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

Stillmeadow, Gladys wonderful 1690 farmhouse in the Connecticut countryside.

I f you’d like to read what Gladys meant to others http://books.dreambook.com/stillmeadow/taber.html

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

Save that Date:
Saturday, June 14, 2014 
Susan will be speaking and signing her books at the Friends of Gladys Taber Annual Reunion which will include a tour of Stillmeadow,  Gladys’s 1690 Farmhouse in Southbury, Connecticut (Stillmeadow is a private home now, so this is a rare and wonderful thing). 
You must be a member of FOGT to attend, but all are welcome to join.  
More information, can be found on the FOGT website. Mark your Calendars, Girlfriends, make your hotel reservations,this is a weekend event, Springtime in Connecticut is a wonderful thing!

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420 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!

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