As you can see above, a 1922 high school sophomore named Jennings Keffer liked to doodle. Those scribblings — and many more, as I'll show you in a minute — appear in an old Shakespeare text that was recently found at a bookstore by a music blogger who calls himself Devil Dick. Although the Shakespeare book has nothing to do with music, Devil Dick found the doodles so enticing that he decided to post them on his blog and try to find out more about Jennings Keffer.
So what sort of doodles did a high school fella create in 1922? Pictures of girls, for starters. And what kinds of girls would be of interest in 1922? Take a look (for all of these images, you can click to enlarge):
It's hard to express how much I love that. I particularly like the cigarette and the bells — scandalous! It's worth noting that while flappers were just becoming a pop-cultural phenomenon in the early 1920s, the term "flapper" has much deeper roots and was long associated with prostitutes, so the word may have had an extra forbidden-fruit quotient or with young Jennings.
Here's another set of doodles from the book:
The most interesting thing here, at least to me, is the pair of baseball drawings on the left side, because Jennings was coming of age at just the right time to be swept up in the national mania surrounding Babe Ruth. The Babe had set a single-season record by hitting 29 home runs in 1919 (the previous record of 27 had stood since 1884) and then completely changed the sport by hitting 54 homers in 1920 and 59 more in 1921. When Jennings was making these doodles in the spring of 1922, Ruth was at the peak of his larger-than-life celebrity arc, and baseball was coming into its own as a powerful cultural and economic engine. Even without televised games, it all must have been a very exciting time to be a teen-aged baseball fan.
If Jennings was a high school sophomore in 1922, that means he was probably born around 1906. Sure enough, Devil Dick did some research and determined that Sidney Jennings Keffer was born in 1906 in West Virginia and died in 1995 in Ohio. You can see Devil Dick's post about all this, including several more pages of doodles, here.
(My thanks to reader Jeff Ash for letting me know about this one.)