When “heirlooms” aren’t identified, and their stories never told, they often become items tossed or sold – as they have no history, no ties to the family. So take the time to identify your family heirlooms history and record your memories so the family treasures aren’t tossed in the trash. They are just as valuable as your family photographs and also need to be documented. Sometimes it’s not even the value of the item in question; it’s the story which holds the value.
Friday Night Family Heirlooms… telling their stories: Aunt Lena’s Broach
I have no memory of seeing this broach when I was young, but mama gifted it to me after I married. At first I thought it was 14K gold, but a jeweler told me it’s Platinum with diamonds. It was given to my mother after Aunt died, by her sister Aunt Emma.
I remember visiting Aunt Lena every summer, we often spent a few days at her home in Atlanta. I remember her as a stern woman, and in as much as I always was a little fearful of her, I loved visiting her house. I can still remember how everything was so in order there, nothing out of place. I loved to explore in her front parlor, but often was caught and politely led out. She didn’t like “snooping”… as she called it, but I was curious about the antiques in there; later I’ll share a few more of Aunt Lena’s gifts to mama.
The first time I ever saw a claw foot bathtub was in her home and she had to give me a stool to step on before I could even get in. I loved taking baths and playing pretend in the tub, so that tub was something that intrigued me there. Another new thing to me there was she never had white bread, there was only wheat bread in her kitchen.
She lived directly across from Grant Park, in Atlanta, which had a zoo and the Cyclorama featuring the Civil War. I do remember going to the Cyclorama on one of those trips, and vaguely recall seeing the lifelike men situated in a war setting; I’ll have to put revisiting the Cyclorama on my bucket list.
My great escape from Aunt Lena was when I snuck over to the park one afternoon by myself…. the big swings there were just too enticing. I wasn’t there long before here she comes to march me right back to her house…. with a lecture of “didn’t I tell you not to go over there, it’s not safe for a young girl.” Needless to say I never snuck over again!
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© 2016, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved