Thursday, August 1, 2013

Whither the Hudson Valley? Trixie Belden Land of course!

So, one of the most exciting moments for me on my recent trip from Ontario to Stockbridge, Massachusetts (heretofore to known as "Wendy Cuts Cross Country" - points for those of you who recognize the homage to the Betsy-Tacy books and Betsy selling her story "Emma Middleton Cuts Cross Country".) was when we crossed the Hudson River.

THE HUDSON RIVER.


Oh sure, I had seen the Hudson River in NYC, but not the Hudson River of upstate New York.

Why so significant?

Glad you asked! 

Because Trixie Belden grew up in the Hudson River Valley in the fictional town of Sleepyside-on-the-Hudson.

Yes - THAT Trixie Belden.  The Trixie Belden with whom I spent many hours from the time I was 8 years old until I was around 12 or 13.  The Trixie Belden with the aw-shucks older brothers, Marty and Brian.  The Trixie Belden with the rich best friend Honey Wheeler and her adopted brother Jim Frayne (whom Trixie had quite the crush on!).  The Trixie Belden who was fully capable of solving mysteries sans boys, thank you very much, and didn't mind getting down and dirty when she needed to.

So when we went over the bridge that crosses the Hudson River near Massachusetts, I cried out "Trixie Belden Land!" as only I could, and to which Barry replied "huh?" as only he can...

I was never a Nancy Drew girl.  Not sure why.  But Trixie (and Donna Parker - I'll save her for a future post) - I was all over Trixie.

I wanted to live in a little house with my three brothers.  I wanted to solve mysteries and have adventures.  I just wanted to ride on a school bus for goodness sakes!


When I got home from my trip I dug out some of my vintage Trixie Belden books, which I borrowed or inherited 40 years ago.





Trixie Belden is from a kinder gentler time, but the author(s) were wise - always have your main character have a rich best friend - you are going to need the money to keep the story going at times...

The series began in 1948 and ended almost 40 years later in 1986 after 39 books.  The series had two official authors: "Kathyrn Kenny" and Julie Campbell, but many authors wrote under the Kathryn Kenny nom de plume.

There is a wonderful website about the series: http://www.trixie-belden.com, which basically tells you everything you ever wanted to know.

So now I feel like I have been to Trixie land.  And I only have 29 books left to find on Ebay...

What girls series did you love growing up?

I am off to St. Andrews tomorrow for a day trip and will take lots of pictures - stay safe out there!

Oh - Happy August!

35 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Cannot type on iPhones.
    I don't know Trixie at all, I've never been a big reader, I stared out the window of our old billiard room (not a billiard room per se for us, they were built as such on the fourth or fifth floors of villas here) and just lost myself in reverie when I wasn't bring forced to read for homework.

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    1. Oh I think you might have liked Trixie - she was very spunky and interested in all things!

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  3. Did not read a lot as a kid either, unless for school. Spent my hours outdoors...one of the advantages of always having lived in mild climates. Never heard of Trixie. Read some Nancy and a few Hardy Boys but mostly books about animals. It seems the common plot was the dog died at the end aka Sounder, Where the Red Fern Grows, Cujo (jk, that was later).

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    1. Oh those dead dog at the end books were so heartbreaking! If you liked outdoors you would have loved Trixie - she was an outdoors kind of gal!!! I used to love the Thorton W Burgess series of animal books when I was really young - still have my set - Reddy the Fox, etc!

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    2. I just can't remember too many books, there weren't many. My favorite is one about a bunch of rabbits but the name escapes me. Oh well, time to get moving...busy day. Have a good one.

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  4. nancy drew and ( whispers) sweet valley high...

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    1. HA! You made me laugh out loud! I think I am too old to have run across Sweet Valley High, though I certainly remember seeing it in the library!

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  5. Nancy Drew. I was miffed with my Mom because she refused to buy me the entire title set. She said I will outgrow it. Again, she was right.

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    1. But maybe you will need them later...

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  6. I read all the time as a child , but I don't know these. Nancy Drew, of course , and Cherry Ames, the nurse. The Ramona books. I'll have to acquaint myself with Trixie.

    I read all the Sherlock Holmes summer of the sixth grade. I'm sure I did not get all the britishisms!

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    1. I remember Cherry Ames very well! When I was even younger I was a huge fan of the B is for Betsy books. Those are the books that I just never give away. My daughter had no interest, though she loved Sherlock Holmes!

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  7. I remember the Trixie books - although I'd forgotten about the older brothers. The detail I remember was the whistle signal they used which I think became the name of their 'club' - wasn't it Bob-whites-of-the-glen? Didn't they have matching jackets? I hadn't realized it was the Hudson Valley area - not that it would have meant anything to me as a young reader. Other series... my mom's Bobbsey Twins books (just reread one last year; Freddie and Flossie certainly had a lot of freedom as 6 year olds traipsing around NYC by themselves), Cherry Ames, and the Maida series - Maida's little House, store, camp, etc. Maida conveniently had a very wealthy and indulgent father. The Black Stallion series - loved horses. Nancy Drew AND the Hardy Boys. I read a lot back in the 60's as a skinny, shy, non-athletic kid.

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    1. HI Lily - I loved the Bobbsey Twins - and you are right - they had a LOT of freedom! I missed the Maida series. The Black Stallion was wonderful! My sister and I also loved the Jill series - Jill's Gymkhana, etc. I read a lot too!

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  8. From yesterday: The polyvore you posted took me to Garnet Hill. A quick google search turned up this skirt:

    http://www.garnethill.com/easy-maxi-knit-skirt/279977

    I think this is the one in the polyvore, even though the polyvore doesn't link to it. Probably it's a newer version of the same thing or similar? I know you don't need it because the skirt you wore yesterday is great and achieved the same look, but I thought i'd let you know my finding anyway :)

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    1. Oh I love that!!!

      Funny - I have a Garnett Hill Post coming soon!

      I wish they had a petite version - I took a look and they are sold out of petites (or never had them) and it is 35 inches long which is about 4 inches too long on me, but the skirt had this nifty detail on hem I would hate to lose...

      Having said, I should buy NOTHING else for summer. I really am perfect for clothes!

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    2. Then I shouldn't tell you the reviews say it is good for 3 seasons, with boots, right? lol...

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  9. I read them all! I loved Trixie and I also wanted to live her life. I must have found all of the books a the library, I don't remember ever owning any, I had to laugh looking at these old book covers, so funny!

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    1. I treasure mine!!! I am hoping for a granddaughter who loves them, since my daughter skipped them. She did have a great life! Have a great day trip - we are off on ours now!

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  10. I don't think my library had Trixie Belden. I have never seen this series. I liked the Little House on the Prairie books at one point.

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    1. HI Cate - I loved the Little House Books, as did my kids!

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  11. Loved your comfy casual look yesterday! Your post brings back memories. I had forgotten all about Trixie Belden. I read lots of those. My whole family were avid readers and my mom would take us to the library and we would come out with as many as we could carry. Sadly I don't get much time to read, except for blogs, these days and my children are more into tech toys. I read lots of Nancy Drew, the whole Oz series, Laura Ingels Wilder, Milne's Pooh series, Judy Blume, Childcraft and world book encyclopedias and what ever else I could get my hands on. The weekly reader book club, which I guess now is Scholastic books, was great too because you bought them to keep. I loved the Littles books about the tiny people and anything with fairies. I remember a silly favorite called the Wednesday Witch where a witch rides a vacuum cleaner instead of a broom.

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    1. HI SC - I loved childcraft and world book encyclopedia as well! And the Littles!!! All great choices! Don't recall Wednesday Witch! I also loved All of a Kind Family - such great books! My daughter reads constantly and my son is a great reader as well and whenever they want a novel I always buy it!

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  12. I loved Trixie Belden, and Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey twins, and especially Betsy, Tacy and Tibb! Then of course, the Little Women and The Little House on the Prairie Series.I also like the All of a kind Family and Anne of Green Gables. No wonder we are so like-minded, we all like the same books. I also read the Hardy Boys and Bobbsey Twins when there were no favorites available at my library. Oh- And I forgot about Cherry Ames- although I remember my librarian sniffing and saying haughtily that they were NOT GOOD BOOKS everytime I took one out!

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    1. Oh LIbrarians - we loved them, but they were sure particular, weren't they? I think you and I liked all the same books - are you sure we arent' related?

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  13. I don't know at all Trixie Belden... Around the age of 8, my preferred books were "Martine" series... You can see them here: http://www.club-martine.fr/catalogue/ > I don't really like the new editions and I much prefer the old ones, where all the illustrations and colors looked much more appealing to me. Around 10 I started to read "The famous Five".
    Have a fantastic day out tomorrow.
    Steph

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    1. Bonjour Steph! I have a very close friend, Martine, who LOVED those books!!! J'ai une amie Martine - elle est une Francophone et elle a adore Martine!!!!

      Oh loved the Famous Five!!!

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  14. Hi Wendy, I don't know this series at all. My favourite series growing up was the Chalet School series - I've talked about it before in comments, Get Fresh also knows it. In the ones I read the school was somewhere in the Swiss alps (it moved around over the years) and they had all sorts of adventures. I also read a lot of girls' comic books - I come from Dundee, the home of DC Thomson, a famous newspaper publisher in Scotland and they also produced children's comic books. I had one for every day of the week - Bunty, Judy, Mandy, Diana, Jackie. Jackie was for teens and it came out on Wednesdays - on that day you'd find most of the girls at school sitting around at recess, reading. All that was the start of my love of magazines!

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    1. Patricia - that is so interesting - I have never heard of those comic books! I just love those kind of stories - they are so cultural to a time and place and it is so neat!

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  15. Swallows and Amazons. The Far-Distant Oxus. Sigh.

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    1. OMG!!!! We were sailing last week and we kept talking and talking about Swallows and Amazons!!! I have never heard of the latter and had to look it up and am intrigued!! Oh gosh - looks great!!

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  16. Jim was Honey's adopted brother, not Trixie's.

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    1. You are right! Definitely typing too fast there! Brian and Marty were trixie's!

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  17. My mum grew up reading Trixie Belden, in Canada, and found them for us when she found out that Sleepyside is modeled on Ossining, in Westchester County, New York (~40 minutes outside NYC), where I grew up. The Hudson is still pretty intense down here, though, as we're right near the Tappan Zee Bridge.

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    1. I thought it was gorgeous and how cool that's where you grew up!

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Kindness is a virtue...