Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Top Drawer Stuff

Just rolled in from Chicago on a smaller than usual plane-felt like I was in an H1N1 capsule. As much as I travel and spend time sequestered on planes I feel like it’s just a matter of time before the viral spore hits me. The smaller planes are packed-I’m glad that airlines remain solvent but they've become an incubator for vicious virus congregation. On second thought-I’m too damned mean and cranky after two days of work to be a good host for a virus.
I don’t wear suits and ties too much anymore so most of the things in my accessories box spend more time entombed therein that out and about. I have another quasi junk drawer where this and another couple of boxes live. When packing for Chicago the other day I opened the boxes and saw good fodder for a post.

I thrive on memories and there are a few nuggets in here that take me way back. My wedding band is in here. I have a box of things for LFG and if and when she wants them I’ll pass them over to her-my wedding band included. I want her to know that there was a time when her mother and I had a good connection-one that was equally yoked at least for a period of time long enough to yield this incredible gift from God-LFG.
My maternal grandfather's pocket watch.
Vintage Cuff Snaps

There’s also something in the box that I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing but I just can’t seem to discard it or sell it for scrap gold. It is testimony to why I beg my family and have always admonished girlfriends to NOT try to buy me a watch or jewelry. I don’t wear much jewelry and chances are if you buy me something I’m not gonna like it. I don’t wear watches with metal bands/bracelets because my wrists are small and I don’t like the scale. The Rolex thing is lost on me-unless we are talking 1930’s Prince with a leather band. So if you look closely you’ll see elements of a gold rope bracelet slinking around the other items in there. A lovely-nice-stunning woman gave me that for Christmas almost twenty years ago. I was aghast. Too disco for me.
My Lee-Jackson cuff links live here. Wore them to the Union League Club in Chicago years ago. Kinda liked taking my Southern boys into that club with me. I can tell that they are Lee and Jackson. Most wouldn’t be able to. These are gifts from one of my best buddies who is a native Virginian. Matter of fact, he called me tonight when I was in the airport in Chicago.
An old fraternity ring and my father’s signet ring. My mother gave it to me when he died. I’ve worn it from time to time and even though I had it sized to fit me-the scale is a bit much for my hands. LFG can have it one day.
Cuff links from London with the Vanity Fair image of the cricketer Lord Hawke. The print hangs in my bedroom. I also have a set somewhere that have the Vanity Fair image of Winston Churchill on them.  Hawke was typical in his view of amateurs versus professional cricketers in his day. Walter Hagen broke that same barrier for golfers in the States during the early 20th century.  Hawke on professionals…."Pray God, no professional shall ever captain England. I love and admire them all, but we have always had an amateur skipper and when the day comes when we shall have no more amateurs captaining England it will be a thousand pities."
My uncle gave me this little Willie Wirehand lapel pin when I was a kid. I thought it was just the coolest thing and I wore it to church every Sunday when I was a little fella. He spent his entire professional life as an executive and lobbyist for rural electric cooperatives in several locations across the country.
When I first moved to Washington he was still coming here for work and we would always meet for dinner and he’d take me to some of the legislative things that interested me. Here’s some additional scoop on the mascot… 

“Willie Wirehand was created for use by rural electric cooperatives and public utility districts. Willy was a stick figure, with a lamp socket for a head, an electric plug for legs and feet, and wore gloves similar to those worn by farmers.”

Next month will be the one year anniversary of my uncle's death. I was a pallbearer-along with Willie Wirehand on my lapel.
My childhood pocket knives are in that old collar box that I bought at the Georgetown Flea market. I carried one all the time except when at school. Today that would be scandalous I suppose. The tiny one is a cheapie but I wouldn’t take anything for it. It was my first ever pocket knife-from my grandmother. I still have the massive scar on my left index finger where that Barlow knife took the end of it off. The tip was hanging on by the nailbed only. Hurt like a mother ____ when they sewed it back on. 
And finally-rolling around in the drawer are two great memories. The gearshift knobs from my MG Midget and my Triumph GT-6.

Onward. With Stuff.


DAM said...

General Lee & Jackson links are amazing. Where/when did your Ole Boy of Virginia procure these?

Mrs. Blandings said...

For the record, and I think you know this, but saving your wedding ring is a good idea. My mother ended up with both hers and my father's rings after their divorce. She melted his down to make a pendant, but kept her own. It came to me when she died and while the pieces of their marriage that I remember most were contentious I love wearing that ring knowing how it felt going on rather than coming off.

The pendant was a bad idea in every way.

Anonymous said...

I love all of your posts but there was something about this one that makes it my new favorite. I, too, have several leather "junk" boxes on my dresser - cufflinks from my grandfather, a key to my first Jeep, all sorts of odds and ends that I am sure if my wife opened the box she would chuck not recognizing the sentimental value. And, yes, there is a gold rope bracelet in there as well. Never worn except once in front of the dame that gave it to me in prep school :-P

Kathie Truitt said...

I would love to have the Jackson-Lee cuffs. And yes I'd wear them - with the blouses I get from Brooks Brothers. (I only have one set of cufflinks that belonged to my grandfather). Thanks for sharing. You are unabashedly, unashamedly sentimental and I like that about you. It's what makes you a great writer.

Why aren't you writing a book? Don't give me the "I've got a demanding job and then LFG keeps me busy..."

You just sit down and tackle it a little bit at a time. Or maybe you are writing one and have it hidden away somewhere and not telling us until it's finished. Either way, you, my dear are a writer. Scratch that. I'm a writer, you are a literary. Big difference.

Richard said...

Wow - the crickett cuff links are amazing, and I know they are special to you. However, you did not mention the croc print red watch band. I collect watch bands and I am curious where you bought that?

Ben said...

part of my credo: accumulate only fine things and don't discard them. I may have gotten that from the preppy handbook but it's true.

Very insteresting memories.

Anonymous English Female said...

ADG, I think you should turn the gearshift knobs into cufflinks...

Gail, in northern California said...

Junk to some, treasures for you and all of them trigger memories...oddly enough, as I scrolled down, I was reminded of the opening scenes from "To Kill a Mockingbird". In a way, it was like the beginning of a story, several stories, and that's why I find your posts so interesting.

In the future, don't be so cavalier about throwing away your writings.

ADG said...

DAM ...I think my buddy JTS got them somewhere in Richmond. I’ll send him an email and find out.
Mrs. Blandings...I’ve got a trove of things to pass on to LFG. No pendants.
Anonymous ...Duly noted on the rope bracelet. I don’t think I ever wore it. The woman though-was breathtaking.
Kathie Truitt...I’ll leave the Lee-Jacksons to you in my Will. I am not talented enough to write another book. I co-authored a business book and it “pert near” killed me. You are just too clouded in your judgment of my talents-kinda like my mom! But thanks. I love you for it.
Richard...The red gator things are belt loops not watch bands. But you can easily find gator watch bands in every conceivable colour.
Anonymous English Female...Cufflinks or maybe nipple knockers-I’m torn.
Gail...All of my old writings should be back on my hard drive in another few days.

LPC said...

Just makes me want to hear the clink as each piece rings against the next. And somehow the smell of leather must be there too.

Cuffster said...

Cuff snaps come in pairs? That would explain a lot, like the uselessness of the singleton I have.

Love those old pocket knives. Wish I had any of my old ones. All I have now is my current Victorinox Classic (teeny thing with a 1" blade, nail file, scissors, tweezers, and toothpick). I wonder who has my grandfather's knives?

Gail, in northern California said...

"All of my old writings should be back on my hard drive in another few days." Holy cow! Dare I dream?

Didja' hear THAT, Mrs. Blandings? Patience, my dear. You're in for a real treat if he's willing to re-post.

Kathy said...

I'm the only girl from a houseful of boys. My father gave me a Boy Scout knife that I treasured the Christmas I was nine or ten. I cried when I had to surrender it to an extremely unsympathetic TSA person at Dulles when I forgot that it was in a pocket of my purse as I was boarding a flight.

I also regret not keeping the gear shift knob of my TR6.

Kathie Truitt said...

I'd better not get those Lee-Jackson's til I'm 102.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Gail - noted. Looks like it's turkey sandwiches for dinner all next week.