Sunday, March 28, 2010

Every Soul Has A Story

I’m sure I have probably mentioned to y’all before how I like to rummage around in antique store and flea markets. Whenever I come across something personal, an item with a name of the person that owned it, I can’t help but think about that person and let my mind wander. The majority of the time I will buy the item simply to honor that person’s memory and legacy. I don’t know why I do it, I just don’t like the fact that someone’s personal items are just sitting around collecting dust for a bunch of strangers to walk past and never notice. To me, it was someone's life, and no life should ever go unnoticed.

Maybe another reason it bugs me for these personal items to go unnoticed is because I don’t have children. It’s probably something kind of silly to fret about, but I don't like to think about all my beloved things getting loaded up on a truck someday for strangers to rummage through to sell, buy, or consider worthless and chunk. I realize at the end of the day it’s all just stuff, but I like my stuff. And I suppose, children or no children, everyone's stuff at some point in time gets rummaged through. But MY stuff means something to me. If you see something on my shelf or hanging on my wall it most likely has a story. I can tell you why I bought it, when, and where, or who gave it to me, why, and when. I guess I'm saying my stuff has meaning to me.

That saying about junk should be just the opposite to me: "One man's treasure, another man's junk."

So that's just me…. I don’t have a problem in the world with those that have their homes all color coordinated or theme/style coordinated; those who buy stuff because it coordinates with that for which they are trying accomplish. It’s just not for me. That’s all. But I do love all different types of style and I LOVE reading design books/blogs for great ideas on how decorate with my meaningful stuff.

So – why am I talking about all of this? Okay – here’s the story (sorry it took me so long to get to the point of this post):

Remember when I posted about these old magazine covers that I framed? I was intrigued when I found them because of the beauty of them. They were actual paintings, not photographs. I also liked them because they were from the 1930’s, a very rough time for our country, AND they had the name of the subscriber and their address stamped on the cover. If interested, you can read more about this post HERE.

This is a snippet on what I wrote about the person who received the magazine above (her name and address is on the top right hand corner of the magazine cover).

My mind can't help but wonder about these two ladies. What kind of women were they? What did they farm? What kind of homes did they keep? I can't help but feel that they must have been from farms of affluence, being that they could afford a magazine subscription during the depths of The Great Depression. Both my family and Jack's family were living on farms during the depression. However - from the stories I've been told, having a magazine subscription would have been quite an extravagance.

What's also interesting to me is that Katie Huelsebusch didn't have a title before her name. That was very unusual for the time. So - was she still single and reading 'The Farmer's Wife' in preparation of becoming the perfect farmer's wife? And then of course my mind REALLY wandered about Ms. Katie from La Grange and I thought, hey! Maybe she was Katie without a title before her name because she lived at the Chicken Ranch..... Don't tell me y'all haven't heard of the Chicken Ranch in La Grange, Texas!!?? Dolly Pardon and Burt Reynolds know all about it.....

So I wrote this post a few months ago. Being forever amazed with connections made on the world wide web, you can now slap me silly because last week I received this email from Katie Huelsebusch’s great-great niece!

hi, you don't know me but I was on the Internet and saw the comment about Katie Huelsebusch. She was actually my great-grandfathers older sister. She was born in 1892 or 93 and died in 1973. She lived in La Grange as did most of her 11 other brothers and sisters. She never got married, but she didn't work at the chicken ranch. She lived with her brother Adolf I believe. If you ever drive through La Grange Texas you will see a road on Hwy 71 called huelsebusch rd, which used to be rt. 1 if I remember correctly. Anyway, I hope this helps

Okay – so maybe Miss Katie didn’t work at the Chicken Ranch, but I did peg it that she never married. See what I mean? I love finding old things that are personalized so I can fantasize about that person’s life. I think it’s important to honor ALL life and not let their legacy die.

After all, EVERY person on this earth is someone’s daughter, someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s sister, someone’s mother, someone’s father, someone’s friend, someone’s lover.

And one last thing about Miss Katie. Had she worked at the Chicken Ranch, I wouldn't have judged her at all; not now or then. It's her life, her story.

Now I want to honor Harold Pape. I came across this old autograph book at the antique mall in Fredericksburg. As soon as I saw it I couldn’t put it down and had to bring it home with me:

After reading the signed pages in the book, it is obvious that these are schoolmates of Harold’s from probably junior high. Because the pages are dated 1938 or 1939, I assume if Harold is still alive today he is probably around 85 years old.

Each signed page is dated 1938 or 1939, with the exception of when his Aunt Lillie signed his book on December 25th, 1937. My inquiring mind tells me that Harold’s dear old Aunt Lillie bought him this book for Christmas, being that she was the first to sign. It also sounds like Harold and his Aunt Lillie had a fun and wonderful relationship. That, of course, warms my heart because I like to think that my nieces and nephews think of me as that fun-loving aunt that makes them laugh.

Dear Harold - When you get old and ugly as some folks sometimes do, remember that you have an aunt that is old and ugly too.
Your Aunt Lillie

From the pages in the book, it appears Harold had some great friends. Here are some snapshots I was able to take of the pages in the book. There were many pages, but here are a few:

Dear Harold - When the golden sun is setting and your mind of care is free, When of others you are thinking, will you sometimes think of me?
Your friend, Maurine Wahrmund

Hi Harold - First you love Viola, then you love Oline, next you love Dara Lee, and the next, don't ask me.
Good-bye, June

Uh oh - Do you think June had a bone to pick with Harold?

Dear Harold - Remember the red bird, remember the dove, remember the day you fell in love.
Your sister, Annabel

You know what else I loved about those that signed Harold's book? Their names. Good old classic names: Ruby, Lillie, Pauline, William, Annie Mae, Annabel, Walter, Mary, June and Charles.
So here’s to Harold and all his friends. I hope he continued those friendships throughout his life. And as his friend, Annie Mae, wished him on January 4th, 1938:

“May every blessing God can give bring peace around you while you live.”

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Old Pal Dave

My friend David, 1970-something

Due to the magic of the Internet I was able to get reconnected with a friend I grew up with in West Texas. David and I went through elementary school, junior high, and high school together. As is often the case, we lost touch after high school and went our separate ways. He joined the army and I started plotting my plan to become the big city sophisticated girl I thought I was supposed to be.

Anyway, decades passed and then, thanks to the world wide web, we were able to get reconnected. I have a lot of memories of David back in school. I remember when a mean girl pulled out his hair in either 3rd or 4th grade – and I mean REALLY pulled it out! He had like a two inch bald spot in the back of his head as a result of that little winch! She was the female version of Eddie Haskell; grown-ups liked her, but I always knew exactly what I was dealing with. I also remember a very special talent that David had; I envied his talent and practiced it at home all the time, but much to my dismay I could never get it down….

David had the splendid and unique ability to turn his eyelids inside out!

In elementary school David would woo us with his eyelid talent during recess. He would pop those suckers inside-out and then chase us all around doing a Frankenstein/zombie-like walk. We would all scream and holler and then of course laugh until our sides hurt.

David is a housewife and, like some housewives do, he reads my blog occasionally. Yeah, I said it… I called David a housewife. Give me a break! He calls himself a housewife because, well – he is! He stays home, his wife works outside the home, he cooks, he collects various house wares, and he sews. And I mean big time sews! I guess the proper term I should be using for David is that he is a dressmaker. He can make his own patterns and he even teaches sewing classes!

And if anyone has an issue with a guy that likes to make a house a home and designs cocktail dresses, well – this is David today and you can take it up with him!

Among the many talents of David – eyelid turner-outer, dressmaker, and inventor of jalapeno cheez bread, he is also a collector of green glass. He just likes green glass….

So when I posted a picture a while back of my new morning room, he immediately zoned in on the two green canisters sitting on the shelf above my coffee pot. Those green canisters actually belonged to my grandmother. As long as I can remember she had those green canisters in her kitchen. After she died I brought them home, but somehow in all the packing up of her things I only got home with two of them.

This is the picture I posted when Dave spotted my two green canisters:

Fortunately for me, my old friend Dave noticed that I only had two canisters on my shelf. He immediately e-mailed me and said, being a collector of green glass, that he had the 3rd canister of that set if I wanted it. Of course I was filled with glee and took him up on his very kind offer. Plus – he said he had more green glass than Quaker has oats and needed to start moving some out.

So here’s the box that arrived at my house a few days later. I thought the box was kind of big and heavy for one small canister, and to my surprise when I opened it, he had sent me an entire set!

Aren't they fantastic! Oh - and since I'm bragging about my talented friend, David, I might as well also tell you about that platter that is sitting behind the canisters in the picture above and ANOTHER talented friend of mine from elementary school.

Lisa, my friend since 3rd grade, made me the platter above! Isn't is fabulous, too? It is a platter made of stained glass - and it's green glass!!! No - she didn't make this for me in 3rd grade, she made it for me about ten years ago. She's one of my many very talented friends; she's a photographer, a painter, a stained glasser'r (??), and she's even done mosaic floors for entire rooms! I'll have to show you some pictures of her mosaics someday.

What is it with me and my talented friends from elementary school? The only talent I have is the ability to shoot the bird with my toes....

Okay, so back to David. The picture above is how my morning room looks today with my display of Dave’s three green canisters that sit next to my grandmother’s two canisters. I love seeing them up there and they always make me smile.

And although I was never able to pick up Dave’s talent of eyelid turner-outer, I have been able to pick up his hobby of green glass collector!

Lord help me…. I’m lovin’ the stuff now and trying to brace myself each time I pass by a flea market or garage sale. Gee thanks, Dave! I would have been far better off if I could have just picked up the eyelid thing….

Thanks for the canisters, Dave!!! I love them! And I think you're pretty great, too!

And - just so y'all know, David has a blog, Life Through Greyeyes, and you can click HERE to check it out!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bless those little baby horn nublets!

Look y'all! Little baby Belle is growing horns! Next thing you know Belle will be going off to cow college...