A treasure beyond words

My dad (our father, who art in Florida, Herbert be his name) is a custom jeweler. He’s nearly 80, and pretty much retired.

I have childhood memories of visiting his shop, and seeing these beautiful pieces of hand crafted sparkly things. for the first 6 months after I graduated college, I worked at his shop, and saw many of his creations first hand. I knew that he’d kept a record of some of his more memorable pieces (photos, drawings etc.). I mentioned these to my siblings when dad visited Michigan last June.

Today, as I was at my office, my friend, theUPS driver had a package for me. From dad.

It was (among some other stuff), his notebook of pictures of his works.

What an honor. What a treat.

now, how the hell do I let my siblings know without causing a family fight?


My husband found himself in the middle of a big fight between his two sisters who each wanted all of the original family photos after their mother died. (He had the pictures because he was the only one who could be bothered to spend time with his mother during her last days.)

His solution was to have the pictures copied professionally. The copies looked at least as good as the originals. He also put them into nice albums and gave each of his sisters one.

(Of course, his bitch-sister lost hers in one of her hundreds of moves and drove all the way across the country to coerce his soft-hearted sister out of hers, but that’s another story.)

I’ve thought of copying them. But the cost is more than I could currently afford (even just color copying at Staples) we’re talking a serious lot of photos here.

I appreciate the suggestions, tho’.

How about a “traveling” book that goes from sibling to sibling at regular intervals. You could all enjoy your fathers work until you could get his book recreated.

So I’m gonna tell you to never let the original copy out of your hands. Begin by photocopying your favorite pieces out of the book. Create an elegant album for these copies. When you have a family gathering at your home, let your relatives note which pieces are their favorites and include them in the copy album as well. If you behave as a fair and decent custodian of this treasure, no one else will have much grounds for complaint. If someone demands a complete copy, simply request that they pay up front and have the entire book professionally scanned. You could put it online at that point. You must have a friend that has a scanner, or have the family pool the funds to scan the entire book.


Let us know what you decide.

thanks ** Zenster **. when our mom died 16 years ago, dad handed me all of the family photos, to, for me to divy up.

damn, I’m getting teary eyed about this. I remember as a small child going to pick daddy up at his shop, but we’d always go to the back entrance, which led to the part where his bench was. He had this wonderful little box of fine sawdust shavings and sometimes he’d pick me up so I could dig through there and find the rings that were drying.

One day, I noticed there was another door to his shop area, and it was ajar. I walked through it. God I felt like I was in Cinderella’s story - cabinets of shiny beautiful golden rings, necklaces, diamonds, rubies, emeralds (not that I knew what any of 'em were, mind you).

I remember some one handing him like 7 major diamonds (smallest was about 1/2 carat, largest was 2.3) and they wanted them put into ONE ring. I thought, geez that’ll look awful. But, by God, it was beautiful. He set them in kind of a stair step design. I recently gave to my son the very first ring he ever made (a sterling silver and onyx ring - dad stopped working in silver after he graduated high school).

Maybe that’s why dad handed this to me?

Hey there.

You keep doing the right thing there wring. Please, oh please, transcribe your impressions of your father’s shop and all of the other things that you remember about the jewelery and perhaps, even memories about how his art reached outside of his profession into his private life.

Maybe he decorated the room or cake for a special birthday party. Excuse me for being so personal, but I am confident that you will remember that he often brought home a touch of the artistic magic.

Do all of us a favor please. (If only because of my most excellent suggestion of scanning his book.) Please scan in your favorite piece, and maybe the big diamond ring design and allow us to appreciate your father’s craft.

(I’m pretty sure Democritus would help you to post them. [Thanks Demo])

Again, please let us know how things turn out.