I've been meaning to do another post in this series for a while, so today I cracked open the second box of keepsakes. This box is much larger than the first. It was difficult to limit myself in terms of things to share. I'll have to revisit the box later and post more. For now, here are the items that caught my attention, posted in no particular order.
First, let's start with some postcards. Below is my favorite, a colorful view of Sparks Fountain in Jackson, Michigan. Growing up, Jackson was only known to me as the place with the state prison. Needless to say, we never visited, but those fountains sure look pretty. I'm tempted now. They're still there, called Cascades Falls. They charge for admission.
The below is one of the worst postcards I've ever seen. I completely forgot to write down the information on the back of the card before I put it back in the box. Since it's all taped up and put away now, I'm not going back in. Just know that it's a motel and the back didn't explain what the white thing in the grass is. I think it may be a bird fountain?
I'll never understand why people used to buy postcards of motels. Maybe they didn't - it's entirely possible that motels used to give these away for free as a form of advertising.
Here are a couple of postcards that I sent to my mom. I'm too shy to tell you what I wrote on the back (although it's pretty mundane). The first was sent in 1995. I lived in Hamburg, Germany at the time, but this is from my trip to Berlin. It's the Berliner Dom (capital building). The second was sent in 2008, when my now-husband and I were on vacation on Maui. It's a picture of the Lahaina harbor.
I could resist including a scan of this brochure of Luray Caverns outside of Luray, Virginia. I wanted you to see the stylish couple in the picture. This tourist attraction still exists. It actually sounds pretty cool, with a hedge maze and a historical museum. Also, I was amused to discover that someone coopted the name for the game Diablo.
Below is a picture from my uncle's (mother's brother) wedding. I don't know who any of these ladies are. In fact, I labelled this picture "church ladies." However, I greatly admire that epic cake, so I had to include it.
And this is a picture of my maternal grandfather when he was a police officer. He's the one standing behind the seated guy in the middle. He has such a baby face! Also, it's rather uncanny how much my brothers look like him.
I've talked a little bit before about my maternal grandmother's scrapbooks. They're such a treasure trove of information for me. Since I never got to meet her, they help me get to know her a little bit. It's fascinating, seeing what was important to her, trying to figure out why it was and what all of it says about her. She liked to clip poetry and inspirational articles from the paper. There are also a lot of notices such as deaths, accidents, and illnesses. I presume they're about people she knew, although it's possible that, like me, she was simply interested in death and destruction. She was fascinated with telephone operators long before she became one - I can tell that it was a dream job of hers. Also, from the poetry and articles, I got the sense that she was somewhat ambivalent about love and marriage, a narrative consistent with some of the things my mom told me about her.
She had a lot of articles by this woman, Dorothy Dix (her real name, I wonder, or a pen name intended to invoke Dorothea Dix?). This one (in two parts below) left me equal parts depressed and enraged. The sad thing is, the sentiment is still alive and well today, especially given the backlash toward feminism in the last few years. It's funny/disheartening to think that people still say, "Yes, women are oppressed, but they're not as oppressed as they used to be, so chill!" I bet this author never dreamed that people would look back at the time in which she lived and shake their heads about how bad women used to have it.
I was so shocked when I discovered these articles! My grandma was the young woman in this accident, which I never heard anything about before. I wonder if my mom even knew about it. I don't know who her male companion was - presumably her beau at the time. When I first went through her scrapbooks, I found his wedding announcement (I couldn't find it this time; must be in another box). I sort of wondered if she still carried a flame for him at the time he got married.
And this is my grandma's notary certificate (name redacted for privacy). I think it's so funny that she had this elaborate certificate. I was a notary for a while when I lived in Texas, and believe me, it involved no fancy certificates. Note that it was signed by George Romney, father of former governor and sometime presidential candidate Mitt Romney. I don't actually know why my grandma became a notary. As far as I know, after she married my grandpa, she was a stay-at-home mom for the rest of her life. I wish my mom was around to ask.
That's it for now! I hope you enjoyed this trip through my family's memorabilia. More to come in the future!