Seemingly insignificant things that connect you to the past

Discussion in 'The Display Case' started by Big Man, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. Big Man

    Big Man My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    It's funny how some seemingly insignificant things can connect you to the past.

    The first photo is my Mother sitting at the table at our old house at Oak Hill School feeding me as a baby. I still have the little silver cup, porringer, and spoon she's using to feed me with. But look closely at the screwdriver on the door behind my Mother. That door led from the kitchen down to the basement in the old house. That old screwdriver stayed in that door hasp all the time we lived in that house while it sat between the buildings at the school. I still have that screwdriver (second photo), and keep it in a safe place.

    It's funny how something as insignificant as an old screwdriver, used for so many years so long ago, is such a fresh memory to me. I remember like it was yesterday when I finally got big enough to take that screwdriver out all by myself and go down in the basement. What a strange memory, but still a memory that takes me back to a wonderful time in my life.

    How that old screwdriver survived all these years, I'll never know. When our house was moved from between the school buildings in 1965, we got a new, finished basement (the old one was just a dirt basement). The "new" basement had a new door that didn't require the old screwdriver to keep it secure. So my memory of that old screwdriver stuck in that door hasp goes back at least 50 years.

    To everyone else, it's just an old screwdriver. But to me it's another small connection to the past.

    What about you? Is there some seemingly insignificant thing like my old screwdriver that makes that special connection to the past?



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    Here’s just a little background information to explain about my growing up. My Dad began teaching at Oak Hill School in 1948, and was the Principal of the school from 1952 till 1979. From 1952 until my parents moved into their own house in 1971, we lived in the “Principal’s House” located on the school grounds. That house sat right between the High School and Elementary School buildings, with the school Gymnasium right behind. In 1965, the county decided to move the house from between the buildings to a location (still on the school property) down the hill from the campus. That in itself is an interesting story for another time.
     
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  2. Ralph_Phillips

    Ralph_Phillips One of the Regulars

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    Location:
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    I'm not at home right now, am at my mother's house, it's the family home on a ranch in Texas, built in 1880 or so. The past is everywhere in this location. There is even a barn with a complete carriage/wagon/harness repair shop in it. Those shop items haven't been used for almost a hundred years.
     
  3. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    Your story and photos were a joy to see and read, Big Man. My wife has a cabin, a workshop where she does all her dress making. On the walls are shelves and shelves of vintage sewing machines. One of those machines is a very early, hand operated Singer that once belonged to her aunt. My wife's aunt, her Dad's sister, showed my wife how to cut out clothes from a pattern, place the panels together and sew them into a garment. My wife was a little girl of eight when she started sewing.

    Two years ago, whilst she was working in the cabin, I took my wife a hot drink. She was using her aunt's machine to sew in some fine and delicate lace. I've never seen her use that machine, all her working machines are modern and have all the facilities for intricate work. The next day we received a phone call from my wife's cousin. Elsie, her aunt, had passed away peacefully the day before, at exactly the same time that my wife was using her machine.

    She still has that machine, it doesn't evoke tears, just smiles and happy memories.
     
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  4. buelligan

    buelligan One of the Regulars

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    Location:
    London, OH
    The smell of hot brakes or molten metal reminds me of a foundry that my father worked at when I was a little kid. I was really little when he worked there and cant even figure why I would remember such a thing but every time I smell it I'm transported back to that small foundry with my dad showing me around.
     
  5. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

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    Not exactly insignificant, my Dads old Electricians tool pouch! Man, am I glad he left it to me, it has literally saved me thousands of dollars on my Victorian, not to mention the savings on previous houses, and friend garages! [​IMG]
     
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  6. My wife has something like that. It's a kitchen step ladder that was pretty common at the time, probably from the 1960s, and looks something like this (though this is not hers):

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    It was her grandmother's, and my wife says she used to sit on it and watch/help her "Nana" make Sunday gravy and stuffed artichokes. Of all her childhood memories, those are her favorite, and when her grandmother died a few years ago, my wife didn't care about getting any of her Nana's jewelry or china or silver or anything else of monetary value, she just wanted that step ladder. We still have it in our kitchen, and my wife still makes the best stuffed artichokes in the world.
     
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  7. 1930artdeco

    1930artdeco Practically Family

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    oakland
    One of my first memories is me standing up under my dad's Model A, I must have been around 2-3. I don't know why I can remember that but I can and now I drive that same car.

    Mike
     
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  8. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Alamo Heights ☀️ Texas


    Very insignificant but it’s very special for me. A rock from my grandma’s house
    ( demolished 50 yrs. ago)
    There was no paved streets until later.
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    Dish bowl which I used when I was 2-3 when my grandma made her delicious
    vegetable or chicken soup.
    It’s cracked, but I patched it up & kept it anyhow.
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    I don’t have a complete photo of my grandma’s home when I lived with her.
    Only parts of faded photographs.
    But I know every inch of that house.
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    I haven’t completed the oil painting. I should’ve taken some lessons in art.
    I can visualize details in my mind, but putting them on canvas is challenging.

    I was born in the front bed room on the right where two windows are located.
    Those were the days when doctors made house calls.
    To the right was an orange tree & a peach tree behind.
    The front steps is where I would sit with jake (dog) & watch the kids play
    cowboys & indians across the street.

    To the left is the garage where my uncle would park his ’46 Plymouth.
    He polished that car so much that he wore the paint off the fenders.
    The street comprised of stones.

    When I was young I took this place & time for granted
    & didn’t give it much thought.

    But now, I realize how lucky I was to have shared this place with
    a dear lady who loved me so much.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
  9. Big Man

    Big Man My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Great memories. Thanks for sharing them.
     
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  10. TPD166

    TPD166 One Too Many

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    Location:
    Lone Star State
    Having moved many times there are still unpacked boxes that contain quite a few insignificant items (old tools, etc.) that connect me to my past, but as I was reading through the posts, this is what came to mind.
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    When I was little, my Mother had this bowl and always served me chili (and ice cream and probably other things as well) in it. The bowl is still at my Mother's house, but I stumbled across two others (the only other ones I had ever seen) in a thrift shop last year. After bringing them home, I explained to my wife why I bought them. The next time I saw them was when my wife was serving us chili in them.
     
  11. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
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    Here is my bedroom shrine with some other goodies. Dedicated to my grandfather. He was a dockworker for the Port of Los Angeles. An avid model builder. Here's a ship he worked on (the U.S.S. Advance) and a replica model he built of it in his leisure time (it's hard to tell if the Thrifty picture is the exact same boat as the model..). Found a cool photo of him with the model way back when! Most of this stuff was permanently bound for the cobwebs until he found out one of his grandsons was into it! I have some crazy stories about one of Frank Sinatra's yachts he worked on! I'll try to get the recordings on paper.
    image.jpg
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    Some random wall decor:
    Vintage Greyhound Bus ad:
    image.jpg
    60s surf music flyer:
    image.jpg
    Another boat he built:
    image.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
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  12. I saw some Libbey Golden Leaf pattern drinking glasses like these at an antique shop not too long ago and it took me right back to my grandparents' house because they used to have them.

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  13. kaiser

    kaiser A-List Customer

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    Location:
    Germany, NRW, HSK
    I still have a couple of glasses like this that I got from my Mom. Brings back some very nice memories.
     
  14. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

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    We too have several glasses like that, from the 70s. Definitely bring back memories of our parents' "sophisticated" parties!
     
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  15. emigran

    emigran Practically Family

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    I still have and still use my mother's aluminum measuring cups and aluminum measuring spoons...also have stored somewhere a well worn Betty Crocker cookbook with hand written inserted notes, and booklets from BC for Home cooked meals for the wife who wants to please her husband when he comes home from work...
    Worthless but can't throw 'em away...
     
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  16. My Mom's favorite sweater which she knitted herself, her Bible -- she taught Sunday school for many years, and the scissors she used for sewing and crafts. She even made the sheath for them! Strangely the sound that the scissors make reminds me the most of her.

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  17. Bugguy

    Bugguy A-List Customer

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    443
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Wow! I just emptied my mother's house and found this same set. I set them aside for my wife to look at... they were a keeper. Now they're in my bar.
     
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  18. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    I know how you must feel.
    I have a set of Chinaware I purchased for my mom back in ’68 when I was in Tokyo.
    Now they are back with me.
     
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  19. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
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    I have a few of my old toys from when I was very young, a few tools that I pilfered from my Dad when I was still working on bicycles as a kid, and a stand-up lighter that belonged to my Dad's parents.

    lighter 500x889.jpg

    They had all kinds of knicknacks. When my paternal grandmother passed, the kids were allowed to choose from a few items. I got this lighter.

    It still works when I put fluid in it. It also needs to be Tarn-Xed, but although it sits within my sight on my desk, I never think of doing it.
     
  20. Bugguy

    Bugguy A-List Customer

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    That's funny, isn't it? I just sold a full set of "china" with all the special bowls that was in perfect condition for decent money. When I was growing up, my mother got them one at a time as a premium for making bank deposits. In that era, they were special, to be taken care of. Now we'd stick our nose up at those. The wheel turns... like the glasses, they have value to me.
     
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