They Belonged to My Father

Monday, September 30: ‘Share a photo of something old. Maybe something that has personal history for you, that was passed down to you, and that has special meaning to you. Tell us about it and why it’s special.

I do not really have anything ‘old’ that was passed down to me.  My dad was going to give me his mother’s rings when his dad passed away but my grandpa had put them somewhere ‘safe’ and they were never found. My dad’s rings were stolen somewhere between the scene of the accident and the hospital because he arrived at the funeral home without them. After his death I took a few things of his home with me.
My dad really enjoyed the 20-volume Aubrey-Maturin series (ever see Master & Commander with Russell Crowe?) and so I took home eight of the books. I have 1-10, minus 8 and 9.  I have begun the first book but need to pick it up again and start all over. It is one of those that requires your full attention.  Since my dad loved them so much I feel I need to read the whole series while I am alive. I found my local used book vendor has many of his books too. So I should have no trouble finding the other twelve books in the series. 
I remember reading Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein as a girl after my dad recommended I give it a try.  His worn copy was the first book I looked for on his bookshelf and now it sits on the top shelf of mine. 
Three books, just as old as the previous book mentioned, I found about the United States Marine Corps in World War II were in my dad’s collection.  Vol. I: Beginning’s End, Vol. 2: Battering the Empire, and Vol. 3 Death of an Empire.  Printed in the early ’70s the pages are now an amber colour and they all contain a middle section of black and white WWII photographs.  The books were compiled and edited by S.E. Smith.

A Photograph.

I know I look like my dad and that we have the same eyes. But when I saw old photographs of what his mum looked like when she was a young woman I was surprised to see how much I looked like her. All my memories of my dad’s father mostly revolve around visits to his his trailer in the elderly community where he lived in New Jersey.  It always had a strange musty smell of mildew and a bitter cat named Reggie, who hissed whenever he saw my sister or I. My grandpa was nice and liked to watch old episodes of  the original Star Trek and Next Generation.  We saw him once every three years or so since we lived in Europe and he died during my sophomore year of Uni.

It was after his funeral that I found an old photograph of him and his wife, a woman who died before I was born, and fell in love with it.  They both are so young and look so happy.  They look like a couple I wish I could have known.  Honestly I wish my dad had been alive longer so I could have asked him more about them and what it was like growing up.  But back to the photo. I love all the elements of the time…his pinstripe suit, stripe tie, and pocket square and her 1940’s styled hair, pretty black dress with tear drop cut outs and pretty sleeves.  It is a souvenir photo from a date night out at the Village Barn Restaurant which was on 52 W. 8th St in NYC.   

As an interesting tidbit I did some research and found out that though it closed in the late 1960’s it became Electric Lady Studios, where famous rock group legends like Jimi Hendrix and The Clash  recorded.

This was the last post for #Blogtember

I really enjoyed being a part of this series with Jenni and now look forward to returning to recapping our summer adventures in Wales in England…aka your regularly scheduled programming here on ACR.

Q: Have you been passed down anything old from your family? 
What would you want to pass down to your future generations from what you currently own?

 *photographs belong to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |

  • Bonnie Rose

    I love old photos and memorabilia, especially when it belonged to a loved one. x

  • Bonnie Rose

    Books are so special, reading a book a loved one has previously read I think gives such a great feeling of connectivity as our eyes scan the page as theirs did!

  • Bonnie Rose

    what sweet mementos to have of your father! sometimes it’s the surprising things that mean the most to us! although it’s not what you expected to have to remember him by, i’m sure they’re just as special. my brother had made a bracelet in a jewelry making class in uni. he gave it to a girl friend and after they broke up i begged him to give it to me! she kept it but after he passed away i got a small package from her with the bracelet in it. it’s one of my favorite things from him but i’m too scared to wear it!

  • Bonnie Rose

    How lovely to have these things, Bonnie. They will always be precious to you, and it is so great that you have them.

    When my Dad died 10 months ago, there were very few old pictures of him as a child and none of his father who died very young (aged 28 and my Dad was 2). To our surpirse, having thought no pictures of our grandfather existed, we found many amongst my Dad’s things. It was so nice to see and have a connection. One photo that I now have is a picture of my Dad as a small baby being held by his Mum (my granny Peggy) and on the back was written ‘my two dreams’ by my grandfather. I shared another photo I have of my grandfather via a bloggers linky, which I will share with you here if I may, as I think it is so evocative of the time (1939). My granfather is the one laying down at the front – handsome chap!

  • Bonnie Rose

    What wonderful mementos, Bonnie! Love the photograph – and especially the story you were able to sleuth out around it!

  • Bonnie Rose

    These are such wonderful memories. Even in times of great sadness, you found these pieces of your family that brought you comfort and made you feel closer to those you’ve lost and those you’ve never known. That’s such a gift.
    It also seems like the books you received from your father may be just as valuable as the rings that you didn’t. Books aren’t a typical “heirloom”, but when I think about it, I find them to be just as personal. For someone who loves to read, books take us to special places and teach us things that we cherish all of our lives; they get in our heads and make us question our lives, sometimes even inspire us to change them. You have those books that moved your father in your hands, and I hope they do the same for you!

  • Bonnie Rose

    What a great read. How terrible though, that someone would take your Fathers rings after he passed. That’s one of the most terrible things I have heard – I am so very sorry that happened. Although it does sound like the books have much bigger and more manful memories to you that a ring.

    I myself, have my Grandmothers wedding band. It’s so small and light, I always fear I’ll lose it. I’d love to do something with it – I just do not know what.

  • Bonnie Rose

    What wonderful mementos and keepsakes. I especially love the photo of your parents!

  • Bonnie Rose

    This is a really beautiful post Bonnie. I can spend hours looking through old photos, especially ones of my parents before I existed and imagining what they were like back then. One of the things I always keep and have as long as I can remember are birthday cards, they’re like little letters and when I read them I feel something different than when I look at a photo, if that makes sense. When my dad passed away, I went through and read some old birthday cards and it was like little messages that I would always have. And I also wish I could have asked more questions, but I had him for a whole 27 years and still didn’t. x