn’t) because she knew that the local Society branch had donated a park bench years ago in her honor. Which is when I lost it, because I have totally sat on that bench while my kid ran around the library grounds, and I had always thought it was just a city bench with some plaque dedicated to Mayor So-and-So, and you get the point. I’ve been sitting on the Betsy-Tacy bench!!!
On our library outing that week I got all giddy at the sight of it, and then got all sad because I had forgotten my camera. But. I have a little trip planned for a free Saturday soon. Maud’s Claremont house (which is less than a mile from my last apartment) and the Claremont library bench. Just me and my camera, so I can send pictures to the Society president one of these days.