Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Self on the Shelf, 2
Last week I started writing about this odd portion of one of my bookshelves, shelves that are everywhere else stuffed with (surprise!) books. Here's some more ...
Sitting in the back, in the middle, is a character jug from Royal Doulton. We actually have quite a collection of them, increasing over the years because for a long time they were anniversary gifts I gave to Joyce. (I think I'll do a post about them one of these days.) Anyway, this one is of Frankenstein's creature, and if you look at the head popping up out of it, you can see it's a little Frankenstein-creature puppet that now lives inside that jug. (The little thing that appears to be poking the puppet's eye is a tag attached to the creature, a tag explaining what it is.) If you visit this blog now and then, you know of my, uh, obsession with Mary Shelley, with Frankenstein, and with just about everything associated with her, that book, her life, her family, her friends, her ...
Immediately in front of the Royal Doulton piece is a little pin box that once belonged to my mother. It's made of myrtle wood--a favorite of my parents since it grows on the Oregon Coast, which they loved--and where they built a retirement home in Cannon Beach, followed by another one in Seaside when their bodies began to fail them. Mom and Dad had many myrtle wood pieces--from salad bowls to candlesticks to bookends to ... a pin box. I haven't opened it in ... forever. And so I'm going to do so right now ...
... PAUSE WHILE I GET AND OPEN THE BOX ...
And guess what was inside? A $100 bill? A treasure map? A rare postage stamp? Pins? An ancient coin worth a fortune? The missing link (cuff)? A photograph of me as a baby? My lost bowling ball?
There was nothing inside. (Remember Geraldo Rivera opening the "vault" of Al Capone on national TV, April 21, 1986? Here's a YouTube link to that embarrassing moment witnessed by some 30,000,000 viewers!)
Fortunately, only Joyce and I are in the house right now, and she did not witness my Less-Than-Grand Opening.
So ... back it goes the myrtle wood pin box on the shelf.
In front of it is a ceramic piece--a little bug-eyed (exopthalmic!) boy kicking a soccer ball. I think this came from the eccentric collection of sundries that once belonged to my great-uncle Bill Lanterman, brother of my maternal grandmother, Alma Lanterman Osborn. His was the first funeral I ever attended (or, at least, the first I can recall). It was in Youngstown (where the Lantermans had lived and farmed on Four Mile Run Road for a long time). I was sitting near the front. July 1951. I was not five and a half years old. We had driven all the way from Enid, Oklahoma, to be there for the service.
And while I sat there, looking at the (open) coffin, I was positive I could see Uncle Bill breathing! I elbowed Mom, told her. She shushed me--as only Mom could do. But I was positive. I nudged again. Told her again: He's breathing! Got mega-shushed.
Later, she told me that it was my own breathing I was "seeing" in Uncle Bill--my own up and down, etc.
I'm still not sure.
Yes, I am, but the Kid-in-Me still says: He's alive! The Kid-in-Me crying out like Victor Frankenstein at the moment of creation.
To be continued ...