Thursday, January 12, 2012

Things of my Dad

Below are three things that belonged to my

Top is a special handmade knife
Left-middle is a small transistor radio.
Bottom-right or opera glasses.

I LUV these!!!  They are...
French opera glasses.

 ...probably made around the beginning of the 1900's
They were given to my father when he
was a young boy of about 10 or 12 (1911-1913) by a
"grandma" lady that had taken a fancy to my dad.  He
told me she was always very nice to him and gave him
candy and other little things.  He was very poor and she
was a lady of "Upper-middle class".  When she was becoming
sick from some "old age ailment", she told my dad to "take
care" of these opera glasses for her that someday they might
become valuable.  They are made of "mother of pearl" and
brass.  They still work perfectly. 

This was quite a "pride and joy" to my Dad.  He would
take this radio almost everywhere.  It would travel with
him in his coat pocket.  Or set very close to his favorite
chair at home.  Along with the radio would always be
the wired earplugs so that he could listen to sports
and not bother other people.
The cost at the time of purchase in the early 60's...$25.
This is equivalent to about $200 - now prices

It came with this leather snap-on case with a small
attached handle.

There was a turn dial on each side of the radio.
One changed the channels and the other turned
it on and adjusted the volume.  Sadly, this radio
no longer works.

It sure looks fancy dressed only in it's shiney "gold"
vest-like speaker.   I remember my Dad sitting in the
chair at home with his little radio sitting on the arm
of the chair.  The boxing/fights were being broadcast
on the little radio, his ear leaned down close to listen.  He
wasn't using the earplugs because...he was also watching
and half listening to a baseball game playing on the TV.  Boy,
did my mom have more than a few complaining words to say
 about this little scenario.  =P

This is a knife with a STORY to tell...
See how when the knife is tipped up it is like the curve
on a rocking chair leg?  That is exactly the purpose
for which this blade was made... to rock as it was
tipped up and then rocking back down it would cut food.
Many times it was a piece of filet steak (my Dad's choice of
meat).  Sometimes it would be vegetables or fruit.
This knife was special made by an iron smith/woodworker.
... just for my Dad.

The wood and metal of the knife are made from
old California railroad wood and metal of the 1940s.
I'm sure it could tell some historical tidbits,
if it could talk!

The man made the knife so it would be easier to cut food
with one hand.  Usually, we hold the fork with our left hand,
and cut with a knife in the left (being we are right handed).
But, if you don't have a left hand to put a fork in, it's almost
impossible to cut your food.  It is, however possible with a
... really sharp rocking knife.
My Dad lost his left arm, half way between the elbow and shoulder,
 when he was 17.  He had an accident while working at one of
the early California oil derricks.
He used this knife at every meal at home.  When we went out to
dinner or over to someone's house to eat, my Mom would carry
the knife in a cotton hankie in her purse.
If he didn't have the knife, someone would have to cut
most of his food for him.  The knife gave him a way to do for
himself and avoid the attention toward his only having one arm


Thank YOU so much for your patience in reading through
the many words that describe how some special vintage items
are woven through my life...



Mary said...

What interesting stories. This is a great way to "put the words on paper". Thank you for sharing. I really enjoyed reading about your Dad's things.

Needled Mom said...

What treasures! The knife sounds very much like the mezzaluna we use today. It was a great idea for your dad.

The opera glasses are gorgeous. I love the pearl on them.

I LOVED the transistor radio. I still have mine that I bought for $11 back in 1961. They were quite the rage and we carried them everywhere. Mine still works and I keep it at my bedside for "emergencies." LOL Did his use the 9 volt battery too?

Jocelyn said...

What very fun vintage things. I've participated on Suzanne's VTT for a couple of years on my thrifting blog. It's so fun to see all these great things from the past.

Sheila said...

Wonderful treasures and post today. I loved reading about your father. You wrote it so well, with much care and love.

April D said...

I love your stories. Thanks for letting us enjoy your memories too!
Happy VTT!

Olga said...

I was never one to save things, but your vintage items and the memories they invoke for you make me re-examine my ways. A lovely post.

suemac said...

You have given me ideas. When my Mom died several years ago I got several items that are precious to me. I have pictures of them but have not shared stories about them. Great stories. I really enjoyed reading about the memories that you have.

Belinda said...

What an awesome post! I'm very sentimental about this kind of thing. I have glasses that my great grandparents wore and my great grandmother's little black purse.

Foolish Feathers said...

The knife reminds me of an Alaskan ULU which is also a rocking kind of knife. Thank you so much for sharing your stories! What wonderful treasures to have!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

A lovely post of your treasures - not only in the object sense, but the heartfelt sense - just a wonderful travel with you in your memories today.

Savories of life said...

I have opera glasses ! They are so neat. do say hi!

Linda said...

I love the treasures you posted and the stories behind them! I'm very drawn to vintage items just because of the stories they could tell.
I hope you write these stories down so that your descendants will love these as much as you do!

Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

What precious treasures and wonderful memories to have! Thanks for sharing. Oh, and do I ever feel old. The transistor radio reminds me one I had!

Love Of Quilts said...

A good way to post your treasures is in the "Vintage Journal". Its something I may try and do.

LV said...

You are very fortunate to have so many of your families treasures. These are truly the best ever. I enjoyed your sharing such an important part of your life with us.

Sally Annie Magundy said...

What a sweet tribute to your dad! My dad passed away last year and I feel the desire/need, to document his and my families life too.

I especially got a smile out of the story about the transistor radio and sports game. My dad did the same thing! One game on the radio and another on the television and he'd be yelling "You bum" or something about a play that had been made and we were never sure what was going on.

Thanks for the memories and much good luck to you in writing down your family stories.

Tangos Treasures said...

Wow how cool!! Love the pictures!!

c. Joy said...

This is such a wonderful idea. A way to let people know why you have saved certain items (so they won't think you were crazy) and they will know the history and then make an informed choice on whether or not to keep the item(s). Your descriptions are wonderful. Even brought back memories of my first transitor radio (it was so cool!). Have a great weekend.

Christine M said...

Lovely post Annie. I loved the story behind the curved knife. I can just picture your mother taking it out of her bag and unwrapping it for your father.

Eat Sleep Quilt said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories! I think it's truly a blessing to have things that belonged to your parents or grandparents... too many things get tossed out as "junk" without a thought to its historic or sentimental value.

eftoy1 said...

I showed the pictures to the girls this morning and they were very excited to hear about my Grandpa. Leora asked if there is or are pictures of your dad that you could post as well. Maybe sometime or you could email them to me if you have them.

Sis-O said...

Thank you for sharing these stories.

Miss Hillbilly said...

What an enjoyable post this was. Those items are each so special and I enjoyed the stories behind them.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

What a sense of freedom that knife must have given your dad.