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Home:  >News & Events   >News Archives   >2003

Eudora Welty as teen: Ole Miss library receives scrapbook

June 24, 2003

Rebecca Moreton of Oxford, left, examines her mother’s scrapbook with UM library archivist Jennifer Ford. (photo by Tobie Baker)

By Tobie Baker
University of Mississippi News Services

OXFORD, Miss. — Acclaimed storyteller Eudora Welty was “chief buzzard” in the Blinking Buzzards, a private society she created while a Jackson, Miss., high school student.

An invitation to join the Buzzards, never-published Welty writings and other artifacts are in a 1925 Central High School scrapbook recently donated to the University of Mississippi J.D. Williams Library’s Special Collections.

Mary Ellen Wilcox, a classmate and friend of Welty, compiled the scrapbook. Wilcox’s daughter, Rebecca Larche Moreton of Oxford, is the donor.

“This is one of several surviving scrapbooks kept by Miss Welty’s classmates," said Thomas Verich, university archivist. “It’s a charming, fascinating artifact of great detail, and quite a colorful piece.”

The fragile scrapbook was packed away in an attic until Moreton realized it should be preserved. She said one of her favorite items in the collection is a loosely styled poem, “Some Unusually Blank Verse,” dedicated to her mother and penned by Welty.

“It’s a medieval romantic spoof by Miss Eudora,” said Moreton, a retired UM French professor and alumna. “It reveals just how widely they read in high school.”

Welty and Wilcox grew up in Jackson, Miss., where they met in elementary school. The collection contains artifacts spanning their childhood—news clippings, ticket stubs and a wooden Seale Lily ice cream scoop.

Wilcox’s bid to join Welty’s Blinking Buzzards society is signed, “Eudora, Chief Buzzard.”

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