Sunday, September 04, 2016
The Ancient Egyptians knew how to stash away a thing or two for an eternity or two. We have joked that my father isn't going, if he can't take it with him and he is still trying to find a hearse with a luggage rack. When you are gone, and it is not a question of if, it is a question of when, we are all going to die sometime; someone will sort through your stuff. What will they find, what will be most precious, most surprising, most embarrasing? This weeks five questions - what do you have stashed away?
1: We all have some surprising family keepsake, for me it is a ladies pendant watch from 1913, my grandmother gave it to me. It is a gold case with amazing enamel work on the back. Her father bought it for her mother when he returned from working in Mexico City. What will be the most precious thing they will find when they go through what you leave behind?
2: Probably the oldest thing I have is a mosaic tile from a roman villa, just a single tile from a floor put in place over 2,000 years ago. It was a gift from an academic friend, I don't want to know the conditions under which it left Italy. What will be the oldest thing they will find among your possessions?
3: My grandmother narrowly missed being a passenger on the Titanic, and I have a lifelong fascination with the ship. She was spooked by it, felt that it was a gravesite and never should have been disturbed. I am fascinated by the artifacts recovered from the wreck site. I have a tiny piece of coal recovered from the wreck site, I bought at an early exhibition of artifacts recovered from the wreck - part of a fundraiser for exploration and preservation funds. It freaks some people out. What is the spookiest thing they will find in your collection.
4: I have a friend in his early 60's, he has been out since he lived in San Francisco in the 1980's. He was in a panic last spring when he was here in DC for a conference and his brother was looking for a missing car key back at his home in the midwest. He was afraid his brother would stumble across his stash of sex-toys. Will they find a box of personal "toys" in your stash? (Yes - a couple of boxes.)
5: About 50 years ago, my grandmother told me, "if I saved my pennies, I'd be able to go to England someday." She was born in Hammersmith, and I dearly wanted to go (and I have several times.) But I also started saving my pennies, in fact I have seldom spent one in 50 years, I have boxes full of them, a couple hundred pounds of them. Who ever cleans out my stash, will hate me for having so many pennies. What will they hate you for having to much of when you are gone?