Faithful fan sends friendly note

Wanda Backus Kelly's 25-year collection of Herstory calendars.

Wanda Backus Kelly’s 25-year collection of Herstory calendars.

Ending Herstory: The Canadian Women’s Calendar after more than 40 years of publishing was a difficult decision to make, and has been especially disappointing to our fans who buy our calendar annually.

When Wanda Backus Kelly read that the Saskatoon Women’s Calendar Collective was unsure of 2016’s format, she sent us this photo of her collection, along with a wonderful message letting us know how much the calendar means to her:

Hi Ladies,

I am taking a moment, wringing out the last few glorious bits of holiday time, to switch over from last year’s HERSTORY daybook, as I have done at this time of year for 25 years now, to the new edition. Although I ordered it back in the summer, and have had it sitting on my desk for a while now, it’s usually only at this time of year, after the mayhem of the holidays begins to subside that I can take the time to wax nostalgic on the past year, transfer all the dates from the year-ahead section at the back of the past year’s into the new book, mark out dates I already know in advance, and generally get a head start on planning and organizing my precious time going into the next year.

However, as I looked through the 2015 edition, taking time as I like to, meeting all of the women for each week, and reading about changes to your cooperative at the end of the book, I am saddened and shocked, although not terribly surprised, to read that you’re unsure of 2016’s format. Hence, I am inclined to share with you the quarter century’s worth of paper HERSTORYs I have used, kept and valued.

Comparing a well-loved calendar to a fresh, new copy.

Comparing a well-loved calendar to a fresh, new copy.

Next I’ve taken a pic of what HERSTORY looks like when I first start of the year with it: new, crisp, clean and as-yet unadulterated with my appointments, ongoing rants, anecdotes, lists and general daily ramblings. Then, you can see what the poor thing looks like 365 days later: purse-worn, tea-stained, wearied and weathered – I think I must adopt the same appearance by year end, too!

HERSTORY has been a part of my life since a friend of my mother’s first introduced her to this calendar, as a gift one Christmas. My mom passed it on to me, as she kept her world organized on the ever-present beside-the-phone church calendar, and knew I liked to keep, smaller, portable versions at the ready in my purse. I have faithfully used your calendar since that first one was gifted to me in 1991. HERSTORY 2015 makes it 25 in total.

More than just an appointment book, I have used your calendar as a diary, confidant, confessor, counselor and budget spreadsheet. My best friend is under strict orders to find the box I store them in and burn them immediately, should I come to some premature and unfortunate end, because, beside herself and to a lesser degree my long-suffering spouse, these daybooks hold truths I’d prefer not to have laid bare to the likes of my children, or heavens knows where else for that matter! While I completely understand the turn of the tides in the ways in which people keep track of daily appointments, and manage their time, I wanted you all to know, for what it’s worth to you, that I still very much value and use a paper daybook, and that I would hope you’ll find some way to continue to publish the paper version for 2016. I doubt I’d find a similar organizer that both inspires and organizes in the same way your collective has created this product. All the best for 2015 – here’s hoping I can continue to add more HERSTORYs to my collection.

The members of the Saskatoon Women’s Calendar Collective were so happy to hear from Wanda, and we want to hear from you, too! What are your memories of the Herstory calendar? 

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2 Responses to Faithful fan sends friendly note

  1. Donna Bilodeau says:

    I feel as if I am losing a very dear friend, I have had my new copy Her Story beside my telephone for almost all 40 years. I saved my old ones and still go back into them…they have my history written in them. When I joined Beta a Sigma Phi and had to do programs and I used the information and articles from my calendar. I have learned so much over the years and sure appreciate the successes of Canadian Women.
    Thank you for giving me a treasure that means so much. I don’t want to think about next January.

  2. Wanda says:

    HI Donna – cool! You saved yours’ too? I’m really feeling lost about next year, too. HERSTORY was more than just an organizer: every time I opened it, I got inspired, even reading the stories over for the umpteenth time! Such a great idea to showcase the lives of women, and especially Canadian women and the struggles.
    Even the most ‘everyday’ woman, and the story of a relatively insignificant challenge, compared to the larger problems we hear about daily, and the ways in which these struggles were overcome provided me with such inspiration. “If they did it, I can do it!” was the way I felt every time I opened HERSTORY.
    Who else out there has an old HERSTORY stuck away in a closet, a drawer or a cupboard somewhere, and why are you saving it? What did HERSTORY mean to YOU!???

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