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21 November 2002

The subject for today's Theme Thursday is "Collections" and it asks that we photograph a collection of something.

I don't "collect" in the usual sense of the term, but I do gather a lot of junk.  I have a huge etagere which is filled with things that have been given to me, or that I've purchased on our travels.  These are not expensive things, but trinkets that bring back memories. 

One shelf (this is my Theme Thursday picture) looks like this:

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As you can see, there's not much rhyme or reason to it.  On this shelf, for example (going left to right, and not identifying everything) there are clay projects that Walt made as a kid and that the kids made in grammar school, a beer stein from Germany that Walt's sister brought back  from a trip, some cheap Wedgewood that we bought in England (2 different trips), a bell that a student brought us from Switzerland, etc., etc.

None of these things is worth anything in monetary value, but they are rich in memories.  There are several shelves like this one and I took a few pictures of individual things that might have some interesting story.

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We bought all of these when we went to Buxton (near Manchester), England for the 2nd annual International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival with The Lamplighters.   The company was performing Princess Ida and Walt was part of the tech crew (they built a set in an alley in a day). 

Best part of this is that the Lamplighters won the festival that year--a wonderful triumph!

This little Santa (which is actually a Christmas tree ornament--but I've never used it as such--was something that Walt's mother, in the days when she could travel, brought back from her trip to China.  She was on the second trip made by the newly refurbished Orient Express, following the old Silk Road, and going through parts of China where the people had never seen caucasians.

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I love this little guy.  I bought him in York...and he's a Viking, since York was famous for its Viking settlement.  I had seen the statue on our first trip to York, but didn't buy it.  When we went back a second time, I knew exactly which store to go to to find it.
I bought this mask in New Orleans when we traveled as chaperons for a high school jazz choir trip.  David was in the choir that year and it ranks up there as one of the most wonderful trips we have taken.  I will never forget watching the kids perform on the edge of the Mississippi River, or an impromptu performance in the French Quarter when they ran into a street entertainer. 

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We bought this hippo at the NY Metropolitan museum.  We were on a trip with a friend to see Jose Carreras perform at Carnegie Hall.  The day after I bought this hippo, we received the telephone call telling us David had been in an accident and was not expected to live.
This is my "Palace of Fine Arts" shelf.  If you look carefully at that rock in the background, you can see part of a face.  This was part of the original Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, when they were rebuilding it as a more permanent structure.  Gilbert, who was a huge fan of the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915 (for which the Palace of Fine Arts was built), picked up this piece during the remodel.  I can't remember where the viewer came from, but it came with a collection of pictures from the Exposition.

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This certainly shows the diversity of this collection of "junk."   On the left is a statue of a woman from Yugoslavia that one of our student visitors brought.  In the middle is a tennis ball that our dog Seymour used to play with before she died.  And the white statue in front was one I bought at the ruins of Hadrian's wall, the Roman settlement, in northern England.  Behind her is a white statue of St. Ann and her daughter Mary, which my godmother gave me for my First Communion, and to the left of that is a bottle with sand art which was brought to us by a Brasilian student.
This is a clay statue that Paul made about 2 weeks before he died.   He had dropped in on a clay class at the Davis Art Center and sat down to play with the kids.  The woman who was teaching the class fired the sculpture and gave it to me at his memorial service.

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Nobody is ever going to fight over this collection when I'm dead and gone, but it brings me pleasure to look back and remember the reasons for each of the items.

Quote of the Day

Memory is a child walking along a seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things.

~Pierce Harris, Atlanta Journal

Photo of the Day

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Walt's mother brought this
from a trip she took to India.



One Year Ago
Get Out of Jail Free...
Everything, good and bad, makes up the cobblestones of the path I walk. If I were to undo any one of them, who knows where I would be right now.

Two Years Ago
I pledge allegiance
Their crime is only that they love each other, but because governments make moral judgements, their love is not considered valid and so they are denied the right to make a life together in either country. There’s something very wrong about that.

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