16 October 2010

The Story Behind the "Brown Books" Series

Many years ago, within the span of 10 years or so,
several of my family's elders attended the same
small Christian College in a rather large city in the Midwest.

One of the beloved traditions of the institution was the reading of a story
for the weekend Vesper Hour...
the Reader would sit inconspicuosly in the front pew of the chapel
and read the story with the aid of a microphone,
while the listeners sat quietly in the sacred atmosphere of the dimly lighted room...

The Vesper stories were so popular with the local folk that someone
made request of the college's Librarian
to collect, reproduce and make them available
for those who would like to have their own copies
of these beloved stories...which she kindly did.

My Aunt purchased a couple volumes of these stories
for a small fee, probably to cover materials and handling expenses,
and the humble, hand-colated and brownish-manilla-staple-bound-volumes
became a permanent part of her home library.

Years later two of her grandchildren who lived close by
would come over regularly and say,
"Grannie, read to us out of the brown books!"
What Grannie could refuse a request like that?
She gladly spent hours and hours filling their minds
with the old-time morals and values typical of the stories from another era...
Those two kids absolutely loved the "Brown Books" stories,
and to this day claim them as their favorites!

At some point in time, my momma pirated her own copies
of her sister's "Brown Books" and made an extra set for me.
As I was cleaning out my filing cabinet recently, I ran across them,
and have been reading them to The-Man and the Treasure in the evenings.
The stories are classics and reveal much
about the graciousness and beauty of times gone by.

The printing in these humble volumes is getting hard to read
as they have been copied so many times,
and so I thought it would be good to transcribe them again
so they can be easily shared and reprinted by modern methods.
So, as I transcribe each story,
I thought it would be fun to share them here as regular posts...

I hope you will enjoy the "Brown Books" stories
as much as my family does!


  1. Very nice. Loved the family history in today's post and the fact that you are passing it down to the Treasure.
    Whoever wrote the story you posted was very clever and made it a timeless piece. I can see that being read in colleges now and it is applicable.

  2. Thanks. The Treasure and the Man are loving these stories. I'm amazed at the variety of writing styles and topics in the collection, yet they all have the charm and wisdom of days-gone-by. Enjoy.