One of the ways I have fun in the shop is to ask people why they collect a certain thing. It is a fascinating way to enjoy the unique aspect of other people’s life experiences.
I have found many Mid-Century Asian figurines for one of my long-time customers. Frank is in his mid-80s and has over 1,000 figurines. After several years, I asked him why he began to collect these figurines.
He told me that he used to walk hand-in-hand with his grandfather through Chinatown in Chicago in the 1930s. One day, they went inside a long, dark shop where Frank saw an old, old Chinese man drinking tea and smoking in the back room. He had a long braid and wore red silk pajamas and had black slippers on his feet.
There was something about that day that Frank wanted to remember. I don’t know if it was the thrill of watching someone so exotic while his hand was safely ensconced within his grandfather’s or if it was just that he loved the memory of being with his grandfather.
Most of the folks whom I’ve asked this question usually tell me that they collect something that reminds them of happy and secure times. And, usually, it was when they were a child.
If you were lucky enough to have a nice grandmother, you may collect something that reminds you of the time you spent with her. I had a wonderful grandmother that belonged to several women’s clubs through out her life. They took turns hostessing luncheons and they made stuff, usually for the annual bazaar, with the money going to the church or school. I collect the stuff they made. These things have no monetary value and are worthless to anyone but me. But, when I look at these things I remember Grandma saying, “I’ve got club today.” That meant we were to skedaddle because Grandma had to put together a luncheon and cook and set the table with the best china and a long white tablecloth that probably took her an hour to iron. She was, like her mother before her, and her mother before her, very proud of her linens. Today, I don’t buy any clothing that needs to be ironed, but you should see my tablecloths.
These are my church lady eggs:
I once found mention of my Grandmother in an old newspaper. She was one of the members of The Thursday Thimble Club. That was one even her daughter, my treasured Aunt Ginny, didn’t remember.
Someday, maybe, I’ll show you my crocheted Christmas card boxes. They were always making those. When I pick up one of them and lift the lid, I can almost taste home-grown raspberries on vanilla ice cream and hear Lawrence Welk coming from the den.
Do you collect anything that reminds you of happy times?