Friday, January 30, 2009

Touchstones of the past

Memories of good times and times gone by are great, but if you're as tactile as I am, you appreciate something concrete as a reminder.
I have what I call an unofficial collection of coffee mugs as souvenirs of places I've been and things I've seen.
Drinking glasses have also served that purpose. When I was a little guy, we lived in a duplex. In the other side was an elderly couple who adopted me as an unofficial grandson. My father moved our family into our half of the duplex on the day I was born, so the neighbour lady, Mrs. Turner -- I called her "Nurny" -- was a great help to my Mom, taking possession of me occasionally so that my Mom could pay attention to my brother and/or get some rest. Anyway, Nurny and her husband Johnny were like grandparents to me, with Johnny even coming to get me at HIS nap time, saying "Come on, Bobby, it's time to head for the tall timbers" and we would snooze together.
When Johnny died, Nurny gave my Mom a set of metal glasses that he always used, because they kept whatever liquid in them cold. I wish I knew where those four glasses (one blue, one red, one green and one gold) are now. When Nurny died, her daughter-in-law gave me a ceramic figure of a mare and her colt beside a well, and one of a little diver, complete with diving helmet. I still have them. They're very special to me.
I also had a glass that my Grade 5 teacher gave me for perfect attendance. I must have really loved school to have perfect attendance that year, because the teacher was a Class 'A' Bitch ("Bitch" capitalized intentionally). The glass broke a long time ago.

Several years ago, when my parents were considering downsizing (which they never evenutally did), they were de-junking the house, and my siblings and I had to salvage whatever we wanted, lest it go in the garbage. One of the things that I saved was a tall glass that came with either cheese spread or peanut butter in it. Featured on the glass was the character John from Disney's animated Peter Pan. Well, just this morning, I broke it. There goes another concrete attachment to my childhood
BUT I still have my A&W root beer mug! I'll now take extra care of it.


Anonymous said...

Aw Bob, you're such a sentimental old softie. I can never get too attached to stuff, souvenirs, momentos and the like. My memories are more strongly evoked by a certain piece of music or a smell or some stray word or phrase. (Makes for a lot less dusting, too.)

Newsguy Bob said...

I experience all that, too. Just two bars of "Taking Care of Business" reminds me of my buddies Mike and Greg singing on the hockey bus, or into beer bottle microphones at 3am. Cookies baking reminds me of my Mom's kitchen, etc., etc. But I like real things to look at, too, not just the images in my mind.

Dusting? What's that?

raino said...

nice story.

i love stuff, badges, crests, buttons, photos, ornaments too and have many of them. i'm afraid though, most of the ornaments are ugly and something i would never buy myself but i am sentimental so i keep them...