Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nancy Drew in the Dark Ages

Believe it or not, even though I am the ancient member of the Stiletto Gang, Nancy Drew was popular when I was a girl. I received Nancy Drew mysteries every birthday and Christmas and had them read before the days were over.

Like many others, I imagined myself doing all the things Nancy did on her adventures. Her tales fueled my imagination, causing me to suspect our neighbors of all sorts of suspicious doings, from being spies to kidnappers.

I babysat for a police officers two children and the foolish man left a loaded gun in a drawer in case I had to protect his kids from bad guys. Once I was sitting and someone actually tried to get into the house. The person shook the doorknob and rattled the door. I grabbed the gun (I was all of eleven being a seasoned sitter since the age of 10) and went to the door. “I have a loaded gun and I’m pointing it right at you.” Whoever it was must have believed me, because it became quiet.

I put the gun away, called my dad who lived two doors away. He was in bed so had to get dressed before he came up to look around the property. It took him so long, of course no one was to be found.

WWII was going on when I was a kid. Every house in the neighborhood was different. Back in those days, kids were allowed to roam without adult supervision. I loved to ride my bike to new places. Once I discovered a multi-turreted three story home built into the side of a hill. I imagined someone being held hostage inside or at the very least, it was filled with a bevy of ghostly beings.

I often pictured myself as the heroine who would come to the rescue or sound the alarm. I knew if we were invaded by the enemy I’d be recruited as a spy. After all, who would suspect a kid of being a spy?

Back in those days, I wrote my own mystery stories. By the time I’d outgrown Nancy and moved on to adult mysteries (often ones my mother told me not to read), I was putting out my own magazine reproduced on a jelly pad. (It had another name beginning with an h which I can't remember, but it had a resemblance to hard jelly.) Since I wrote all the content, there was always at least one short mystery starring a young female sleuth.

As you can tell, Nancy Drew had a huge influence on me. When the movie came out I could hardly wait to take a couple of great-granddaughters. I enjoyed it much more than they did.



  1. Marilyn: I was much more into the Nancy Drew movie than the three teens that I took, too! I don't get a sense that the mysteries are quite as popular today with young girls, and that's a shame, don't you think? And like I said yesterday, once they "updated" Nancy, it wasn't the same for me. Maggie

  2. Maggie, I took younger girls, 10 and 8 and they loved the movie. I think for teens it was a bit too young--they are (or think they are) pretty sophisticated by the time they turn thirteen these days. Marilyn

  3. Well, isn't this interesting. I'm having Nancy Drew week at my blog, too.


    I'll put a word in for your ND week tomorrow. There can never be too much Nancy Drew!