Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Serendipity: ". . . finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for" (Webster's Dictionary)

A truly serendipitous event doesn't come along every day.

I've always loved shopping for school supplies. Since I'm now an adult I need to call them "office supplies," but the principle is the same. Even now, back-so-school season infuses me with the nostalgia of new shoes, new notebooks, and finding the perfect box of crayons.

A few days ago, I asked my Facebook friends if anyone remembered the "Nifty" -- a binder with two holes at the top for special Nifty loose-leaf paper and a magnetic-closure compartment to hold a pencil and eraser. It was from the mid-1960s, so that gives you a clue as to my age.

Mine was brown -- boring, serviceable brown. Keep in mind, this was before they began marketing colors and designs that would appeal to children. I don't remember how I learned about the Nifty, but every elementary-aged child who was anybody had to have one.

Last weekend, a few days after posing the Nifty question to my FB friends, I was on my way home from the flea market and randomly stopped at a garage sale. There wasn't much in the sale assortment that appealed to me and I was about to leave, when I skimmed my eyes over the last table. There, atop a pile of assorted office supplies, was a distinctive black binder with the "hinge" at the top. Could it be?

It was a Nifty -- fully loaded with the special top-punched paper.

I felt God smiling. Still do.


Wendy said...

Now that IS nifty!

gary lieberman said...

I was the only one of my group that remembered these notebooks and for awhile, I was wondering if I was imagining it all or if they really ever existed! Thanks for posting this. BTW, interested in selling it? PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAZE?

Bob said...

Good Lord!

Just today after seeing an ad for school supplies, I thought back to fourth grade and that aqua blue Nifty paper holder I just had to have!

Did a quick Google search, and here I am! Thanks for the images!

Bob Kirby

JS: "Jacqueline Pine Savage" said...

I am glad there are other Nifty lovers in the world.
But sorry, mine's not for sale!


animalcrackerkat said...

Ok, so apparently Nifty had a brief comeback when I was a kid. I remember in the late 90's that I had a bunch of "Nifty" brand stuff, hole punches, paper, and notebooks. It was all super cute. I wish I still had it.

Cora said...

Stumbled upon this site while searching for info and photos of Nifty Notebooks - bonanza. Mine was light blue and I loved it and I think of it often and wish I still had it. Crazy, I know! So happy you found one and I'll keep looking. Thanks for sharking!

anny cook said...

Oh, yeah. I had a nifty binder! I loved mine...