I went home this weekend and discovered that I have been editing mutlilingual publications for, not one month, but 12 years. Sorting through an old box, I came across a collection of Botkinville Heralds, designed, paginated, hand-written and hand-illustrated by a youngish me, detailing small vignettes in the life of our family. They came out (nearly) every month for two years, when I was 14 and 15. Stories carried titles like “Mom runs late, kids have fun” (on watching country music videos) and “Botkin family blasts apples” (on munitions). I also included an “interview of the month” with one of the other Botkin children, recording answers to burning quesitions like “what is your favorite flavor of ice cream?” as well as whatever (usually unflattering) situation they happened to be answered in. There were also helpful Latin sentences for philosophizing and insulting people (“Quarite vitam,” or “get a life”) and “poetry” or illustrations by the boys.

Here’s are two samples from March 1997:

Botkinville has on it’s [sic] grounds a statue of George Washington! It should be noted that the color of this person’s wig is very true. It is white as snow. Probably whiter than George’s real wig. The reason for this is that the rendition is done in snow.

It is located several feet away from Samuel’s fort.

Sadly George’s nose has partially melted.

INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH, with Isaiah Botkin
K: what are you doing?
I: uh, playin’ Sta’ Wa’s toys.
K: do you want to be interviewed, Isaiah?
I: no… biz, beau! Look, Sam’el, look. Yiah! (hits wall)
K: do you like our house?
I: yeah. My house.
K: what is this house?
I: Idaho (plays with Yoda and then R2D2). Buh Buhheee!
K: do you like going to the potty?
I: yeah.
K: do you go in the potty or in your pants?
I: in my pants.
K: but you’re supposed to go in your potty.
I: no, in my pants (plays with toys).
K: did you see Joseph last week?
I: yeah.
K: what did he do?
I: he play wis me.
Samuel: are you going to interview me? You haven’t interviewed me since our old house, I think.

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