Young love and a baby blue Smith Corona

We enter a house by the sea in the early 1970's...and open a door to a bedroom where a young woman sits before her beloved baby blue Smith Corona typewriter, tapping her heart out. She hits the return button on the typewriter as swiftly as she types, feelings had to be expressed, emotions was unfolding before her, she had so much to say. Her journal was a collage of thoughts and sentiments, her own and others. On this occasion she was writing about broken hearts and typing a poem she discovered, written by another 17 year old girl, who felt as she did...someone who also understood the trials and tribulations of love..the inevitabilities.

Fast forward to 2010, while unpacking from a recent move, the woman who once owned a baby blue Smith Corona discovers a file and in it are all the pages she typed as a young woman. The 'ping ping' of her typewriter is now a distant memory...the collage of her thoughts in her journal have since turned into a collage of life on her blog. She adds the poem to her blog, a sweet memory of young love.

You have probably guessed that the young woman was me and how I loved that baby blue Smith Corona. I haven't thought about it in many years... until today. I received a note this morning from Teri, a fellow blogger, who discovered my post, she had also saved the same poem and wrote to tell me about it. I was so touched that I have not been able to stop thinking about it all day. She wrote to say she found the author via google and wrote to tell her about the coincidence. I was delighted.

The title of the poem is appropriate, all these years later. We both had a wonderful trip down memory lane. For me, it is another kindred spirit discovered through blogging. What a great way to start the new year. My sister would say 'it is a sign', perhaps it is. I have spent the afternoon searching out and reading those journals...reading myself at 17...37 years later. It has been quite an adventure.

I send my thanks to Teri @ Quinceberry (a thoughtful writer and talented artist) for making my day and to Jean Grasso (Fitzpatrick) for writing a poem about young love all those years ago. Kindred spirits indeed.

The post I wrote in 2010...

Young Love and Austin America 

Posted 30th April 2010
 by Jeanne @ Collage of Life

I am still unpacking, months on from our move and have started on my past. All those years ago, in my mid-teens I used to write and collect poetry and verse. This one goes all the way back to the early 70's.  I could never bare to part with it and would like to share it with you. I do not know where it came from, I credited the author and all I know is that her name was Jean and she lived in New York.  Most likely it was from a magazine because it was the 70's and we had limited options back then. My how the world has changed! 


a memory is but a dream
  too tangible to hold
like a snowflake that has glistened and sparkled
only to melt
into icy cold water in the palm of your hand
leaving no hint of past lacy whiteness

and if in ten years I have forgotten
how much shorter I am next to you
      or the middle name of a boy I call "Cav"
I will remember all that is important
     between leaves of English verse, a pressed orchid
     a pair of white Levi's on some other, worthy boy
     or a yellow Austin America glimpsed from
                   a strange corner (different faces inside)
will bring alive two seventeen-year-olds
         unspoken dreams and promises
         fingers entwined in quiet moments
         soft I-love-you's whispered in the transiency
      of a summer evening
(I marking time with the crickets song until
       autumn and Yale abort you from our world)
and the familiar contentment will rest aside me
as I remember the times I needed you
  and you held me so tenderly
when I cried for those huge realities
even you could not change
although you would have if you could
so I will remember
and shed a tear for two
and shake a fist at the sky 
for whatever it is
that melts snowflakes

By Jean Grasso
 17 years old
 Tarrytown, New York

Note: I have written the poem as I typed it all those years ago.

There you have it, young love.  I wonder what happened to Jean and the boy with the middle name "Cav". For those of you who like me, were unsure what she meant by Austin America, I discovered that it is a car fashioned by the designer of another favourite of mine, the Morris Minor.
Built by the British Motor Corporation and designed by Sir Alec Issignois and Pinin Farina who also designed of the Morris Minor and Mini. The Austin America was exclusive for export from the UK to the USA and was sold from 1968 to 1972. Approximately 59,000 were exported to the USA with production ceasing in 1974. Short but sweet. For more information you can go to Austin America.


Top image
Bottom and reference to car here~image


  1. Thank you for taking me down memory lane :) Yes I too had a blue Smith Corona and like you I typed out some of my first poems too.

    Almost similar I had a BMC Maxi 1800 cc which was a stretch version of the car you
    shown on your blog. It was a heavy beast of a thing as it needed power steering!

    Happy New Year to you

  2. Wonderful post Jeanne! Does bring back memories of being an akward teen who loved so much it felt like I would die if that first love ended. I still think about him to this day.

  3. I loved it Jeanne! Thank you for always taking us on your journeys - be they around the world, around the corner, or into your heart. xoxo,

  4. Hello Jeanne
    What a moving poem. I can see why you saved it. Definitely gentler times for a 17 yr old.

    Thank you for sharing this memory and coincidence

    Helen xx

  5. Oh, Jeanne, I haven't thought of my first typewriter in forever. It is exactly the blue typewriter I unwrapped at Christmas my senior year of high school and packed up the next September to take with me to college. Oh, I wish I knew where it landed. Thank you for the memories. I, too, have papers typed with my Smith-Cornona. May your New Year be filled with adventure and peace. Bonnie

  6. Loved the connections and the recount of the past, dear Jeanne. This post has a soulful feel about it.

    Glad that you wrote this one.

    Have a blessed and joyous 2012.

    Joy always,

  7. Your opening paragraph reads like the first page to a novel Jeanne ... can you take a hint? :) This is a lovely tale and a beautiful poem, thank you

  8. When Rudy and I met, in the early '70s, I was living in England and he in Canada. For 9 months, before I emigrated, we wrote to each other every day...all his letters and poems were typed on a smith-corona...and in those days, I drove a Morris Minor 1000, and he the Austin Healey.
    See how all our lives collide.

  9. This is so much fun! I love all your stories...tell me more, tell me more! We have stories within stories...I hope this post inspires you to write your own story! If you do, be sure to tell me, I would love to read it...from the woman who wish she still owned her baby blue Smith Corona.. :)

    1. I am so happy to have found this poem again! I read it back in the 70's as a high school teenager, published in some long forgotten issue of a teenage magazine, and it became a very special part of the bond between my mom and I. Snowflakes became our own symbol of this bond, and we collected snowflake suncatchers, jewelry and any other thing we could find. Over the years Mom and I would often 'shake a fist at the sky for whatever melts snowflakes' together and smile as we shared a private moment of what it meant to us. My mom passed away 3 weeks ago and I miss her terribly, but I know she is in a place where snowflakes don't melt and that gives me comfort. I had lost my paper clipping of your poem and today went searching for it online, not really believing that I could be so lucky as to actually find it. I hope you don't mind, but I printed it out on her FB page so she can have it again. I just wanted to share with you how much your poem touched our lives! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  10. Jeanne....
    This poem truly resonated with me and my memories of
    of the angst and joy of seventeen year old me! Thank you for sharing it and another coincidence.....I went to college in Tarrytown, NY in the early 70s when the author wrote this poem in Tarrytown!!

  11. Oh my goodness -- reading this is absolutely wonderful! And what a lot of coincidences!

  12. So awesome. Love the World of Blog & all its connections & kindred spirits. Hope you have a great day.

  13. Jeanne, I'm a friend of Teri's and last night over dinner she told us about finding the poem on your blog, writing to you, and now planning to meet up with the author these many years later.

    Just wanted to say how much I loved seeing your London photos. My daughter and her family lived in Chelsea for 14 months and my husband and I spent a total of 3 1/2 months, in 6 separate trips, visiting our baby grandchildren. Although not new to London, living there in a house made us fall in love with the City all over again.

    Happy New Year! Aren't blogs wonderful?

  14. I also love typewriters ... but was never fortunate enough to have a baby blue one.



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