Treasured Possessions: Linda Bailiff

Our most treasured possessions link us to the people we love and to the people who love us. They remind us of where we have come from and the experiences that have shaped who we are. They remind us of our inspirations, our aspirations, our purpose.

In these photos, Linda Bailiff shows us summer fashion from Wish in Cape Girardeau, while sharing the stories of a cookbook she owns that holds deep meaning for her.

Here’s to summertime, and to being both interiorly and exteriorly beautiful.


I keep coming back to this old, torn and tattered cookbook from Dexter, Missouri, that my mom gave to me when I left home. The cookbook itself contains recipes from my mom, her friends and my friends’ moms. I recognize names of people that have long passed away, but there is one special recipe within these old pages for a treat called “Texas Sheet Cake.” While the cake itself is delicious, when I see the recipe or eat the cake, it brings back so many happy times camping with my great big, fantastic family. Seven kids in all. While we camped all over the state of Missouri, our special spot was in Van Buren, Missouri, where we would float on the Current River in our own inner tubes. I learned to swim on that river when I was three. My mom was terrified when I went under, but I’ve been a strong swimmer my whole life — usually swimming “upstream,” according to my mom! Essentially, this cake recipe reminds me of where I came from and how I was blessed with a glorious childhood and a wonderful, loving family.

Linda Bailiff works at the Cape Girardeau Regional Library making sure people get their paychecks. Her most prized possession is a cookbook her mother gave her when she moved out as a young woman. Here, she poses for portraits at Annie Laurie’s in Cape Girardeau. Clothes: Wish in Cape Girardeau. Photographs by Tyler Graef.