Thursday, October 31, 2013

Junk in the Trunk

 It was cold today.  So much so that I cooked our supper on wood and was grateful for the warmth.
 UPDATE from my previous post!  One of my students at Guadalupe School, Berenice Cruz, called me from Tenochtitlan Market to tell me that she had found sugar skulls!  YIPPEE!  There were thirteen of them.  I asked her to buy them all.  It is a minor bummer that they are already decorated.  It's kind of minimal, don't you think?  I think further decor is a possibility.
 I'm glad that search is over.  I had tried unsuccessfully at Rancho Market earlier in the day.  No sugar skulls; but I felt compelled to take a picture of these roach-killers.

This evening, I sorted out my old trunk.  There are family things in there; but also assorted books and fans and hankies and hats that are old, and cool, but have nothing to do with my family.  They are just things that people picked up at auction sales.  My grandfather had a weakness for auctions.  I think that is where we acquired the "Encyclopedia of Methodism".  Not an heirloom.  But what do you do with an antique book, published in the 1870s after it has floated around your house for a while?  Here are some things I found, though.
My grandfather Plueddeman's music theory book

Pieces of very, very old, woven bedspread.  There are two of these.  i think I will frame them and hang them up next to my 1876 sampler.

 Did any of you ever read "Devil in the White City"?  If so, you will be interested in the keepsake picture book of the 1898 Columbian Exhibition, or Chicago World's Fair that I found, wrapped carefully in cardboard and tissue.  I would strongly recommend that book.  It is an engrossing work of non-fiction and an astounding read.

Obituary for my great-great grandfather

My great-grandmother's wedding dress, which she sewed herself.  i had to show it to Sara - incredible how tiny women were then.  No one is every going to fit into this dress again!  

"Little Sally Mandy's Christmas Present" was a third birthday present to my dad from his grandmother in 1934.

 My great-grandmother's cook book.  I turned it to the pages all about how to cook rabbit, just to horrify Sara.
 Two of my grandmother's dolls are in the trunk.  The kids call them "the creepy dolls".  In fact, Sara used to have bad dreams about them climbing out of the trunk and coming to get her.  This one really is kind of hideous, because of her zombie eyes.
 This one isn't so bad, though.
 My great-great grandfather's eyeglasses.
And, most interesting was this photo of my grandfather, in an envelope addressed to my grandmother in 1922.   I will tell you what the letter says.
Dear Madam,

I have taken notice during the past few years that you have consistently remained single in spite of the possession of wonderful charms and singular talents, as well as fair features and graceful poise, not to mention a softly modulated voice and a quiet savoir faire.  I have often gazed for hours, unknown perhaps to you, into those angelic eyes and have seen there a love light which I have longed to claim for my own., but until now I have lacked the courage to make my feelings known to you.

All that I ask in this letter is an opportunity to tell you in a personal interview how I think that I could make you, the dream of my life, happy.  I am sure that I am fully qualified by past experience and education to treat you kindly and respectfully, and if you desire I can give you references from a number of other girls whom I have courted.

Enclosed you will find my photograph, which I assure you does not do me justice.  However, you will notice that I am very handsome.  Notice the high forehead denoting intelligence, the heavy lips signifying generosity, and the prominent ears, a sign of willingness to listen to reason.  Notice also the kindly sympathetic expression in the eyes and now, the neatness of apparel and luxuriant growth of hair; and do not fail to observe that no hirsute adornment mars the beauty of my upper lip.

I hope that  you will have read this letter thus far, and in that case I have but one request left.  Will you please grant me an engagement at which I can further press my suit, or take me on trial for several years, and if you do not find me satisfactory, I will grant you alimony for the rest of your life.  

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