Nostalgia

Grandmother’s Jacket

The love of old things is a way of respecting time.

Wu Ming-Yi, The Stolen Bicycle

In 1960, Presidential candidates Kennedy and Nixon took part in the first televised debate, the twist was the dance craze, Psycho and The Entertainer were playing at the movies, Perry Mason was a hit TV show and To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, was the book everyone was talking about. That’s my first memory of my grandmother wearing the red jacket I have on in this photo. I can close my eyes and see her putting it on as she got ready to walk to the post office or The Newsstand, the town soda shop and local meeting place. 

Yes, I still wear my grandmother’s red jacket. She and I are about the same size, it’s still in beautiful  condition and is one of those pieces that will never go out of style. When I put it on I get a sense that she is here with me. It’s the same feeling I have when I use my great-grandmother’s silverware to set the table. It’s a link to the past. Memories of long ago. 

I know that family heirlooms have fallen out of fashion. Today’s generation doesn’t want to be weighed down by the past. The bigger story of what that crystal vase or silver tea service represents is lost. Tastes change. One day antiques and vintage pieces will be in vogue again. Unfortunately, by that time much family history may be gone.

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