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Thursday, April 29, 2021

GRAMPA

When Spring made tardy apologies this year,  Norma contrived an installation in reply. Old cones and leaves are good gilded ahead of Spring and emphasize her point by including my Grampa's cobbler's last in the scene. It's a vexed caution that seasons should keep apace with solar orbit or get their shoes fixed.

Grampa, who used the last last, is pictured here with me:
I am the shorter guy in the photo, and I am 71 years old. So Grampa, born in 1872, must be 149 this year. Let us always be somewhere, in time and space, churned in moontide to lessons learned, to life and memory --to birth, and always remember Earth. Let us ever be, somewhen, curating the thought of liberty.


27 comments:

  1. I admittedly had to consult with Google to learn what a cobbler's last was. My education never ceases.

    Thank goodness for our treasured old photos. They confirm the existence of things retained in distant memories...and bring them back to life. Memories (and photos) ensure that our past remains eternal and our loved ones never perish. In our hearts the blossom of youth never fades.

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    1. Dear Jon, One important reason I've long followed your blogs is I learn too. We're at least on earth to learn. The photos are sent by my brother in Nev., and to him by our cousin in Okla. Some, I remember from another century. And you're right: I can still hear their gentle voices, clearly as barges braying their cautions on Garcia Bend.

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  2. Norma is such a gem. She had a wonderful idea. Your memories of your grandfather are precious and so valuable.

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    1. Dear Emma, Thank you. I've relayed compliment to Norma. She's pleased. I've preserved some of Grampa's things in a shadowbox --his own hand-carved fishnet tool, tobacco pipe, pocket watch and pistola. He died at age 90, because he couldn't help it. I proceeded into adolescence for the same reason.

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  3. Great photo. Your grandpa looks a lot like my great-grandfather who was born in the late 1880s.

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    1. Dear Jeff, the 1800s produced some incredibly durable people, women and men who worked to set the country --the world-- on a course of equality, liberty and prosperity. Perhaps the resemblance is in their eyes --a spirit maybe or resolution to make things better.

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    1. Dear Thought Obscurus, As to cobbler's last, the tool takes its name from Old English, "Laest", meaning +or- "footprint". Shoes were soled with thick leather and attached to uppers with nails. This required a special sort of anvil --one with contours that could provide any shoe size so cobblers could move the shoe around to avoid nails interfering with feet (otherwise, ouch!). I don't know if our armed forces still use hobnail boots, but that would be a remnant of this craft.

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    2. Thank you for taking the time to explain cobbler's last. Interesting, to say the least.

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  5. Such a lovely post with beautiful art. Grampa must have been a good man. What we remember about the people in our past can be very interesting. What makes a memory stick with us?

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Dear Janie, Yes, he was a very good man --a kind man. We lived close by on property he bought in 1914 along the Sacramento River --Garcia Bend composed the Pocket area, settled by Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, refugees from the South --every ethnicity seeking social and cultural security, liberty. We shared farm equipment, workhorses. We kids all played together. As to the construction of good memories, I believe that qualifies.

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  6. Ah, Geo., you've made me think again. My grandfather was a banker in hostile North Dakota until the disaster of 1929 caused a change of occupation. I remember him through my childhood, always dressed in a suit and tie, even when he was taking me to sandlot baseball games. As we get older I think we learn so much more from those who were older before us. Memories can teach us even though the teachers are no longer here. But I digress. I love Norma's gold-glistening leaves and I trust that you shall "last" many more years, if not decades.

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    1. Dear Bruce, I gratefully share your trust that I last many more years and hope the same for you. My father was 19 in 1929 and lost his savings --many summers working harvests for a dollar a day. Still, somehow he got into Stanford and left with a teaching credential and a wife (also known as Momma) in 1939. It was a rewarding year; he turned 30. Yes, of course he was drafted and spent 3 years overseas. Returned using a cane...died in 1960. He still provides a reassuring presence in my dreams; as you say, teaching "even though the teachers are no longer here". Who knows where one's influence ends? But I too digress: conveyed your compliment to Norma. She appreciates.

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  7. Everything to love right here :-) Gilded winter, Grampa legacy, hobnail boots - handmade shoes are things of wonder, I think, linked to our connection with the earth, with the paths we tread. Which brings me to mention I have good news- please do read of it at my blog :-)

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    1. Dear Wonderful Lisa, I've just come away from your blog with happiest feelings for you and all involved. I shall doubtless read of your progress as the fun and work proceed. What a remarkable adventure awaits.

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    2. We are as happy as a toddler spooling tinsel from a Xmas tree! Sharing the fun as much as possible :-) x

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    3. "Spooling tinsel from a Xmas tree". thanks for that vigorous and accurate analogy --I was that toddler.

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  8. What a beautiful display. I read the comments to find out what cobblers last was. I learn so much from reading blogs!

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    1. Dear Margaret, me too. Thanks for your encouraging comment.

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  9. Geo, a lovely post and thought potion. I never met my Grandfathers as they had gained a piece of eternity before I found a ride to planet earth. Though I am named for my father's father, and his father, and his father, and his father and his father. I think that too is grand.

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    1. Thanks Tom, Unlike my elder siblings, I never got to meet my enate grandfather --after whom I am named. I have heard he was good man who owned a furniture store in Okmulgee, Okla.. When depression hit in '29 he declared a moratorium on time-payments until the economy recovered. No furniture was repossessed. He also had a few acres outside of town, so I imagine the whole big family relied heavily on that. I'm just glad I didn't get his middle name, Chester.

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  10. grandpa looks cool and you were a cutie pie

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    1. He WAS cool, JACKIESUE. As for cutie pie, I have enjoyed the privilege of conferring that honorific upon my own grandchildren. Perhaps that is how monarchies got started.

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  11. I am very lucky to have old family photos into the 1800's. They are so rare and cherished.

    My grandfather owned a dairy that burned down when I was 4ish. Recently while my dad was working on a house he noticed the family had an old milk crate from the dairy. They gave it to him as a tip when the renovations were done. It now resides in my home.

    It's priceless to me.

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    1. Dear Juli, Relics of loved-ones' lives and livelihoods are truly treasures. I consider them extensions of affection from relatives among us no longer --but whose useful possessions remain. With photos, we recall their voices, laughter, the sound of their footsteps, swear-words and lullabies. Priceless indeed.

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  12. I Believe we ARE always Somewhere, Energy never Dies, it just changes Form. I am a Relics Collector, whether from our own Ancestry, or someone else's... I consider them all Treasures, with a Rich History and imparted with Memories that went along with them and their Purposes while in anyone's Life. It's all quite Priceless. I lament that in my own extended Family, Photography was such a Luxury that even my own Parents used to borrow a Camera to take any Photos, so we don't have that many. In Modern Society it's so commonplace now and yet, this Generation doesn't Preserve hardly any of it for posterity. Curious indeed.

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    1. Dear Dawn, I must admit to sharing your suspicion about new generations ignoring posterity. It can go a few ways: they can gravitate toward liberty, equality under law and conscience, or they can embrace intolerance and never pull away --and everything in between. Sound like an old problem? It is. My hope is that our present, our history, is not being written in electronic (disappearing) ink. I hope people can change for the better and leave constructive memories to their heirs.
      Also, thanks for commenting on this and two prior posts. Have replied on each.

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