Daughter #1, from upstate NY, has been here attending Education Week classes on the BYU campus and helping me organize and sort all the stuff I've been saving for my personal history. We divided it into categories--elementary school, high school, college, mission, marriage, and that doesn't include the last 40 years which still has to be organized. Some of my stuff is pretty strange--an empty aspirin bottle cast members gave me as a gag gift after a play production, a plastic tortoise shell bracelet my mother used to wear, and a bandelo.
Like Boy Scouts have those long wide bands to display all the merit badges they've earned, kids in LDS Primary classes displayed this plastic representation of our achievements on a band of maroon felt we wore around our necks every week in our class. As we passed off Primary graduation requirements, we added bars and symbols of the things we had learned. I can't recite all the Articles of Faith anymore, and I don't recall what all the other symbols represented, but obviously I was there and ticked off all those requirements. I do remember how intimidating it was if my friends had more of their symbols on their bandelos than I did.
Here's the problem: It isn't flat and doesn't fit easily into a scrapbook. It has no earthly purpose now and would be meaningless, and therefore useless, to shoppers at Deseret Industries, so I can't pass it on to the thrift store. It has no significance to anybody else, but it doesn't mean anything to me anymore either. I look back now at the concept of displaying our achievements on maroon felt bands around our necks and am seized with the urge to shriek, "What were they thinking?" And yet, would I feel guilty if I tossed it out?
Before Daughter #1 left today for the airport she showed me that she'd clamped my bandelo inside the rings of the binder/scrapbook with my early history. If it becomes annoying when people try to turn the pages of the book we'll have to think of an alternative.
If you had a bandelo when you were in Primary, what did you do with yours? What should I do with mine? I've already decided against suspending it in clear plastic, so let's move on.