Gladys Taber Fan Club

 

Gladys Taber

Lots of you have noticed that some of the most wonderful quotes I put in my books and calendars are attributed to Gladys Taber. I’ve been asked many times who she is and how to find out more about her. I think I learned everything I needed to know about her when I read this:

Gladys Taber was born in 1899 and spent her life writing about the every-day simple things in life for her wonderful Stillmeadow and Still Cove books. She loved everything I love, which is why I love her! Through her eyes, we experience the passing seasons from her 1690 Connecticut farmhouse; share in her passion for animals, gardening, cooking, and homemaking. Her books are filled with practical advice and her common sense view of the way things are. She also wrote the Diary of Domesticity column for the Lady’s Home Journal in the late 1930’s, and Butternut Wisdom for Family Circle through the 1960’s.

 

Many people inherit their fondness for the writings of Gladys Taber from their mothers or grandmothers. Others “discover” her by accident. I found her waiting for me on a shelf of old books left behind by the previous owner of the first little house I bought on Martha’s Vineyard. The book was Best of Stillmeadow, where I read the words “April in New England is like first love.” and fell in first-love myself, with Gladys. I feel like I just missed her, she died on Cape Cod at 81 years old, the year before I moved to the island

I began collecting her books; finding them almost lit up, like little torches in dark and dusty used bookstores. As soon as I found out about it, I joined the Friends of Gladys Taber Fan Club. For years I have received their wonderful snail mail newsletter that still thrills my heart every time I see it in my mailbox. It’s real mail, the kind you save and read with a cup of tea. Afterward, you feel the way you do when you open all the doors and windows on the first spring day after a long cold winter!

Gladys Tabor Newsletters

I‘ve also corresponded with some of Glady’s other “Friends” and without really “knowing” them, it’s easy to feel an instant connection between kindred spirits because of our mutual admiration for Gladys Taber, which extends right out to each other.

On a beautiful June day in 1999 the beloved “Editor-in-Chief Emeritus” of the Friends of Gladys Taber Fan Club, Gilbertine “Gilly” Moore, stopped by my house on Martha’s Vineyard to say hello. We’d been pen pals for years, but this was our first in-person meeting. We visited in the backyard, under the rose arbor; she was like a link to the past for me. She gave me the black and white photos you see at the top of this page… she took them when she visited Gladys in 1955. Gilly and I wrote to each other until her death in 2008.

Gilly is gone, but her spirit and heart continue to inspire The Friends of Gladys Taber Newsletter. They have what they call a “minimal” web site (due to everything being volunteer, having no funds particularly, just a lot of heart), but you can go there www.FriendsOfGladysTaber.org to request membership information — they would love more people to know about Gladys Taber. So if this seems like your cup of tea, it’s only $20 a year for four “sturdy” issues of about 40 pages each, sent out in March, June, September, and December; a mere pittance for the wonderful job they do of carrying on the true tradition of what Gladys Taber was about.

Stillmeadow

Still meadow, Gladys’s wonderful 1690 farmhouse in the Connecticut countryside.

If you want to know more about Gladys, here is her page at Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladys_Taber

In 2014 I was honored to visit Stillmeadow and speak to the Friends of Gladys Taber group . . . and here’s what I wrote afterwards that was printed in their Newsletter.  To join Joe and I on our wonderful tour of Stillmeadow, click HERE

staple

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445 Responses to Gladys Taber Fan Club

  1. Katie Kane says:

    Susan Taber (Gidley) was my maternal grandmother. I was looking at your site because a friend of mine is trying to find red check rim bistro plates made in France and she saw them on one of your pages. Thought you’d like to know about Susan, Susan.

    Birth: 1882
    New York, USA
    Death: Jan. 20, 1971
    West Hartford
    Hartford County
    Connecticut, USA

    Susan Taber (Delano) Gidley, 88 was a resident of West Hartford Connecticut at the time of her passing. She had formerly lived in East Freetown and Greater New Bedford.

    She was born in Troy New York. She was a member of the Pilgrim United Church, and was the oldest alumnae of Tabor Academy in Marion.

  2. laney says:

    …such a precious precious site…so happy that i have found you!…many many hours of joy have come from reading the books of stillmeadow…and stillcove…and many also from reading your beautiful work…blessings laney

  3. Lisa Kiser says:

    This afternoon I dropped off some magazines for our church library and began browsing the non-fiction books. A title caught my eye: “The Stillmeadow Road.” I plucked it from the shelf to examine it and to my surprise I saw that it was written by Gladys Taber, “the Gladys Taber that Susan Branch talked about in her blog!” I thought to myself, so I checked it out. After reading the Foreword I was almost instantly charmed by her sense of humor and warmth. I just finished reading “January, ” and look forward to reading more! Thank-you for introducing her to others and me!

    Warmly,

    Lisa

  4. Ann Boccanfuso says:

    Would love to be able to purchase THE BEST OF in one volume for my Mom for Christ
    -mas. Is there any such thing?

    • sbranch says:

      She wrote about lots of subjects, but there is a book called Best of Stillmeadow . . . it’s the first one I read, and it is purely wonderful!

  5. Shannon(Pennsylvania) says:

    Just received my latest copy of FOGT. Your calendar is hanging in the kitchen of Stillmeadow, turned to October! Anne included a picture of Kate making a pie, and your calender is on the wall just over her shoulder. I love that :)

  6. Pam Libby says:

    Oh how I look forward to receiving the quarterly journal of the Friends of Gladys Tabor! I have purchased most of Gladys’ books and enjoy reading and re-reading them – it often mirrors my life/situation . Question, are there back issues of the magazine issues Gladys wrote for? I know you often print stories from them but would love to read more; I’ve tried looking for them but can’t find any. Thank you for all you do.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve never seen them either, but I know you can buy old issues of magazines through places like eBay . . . Google them and see what you can find.

  7. Mary Larson says:

    I used to read Butternut Wisdom in the Family Circle when I was a kid growing up in the 60s. Her articles made me think she was writing just to me. I have read and reread her books for as long as I can remember. She had one titled Stillmeadow to Sugarbridge, which is a collection of letters between two friends. I like that one too. It was always fun to read about Gladys, Jill, and the pets at Stillmeadow. She always had several pets, and as a kid, I never imagined I would ever have more than one at a time. We now have three Border Terriers and an Airedale, so I get how Gladys used to talk about how the dogs used to settle in after a romp in the yard, everyone finding the perfect spot to just relax.

  8. Mona Marshall says:

    I first discovered Gladys in the 60’s when I was in highschool. Instant bond! She was a dog-lover, a person who loved the country, loved books and writing, and old houses plus much more that I felt so connected with her! Is there any way someone on this website would like to be a pen pal? I have had oversea pen pals for twenty years. I love to write letters and would be very interested in doing so with a Taber fan.

  9. Mona Marshall says:

    Beautifully done web-site!

  10. Kathy says:

    I inherited my love of Gladys from my mother. I bought books for every occasion and they were so special to her. I would tell her I couldn’t get a rare one, then surprise her with it. We ended up with more Taber books than any dealer I could find. As my mother’s collection grew it became more difficult to find books she did not have. I bought rare books and had first editions, autographed ones, some with notes Gladys wrote to friends to whom she gave the books. We had many magazines with her articles, all kinds of pictures of Gladys, her homes, her beloved animals, her family. My mother always had her books on her nightstand. My mother lost 2 sons in childhood and was widowed young. Reading books by Gladys gave her peace. My mother passed away at 97. I have my beloved set of Taber books and still have a full box of additional books. Many I sent back to a dealer I bought many from, I Thomas Buckley of Chatham, who passed away last year. He and I had a wonderful relationship for many years and we hoped others would enjoy my extras as I ended up with many duplicates. He told me he was very saddened that the Friends (which we were members of for so many years) as well as readers were quickly diminishing. Books that had brought hundreds of dollars were basically worthless. Many people never appreciated the intelligence and creativity of Gladys and one dealer who put $2.00 on a valuable (at the time) book when I called it to his attention, dismissed it, saying it was “just a woman’s book”…I hope there is a resurgence of interest. Gladys knew what was important in life and we would do well to take her words to heart.

  11. Debby Annas says:

    My mother (born in 1909) loved all things nature and so loved Gladys Taber’s books. She enjoyed the recipes and domestic life descriptions. I helped Mom collect some of the Stillmeadow books, which now have passed down to me. Recalling a gentler era is so calming and soothing to me also. I have just joined The Friends of Gladys Tabor and am waiting for for first newsletter. Can’t wait ,

  12. Janet says:

    I’m so pleased to find out about the newsletter, which I will subscribe to — I have loved Gladys Taber’s books since I was a young girl reading “The Ladies Home Journal”. Reading her books creates an instant peace and calm — similar to that experienced when reading Eizabeth Goudge, though the authors are very different. Our world needs more writing that creates beauty, serenity and quiet. Thank you, Susan, for writing about such qualities of life and helping us find other beloved authors.

    • sbranch says:

      My pleasure . . . I’m so happy that so many people love Gladys too! You are going to love her newsletter, it’s the best!

  13. Karen says:

    I have just discovered Gladys Taber and have read 3 of her books. I love love love the one Especially Father. I see where she got her creativity from. Her dad was always on the go, doing, writing, teaching. I would love to know more about her mother. Does anyone know if there is such a writing?

  14. My blessed mother introduced me to Gladys Taber in the 70’s. It was my pleasure to find secondhand copies of the books for her. She bought “The Best of Stillmeadow” for each of her daughters. I have loved the books for many years. Once after I wrote my mother and father a letter about living in Conneaut, Ohio, my dad said it was like a letter from Gladys Taber. I am so glad that my parents and I shared our love of reading. It pleased Dad to no end that I became a librarian in my later years. Thank you, Susan for keeping the memory of Gladys Taber alive. I buy your calendar every year for my sister and I.

    • sbranch says:

      What a nice compliment from your Dad! You have the exact right job Carolyn! Your love of what you do is contagious… we need more of that in the world! Thank you!

  15. Marsha says:

    I discovered Gladys Taber’s books about 20 years ago when I picked up one of her books about dogs at the library. I joined the group and corresponded with Gilly a couple of times but then for some reason did not renew my membership for some years now. I didn’t know Gilly had died, but knew she was no longer going to be personally doing the newsletters. Once I walked into a small book dealer’s basement shop – in her home, and discovered she had about 12 Gladys Taber books!!! Of course, I bought them all (and they were not marked at the value they were worth)! Whenever I need extra comfort (other than from God), I go to one of Gladys’ books, and lately I have been reading a few pages every night again. It is wonderful to end the day with her soothing words just before closing my eyes. Thank you for keeping her contributions alive!

  16. Gee Gee Hanson says:

    Sue, Back in the 60s as a new wife and mother, I couldn’t wait each month to read Gladys Taber’s article in Family Circle. As a California girl, reading about her world in New England, was so appealing to me. I wanted to live there. I was so sad when I couldn’t peek into her home and gardens anymore. Just found your blog and am spending many enjoyable hours delving into all the sights. I’m a crafter, quilter… love to cook and bake… give teas with my sis-in-law… love China… I think we are kindred spirits. Loved Anne of Green Gables, too. Have you ever read “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett?
    Maybe it was on your list of faves and I missed it. I never read it as a child,
    but read it now and then and love it as an adult.

  17. Pam Libby says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to all !
    I’m looking forward to the next edition coming this month. I stop everything that I’m doing and with a snack, sit back and relax and go to the lovely world of “Stillmeadow” . As others have written, during low points in my life, I would pick up one of Gladys Tabor’s books..(I have most of them) and read a chapter or two and it was calming and smoothing.

    Thank you for putting together and maintaining this website as well.
    Blessings to all !

  18. I just found you on the Internet. Don’t know why I did not think of it before. Like my husband always said “you have to think of it first” I have loved your books for years and have most of them, however did not know about the trilogy. Will order them this week. I knew you were special when I read G.T.’s quotes in your books. Discovered her in Family Circle and have all her books. Now I also know about the FOGT club and will join. I wrote to her and she was so kind to write back. I treasure her notes. I am a librarian and love dogs. I had to have a “Holly” Irish Setter like hers. Thank you for your Blog and will become a fan. PS was at Martha’s vineyard 10 years ago but the relatives wanted to shop instead of the bus tour!!! coming back this year and WILL take the tour

  19. Sue bukowski says:

    What a beautiful site, Susan Branch. I, too, came upon Gladys Taber’s book, Still Cove Journal in 1973. Every year since the 1960’s, my husband and I travelled to the Cape and found out about Friends of Gladys and joined the group where I met Connie, Alice and Anne……from that time on I’ve collected most of her books, been to all her homes, and reunions. Life became full of caregiving and grandchildren and I dropped out. This wonderful woman and her daughter and granddaughters have added so much to my life. Susan Branch, I have a lot of your books, too, and understand how you and Gladys share so many similarities. Thank you for this absolutely beautiful blog and tribute to our friend, Gladys Taber’s.

  20. Sally Jeannette Wiebe says:

    So happy to have found this and all the friends who loved Gladys. It is amazing to see we all have similarities. Gladys was my comfort many times and I wonder if I had made it through without her. I so admired her temperament and disposition, none of which shine through for my own self at times, sadly! I was, for years, a member of the Kansas Gladys Taber Sunflowers group. It is no longer active, many of our members have passed. My dear friend and core of the group Betty Peters, passed a few years ago. My husband and I went to visit her husband Bennie, who was so distraught and lonely. He absolutely did not want those shelves of Gladys Taber books and offered them to me, so, I have quite a number, some even First Editions, an assortment as all of us must have. I too, am getting older and must find new homes, new loves of Gladys Taber so, will eventually find places for them. Today, I re-subscribed to the newsletter and am anxious to reconnect.

  21. susan Welborn says:

    sue! finished reading your trilogy! Just loved it! And now they are right next to Gladys’s books! They all have that cozy, comfy, feeling! (also next to Elizabeth Goudge and Rosamund Pilcher’s books!!) thanks for this great blog!

  22. Anita M. wright says:

    I accidentlly erased all of my mail! I am going to resubmit my information and plead for you to contact me again. I am VERY interested in joining. I have several of her books and retread as there is always something new to learn from her writings. She was an extorinary lady and so wise and gentle. Thank you so very much.

  23. Mary Larson says:

    Susan, I tried to join your membership, but was having trouble with the website. It did not let me submit my entry. Perhaps you can help me.
    My name is Mary Larson, address 3617 Deer Run Ct. Manitowoc, WI 54220
    Thanks for your help.
    Mary

  24. Suzane Cybulski says:

    I just found your site about Gladys Taber, Susan. I too am an advid fan of Gladys & have most of her books. No matter what other book I am reading at the time, I’m also always re-reading one of her books; they are a treat to myself right before bed! Thank you for telling us about the newsletter; I plan to subscribe, as it sounds great! After reading your site I realize that I need to start to introduce Gladys Taber books to my daughters & granddaughters. I’m sure they too will enjoy her writings! I also have many of your books and enjoy them tremendously!!! Gladys Taber is my favorite author, but 2 other authors that I enjoy reading are: Helen Hoover & Janet Holt Giles; both were contemporaries of Gladys & also have passed on, but they have all left us a beautiful legacy of their written words. Thank you for this site! Suzane Cybulski

  25. Judy Przystup says:

    Thank you Susan for this beautiful site. I have been a fan of yours for many years. My Mom was an avid and active fan of Gladys Taber, being a member of FOGT for many years. She and I attended a few annual meetings together. I have almost all of Gladys’ books and all of my Mom’s collection. Last week I picked The Book of Stillmeadow off my book shelf to read/re-read because I was missing my Mom, who died in 2002. I was perplexed on the first page that Gladys referred to her husband as Bob (his name was Frank) and her daughter as Cicely (her name was Connie). Why do you think she did that? If you do not know, to whom could I direct this question? It is really a mystery to me.

    • sbranch says:

      Click on the fan club link and ask them. I think I remember reading that she changed the names of everyone in one or two of her books.

  26. Salina Fedrick says:

    Hello Susan, I am almost done with your trilogy which are very inspiring, and I have become intrigued by Gladys Tabor and I am wondering if it would be better to read the Stillmeadow books in order or do you think it matters? I know your first was The Best of Stillmeadow? I ordered and have received Stillmeadow, Stillmeadow Road, Daybook of Stillmeadow, and The Best of Stillmeadow. I am wondering which one to start with? Thanks. :)

  27. Salina Fedrick says:

    Susan I also have your Autunm book, Christmas Joy, and Christmas from the heart of the home. I can’t wait to read them. I love all of your art work. :)

  28. Kenneth Goss says:

    Susan — I appreciated your comments on Gladys. I grew up in Boston and spent the best summers in South Yarmouth. After school, a career as a military officer has kept me away from Cape Cod for many years Gladys captured my feelings about the Cape — my most vivid memories being the golden light that Gladys wrote about. “My Own Cape Cod” has traveled with me all over the world many times over. Now with a broken binding and marked pages, it is a most treasured gift I enjoy often.. Best Regards, Kenneth Goss

  29. Pam Libby says:

    Thank you for maintaining this site; what is it about Gladys Tabor books that one can read and re-read again and again and never tire of it; her words paint a vivid imagine of what it must have been like living at Stillmeadow all these years. I always stop what I’m doing when the latest quarterly news arrives. I hope to some day visit CT and see Stillmeadow in person.

    • sbranch says:

      Because she is good and wonderful and normal and her heart is in the right place and because we are kindred spirits. You will LOVE Stillmeadow, it is little, and real.

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