In 1962, soon after the establishment of the Berlin wall, I toured Berlin
and saw both sides of the wall. Soon after it was taken down in 1969, my
wife gifted me with a chunk of the actual wall. It is a memento of the
visit in 1962 and the long term effect on my German friends.
I think this great work came to me through my in-laws. It is a 25
volume set comprising the 1931 Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Encyclopedia.
Each volume measures only 4” x 6” by less than one inch, but the information
content is enormous due to 7 point type and very few illustrations. It is
fun to read the state of knowledge just before I was born and compare it to that
The Space Shuttle and Shuttle on a Boeing 747 models (toys) came to me
when I was working Shuttle activities in the 70s and 80s. Based on their
condition, I suspect the kids had them and they ended up in my “toy box” when
the kids outgrew them.
I’m pretty sure that nearly everyone who worked on Shuttle activities can
sport a Certificate of Recognition for their efforts. Here is mine, dated
1978, with an auto-signature by the Chairman, Inventions and Contributions Board
The Boeing award “For Outstanding Support to the OCS Program” was given to
me at my retirement luncheon and was of course well deserved. By the way,
what is this Boeing outfit? I went to work for Rockwell! (Just
kidding, of course.)
In about 2009 I sought help transcribing and translating Swedish words.
Kjell was one of the Swedes who was very generous with his time and efforts and
helped me a lot. We became email friends and shared experiences and in
2010 Kjell decided to bring his wife, their son, and the son’s girlfriend to HI
for a vacation. It was Kjell’s 60th birthday and he wanted to
attend a luau. He invited me to share the experience with them.
Kjell brought a bottle of Cloudberry wine to me from Grythyttan where some
of my father’s ancestors lived. I don’t usually save wine bottles but this
one is special.
We two shared the experience of each having a granddaughter after they
were here. We shared pictures and anecdotes. Kjell developed
abdominal cancer and had use for the online write-up of my colon cancer, since
he went through many of the same things.
Kjell spent many months with treatments and partial remissions, in and out
of the hospital, with artificial means of input and output, and finally died in
On the right is a Swedish love knot, sent to me by a Sandin-side cousin
who lives in the Chicago area.
In 1994, Stuart and I and a friend of Stuart’s did some travel in South
America that included Machu Picchu and other standard tourist stops. At
one point I got into negotiations with a vendor of water colors for this llama
and she wouldn’t meet my ridiculously low offer. I walked away without the
treasure. On the trip home, a taxi driver in Quito drove away with my
suitcase including all the trinkets I had purchased.
When I got back to CA I received a cylindrical post from Stuart.
Behind my back, he had purchased the llama painting and mailed it to me after we
returned. I don’t remember how much I had offered and I don’t know how
much Stuart paid, but I was taken by the painting and was very glad to get it
since I had lost all the other trinkets. I’m sure the elegant framing cost
far more than the painting itself, but I like it!
The container holding a sheaf of wheat came from my in-laws. My
father-in-law called it a “squit”. He said it was used to “squat and
shit”. I think it has a certain character or maybe essence about it.
This little piece of thermal cloth used to be called a receiving blanket.
It was acquired some 40 years ago for JR and/or Stuart when they were
babies/infants. How it ended up in my pile, I don’t know, but it is just
right as a chest cover for a nap on a winter day. I think by now all of
the infant juices have been washed out but it has small holes in it and the
satin edging has been refastened more than once. Last time I had to sew all the
My parents observed their 50th anniversary in Phoenix, AZ in
1967. I was working in California at the time and drove over to spend the
occasion with them. My gift to them was this gold (plated) coffee service.
Years later, when I closed the sale of their house after they had moved to a
nursing home, I took just a few things as memorials and this set was among them.
It is well over 40 years old and I haven’t taken very good care of it, but it
The attentive reader will notice that many of the
items featured in this series have no or very little real value.
Nevertheless, I’m hoping that my heirs will use the presentation as a
kind of catalog and put their marks on items that have some interest to them.
Others are welcome to make bids (starting at $444) for items that tickle