A Special Summer Memory

Ann Raynolds (now Ann Listokin) won first prize for best costume at the end of summer party for the C.H. Booth Library “World Book Club” members, approximately 70 years ago. She also won the prize for reading the most books that summer.

Ann Listokin (the former Ann Raynolds) and husband Bob, of Winston-Salem, N.C., stopped into The Newtown Bee offices Thursday, July 25. With her, Ms Listokin had a clipping from The Newtown Bee that she has cherished for more than 70 years.

The article includes a photo of Ms Listokin as a young girl, dressed in a grass Hawaiian skirt, with leis about her neck and flowers in her hair. She was dressed, explained Ms Listokin, for a costume party and picnic hosted by the C.H. Booth Library for the ten children who had taken part in the library’s first summer reading program. Known as “The World’s Fair Book Club,” the young Ms Raynolds outread her peers that summer of 1939, consuming 27 books during the summer months, “all fiction books about different countries and cultures,” recalled Ms Listokin.

Ms Listokin guesses she was about 10 or 11 years old at the time.

She grew up in Newtown on Head O’ Meadow Road, off Berkshire Road, until she married in 1956. She was the daughter of the fiction novelist and philosopher Robert Raynolds, a well-known author of his time and a good friend of author Thomas Wolfe.

Now a pianist/accompanist at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, and a piano teacher, she and her husband, a clarinetist who played at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and taught until 2002 at North Carolina School of Arts, have made their life together as musicians.

The Listokins were in Newtown for the first time in a decade to celebrate “the 0s” with family. Her nephew, Jonathan Lawrence, and his wife Diane, were hosting a birthday party for Mr Listokin, 80, the Listonkin’s son Bob, 50, and their niece, Susie Lawrence, 60, over the weekend. The Lawrences now live in the home in which Ms Listokin grew up. The party was celebrated on the lawn where she and her husband made their wedding vows 57 years ago.

Included in a special photograph book assembled by their daughter for her father’s birthday, is the picture of the young Ann Raynolds in her Hawaiian garb.

“I remember that the librarian then was Sarah Mitchell. I did get a prize [for reading the most books] but I don’t remember what the prize was,” Ms Listokin said. “Just getting my picture in The Bee was a good prize. I’ve kept the clipping all these years, it was so special,” she said.

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