The Town and Country Reviewers Book Club possibly holds the unofficial distinction of being the longest-running book club in the Zachary community.
Formed in 1953, the Town and Country Reviewers were, and still are, a women’s social club.
Club activities include a monthly meeting on the first Tuesday and lunch at a member’s home. Two hostesses organize meetings, which often have guest speakers.
Activities include book exchanges and trips. The women have ventured to the state fair and taken excursions antiquing in Ponchatoula or to the outlet malls.
“We’ve also gone to Hemingbough and the Bluffs in West Feliciana as well as had lunch at some pretty fine places,” said Zachary’s Patsy Bueche, a longtime club member.
But perhaps the most unique thing about the Town and Country Reviewers is the 60 years of scrapbooks documenting the club’s history.
Bueche said a box of very old scrapbooks was discovered at the McHugh House in Zachary during a cleaning day and were nearly thrown out unintentionally.
In dire shape with scrapbook pages torn and worn, Bueche set about the painstaking task of restoring the books that date back to the early ’50s.
“When I took on the task, I was a little skeptical about how the books would turn out because of the age of them,” Bueche said. “I just knew I would run into all kinds of problems.”
As it turns out, Bueche transferred the old newspaper clippings and photographs to new, sturdier books and onto new pages without a major hitch.
“It all worked out,” Bueche said. “This has been a wonderful journey I have been on. I loved looking at all the old photographs. They told so many stories.”
Bueche added that she loved looking at all the dresses of the ladies who wore them in the ’50s and ’60s.
“So many of those women are no longer with us, so I say ‘thank you’ for letting me share these memories with you and for trusting me enough to transfer your memories into another book,” Bueche said.
Her job as club historian also has included clipping articles and photographs involving the Town and Country Reviewers or articles involving members doing other things separate from the club or of other newsworthy people and events.
Bueche said when she’s working on a page in one of the scrapbooks, she picks out a dominant color in the photographs and adds colored trim, ribbon or decals to the pages.
“I love doing these. They take time, but they’re worth it, and they hold so many memories,” Bueche said.
The Town and Country Reviewers Book Club members attended their annual Christmas luncheon and gift exchange Dec. 9 at an area restaurant.
The lunch took the place of the club’s monthly meeting, and the gavel of club leadership was passed from outgoing president Frances Landrem to 2015 president Boykin Whitman.
“I’ve been here in Zachary seven years, but if feels like home,” said Whitman, an Alabama native.
Club members attending the lunch meeting included Liz Addington, Carolyn Baxter, Pattye Bennett, Bettye Bourque, Dianne Bourque, Patsy Bueche, Katie Chaney, Jennifer Johnson, Marie McGee, Virginia McMorris, Mimi Moller, Debra Owen, Sue Staid and Jeanine Tate.