Think of the objects that remind us of those who came before us — those things in a family which are preserved and passed down for future generations. When my grandmother died in 2003, we grandchildren were invited to choose a few things from her belongings.
I drink tea every day, and when I see the teapot, I am reminded of her and the smell of tea brewing in her cozy blue and white kitchen. Twinings Earl Grey was her favorite tea. Mine, too. And you all know my love of books, so it’s no surprise that I kept her Beatrix Potter books. I was also given her mother’s (my great-grandmother’s) artwork and some of her diaries and correspondence. It was in that box of papers that I discovered the drawing that was to become the Book Hunter’s Holiday logo.
My grandmother was a saver. She kept everything, even her ice skates from when she was a girl living in Orchard Park, New York. She kept all of her own mother’s diaries, drawings, paintings, and correspondence, which I’ve mentioned before here and here and here. She kept my father’s and my uncle’s and her own childhood toys. She kept the doll I used to play with when I was a little girl and came to visit at her house. She even kept the doll’s cradle and clothes. Though she kept all of her books, she wasn’t a book collector, per se. However, those of us who are collectors can appreciate her zeal to preserve the family’s past for her grandchildren by collecting and saving the family’s things. She wanted us to know from whence we came. She was often (gently) teased by my grandfather and the rest of the family for being a “packrat”. Her house had two attics, and she had ample room to store many of the items she chose to keep.
Grandma was also big fan of baseball, and often watched games and recorded the stats and scores in a special book. She was a longtime fan of the Giants, the team that finally won a World Series for San Francisco early this week. When she died at age 94, my youngest brother chose to keep some of her baseball memorabilia. Since I received her teapot and her Beatrix Potter books, I hadn’t thought about what my brothers might have kept until the Giants won their first World Series in San Francisco on Monday evening.
After the Giants won Game 5 and the Series, I logged on to Facebook and saw the following photo captioned with my brother’s words on his Profile page:
“It finally comes full circle from 1962. Thanks to Grandma for going to the first (in San Francisco) Series ever, for being a packrat that never threw out anything, and for teaching us the value of loyalty to the team. $8 for a lower reserved ticket????”
These are balls and tickets from the 1962 World Series, the first the Giants played after moving from New York to San Francisco. They played the Yankees and lost in the seventh game, despite the fact that the Giants had a better batting average, earned run average, and hit more home runs, triples, and doubles. The tickets are for the San Francisco games only, but it was neat to see that the sports fans in my family have been fans who wanted and waited for this victory for three generations. Though I am what my brother calls a “bandwagon” fan — someone who became interested only after the Giants had a winning season, I wanted to pass on my family’s enthusiasm and the story of their great-grandmother’s love of the Giants and baseball to Tom and Huck, to teach them the value of “loyalty to the team”.
And that’s what made me decide to give in to their begging and take them out of school to celebrate the Victory Parade in San Francisco yesterday. Thanks again to their teachers, who understood that some important lessons are learned outside the classroom.