I got stuff!
I just got back from three days in Vegas. Much of it was spent visiting family. As usual, my mom presented me with several cartons of my old stuff. The deal is, I take it whether I want it or not, just to get it off their hands. I'm also offered some of their stuff.
---The "baby book" my mom's friends made for me in March of 1970. It's not about me as such, but about the trends, political climate, and standard of living at that time. Two Guys was offering four cans of peaches for 99 cents, and like that. There wasn't anything in there about the Beatles breaking up (which coincided with my birth), but there was a magazine article about this wonderful new show called "Sesame Street".
---A bunch of books which I'd thought were gone forever. Some I don't need and am going to donate to Iliad. Others, I've tried to find on Amazon, Ebay and so forth, with no success. Now I don't have to yearn for them. Hooray!
---Some old cassette tapes. Stuff I recorded off the radio in the early 80s, mostly. But one of them had a hidden feature. When the music stopped, I heard my 10-year-old self reading Peanuts cartoons aloud! Priceless! I did a good Lucy, and a darn good Sally! Mr. Rilch is going to burn these onto a CD!
---A salt-and-pepper shaker from the 1939 World's Fair. The Trilon and Perisphere, in orange and blue. I've wanted this thing for so long, and now it's mine!
---The balloon-blower-upper. You can imagine the remarks Mr. Rilch made. When I showed it to Friend, he just said, "Ah...too easy."
---The plate I made in kindergarten. To be exact, we all drew pictures on round pieces of paper, then had them sent away to be laminated. "Why did you show yourself as a blonde? Is that how you wanted to look?" "That's not me; that's Lex (my niece; don't ask)."
---Best of all, my dad pulled out a whole bunch of photos of himself, his brother and parents, and other members of his family. Mr. Rilch had brought the video camera, and for once, I had a good idea at the right time. "Why don't we wait until [Sister and Bro-in-Law Rilch] get here. Then you can tell us the stories behind these pictures, and Mr. Rilch can record us looking at them, as well as the pictures themselves?" And that's what happened!
What we found out:
*A lot of people in my dad's family were very good looking.
*My second cousin, in particular, dressed f-i-n-e.
*My mom had it wrong all along about who rode away on the motorcycle with the boarder and abandoned her kids. It wasn't my great-grandmother, it was my great-aunt. My grandfather wasn't orphaned because of this; he was orphaned because both his parents died of unrelated illnesses. The motorcycle story is still true; my mom just had the wrong people.
*Not all Amish people are averse to being photographed, because there's a photo of my grandfather with the Amish couple who raised him after his parents died.
*My father played the accordion when he was a kid.
*He was also in ROTC when he was a teenager.
*He also had some odd contraption that was like a tricycle, but with four wheels. A quadracycle?
*I wish my grandmother had saved all those flapper dresses. But how did she know they would come back in style.
*We sure are Italian.
*As evidenced by my parents' wedding photos, my mom used to be beautiful.
*No, she doesn't know where her Miss Apple Blossom photos are.
*My great-aunt Josephine looked a lot like Pola Negri. Or maybe I just think that because of the hairstyle.
*The Godfather movies are frighteningly accurate in their portrayals of weddings, confirmations, and the like.