Monday, August 8, 2011
Sometimes my Mom now hanging well over the cliff of 80 does not remember what she just walked into a room for and that’s on a good day when she can actually walk. Recently I went after a very rare and expensive sterling silver rhinestone dagger sword Brooch by Olle Ohlsson of Sweden. Before I listed it in my shop as I do with all the better pieces that thrill me, I share them with her first. Dangerous as I never know when she’ll say either she must have it or I should not sell it. This time as she held it, by the way, a moment I always stop breathing as for some unknown reason precious metals and 100 year old pieces held in her magic hands seem to be drawn into some secret vortex and they leap away from her crashing to the floor trying to find the black hole. It set off a story. A long story. A story that concerned me to the point where I thought ok really time to hide the car keys. Yes she still drives when she can walk. Bet that alone scares you. I say one less driving Miss daisy trip for me is most excellent. A past eighty year old woman does not have a teenage daughter and frankly I’m so exhausted I no longer care about your safety. I’ll give you this be extra careful if you find yourself on the road next to a royal blue Toyota with opera blaring from the radio.
The story went like this. Seems when my mom was in her early twenty’s and never one to miss a golden opportunity to remind her grown children how she had to work since she was a fetus. She had big dreams of carrying off her own unique style and did whatever she had to in order to achieve the look that made the statement she was after that she was her own independent person. This was particularly confusing to me as a few years back we had a argument about children being forced to wear uniforms in school, she was for it and I will never be. Also I wondered, anything? Visions of late night escapades with Billie Holiday rushed threw my head. This time she was after two specific must have’s. The first was a pair of slacks hand made for her by a tailor. Since my grandfather was indeed a tailor I assumed she meant he would make the slacks. A loud no to that. Didn’t I understand she was a independent woman, why would she ask her father. Why won’t I let her finish the story! Now I’m trying to remember the signs of a stroke, should I ask her to stick her tongue out and see if it goes to the side. She continues a pair of hand made slacks and a sterling sword brooch but not like the one I’m showing her, it had chains and a sheath that you pinned in two parts. Apparently she worked from dusk till dawn for 200 days in a row, never once stopping to eat or even pee and she reached her goal of obtaining the sword Brooch and slacks not made by her father.
Well honestly I had serious doubts. How would I have never seen this sword brooch or ever heard about it till now. Maybe the Olle Ohlsson sword she was crushing in her delicate little hands had some poppy seed remnants that went straight through her skin and set off this imaginary story. I tried to put it behind me but it kept rearing up in my head. Days later it dawned on me. I had sold a Urie mandle made by Murray slater sterling chatelaine with removable sword from it’s scabbard brooch a couple of years back in my shop. I excitedly pulled up a picture of it for her to see thinking she had held it in here gentle vice grip little hands years ago when I had to have shown it to her and that’s the sword she must be thinking of and confused about. A ear shattering no to that and see if I ever share with you again, where’s my car keys, I need to see if the guys behind the trash cans are carrying today.
Weeks passed and I couldn’t shake the story. It had always been my dad with the wild imagination this was not like her. Although clearly at this point and not for nothing even if she was a heroin hooker, I’m good with that, just shaken to be left out of all that adventure till now. I couldn’t sleep. I started pouring through thousands of old photograph. Holy cow I said to no one as I was alone. There it is! I found the photo at the top of this page it was a old four by six inch. I saw something on that blouse and kept blowing it up until I could finally make out the outline of that brooch. It was all true. She had slaved to save the money for both the brooch and the hand made favorite slacks also in this same photo included at the end of this story. She did fail to recognize it was indeed just like the one I had sold, the urie mandel patent to the left of the top photo makes that clearer. She had seen that one but selective memory set in. Actually not bad for eighty’s.
I waited for a special occasion and with the rest of the family present I gave her what I lovingly call the I guess your not nuts after all gift of a series of the photo from it’s original form to blown up as far as I could take it. It truly made her day and put a most welcomed smile on her face. Hope this little story puts a little smile on your face and maybe reminds you of your own selective memory’s when a piece of jewelry or fashion meant so much to you, even if for the life of you, you don’t know what in the world happened to it.
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