Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sharing a Life through Ephemera

Back this summer, I wrote a blog entry about my love of estate sales and how, if the sale is set up just right, you can get a glimpse into the life of the person(s) who used to live there.  It is quite fascinating, peering into one's personal effects in such a way.

But there's another way that can happen - almost directly!  Last Tuesday my friend Carolyn made the 90-minute trip up to my place and we had a marvelous play date.  If you're reading this and you know Carolyn, then you know how prepared she is.  And last Tuesday was no exception - not only did she bring all of her ATC supplies, but all of her soldering equipment and a HUGE box of ephemera for picking (YAY for me!).

And it was in this box that I could see a story unfold. 

Carolyn was given this enormous box of stuff by her parents, whose friends thought she might like all of it.  (funny thing about we ephemeraologists - when word gets out that you like old paper, you're bestowed with an abundance of it.  It's marvelous).  And oh my lord, did this man save EVERYTHING!

I don't even know the gentleman's name, but there's an amazing timeline set before me:  Penn State programs from the 30s, Civil Service brochures, and a TON of Westinghouse engineering magazines and pamphlets, where he was a civil engineer, from wartime through the Fifties.  There is even an entire folder of lawn care brochures.  Keep in mind, this stuff was probably just thrown in a box; it was Carolyn's meticulous museum-quality organization and categorization of the ephemera that made the timeline come to life.

In my last post, I talked about how generous Doppelganger Brian is.  Now it's my turn to say the same about Carolyn.  Thank you for coming up, and THANK YOU for sharing your wealth (even though I didn't take enough, according to you!)!  :D
P.S.  I didn't even begin to touch on the fact that Carolyn taught me how to solder that same day!  She has now created a monster.  Maybe Santa will bring some lead-free solder!  And check out the awesome ornament I made under Carolyn's tutelage (it's Carolyn's design too, by the way):


  1. Carolyn the Monster-Maker! Her monsters create some lovely thingys!

  2. It's alive! It's alive! Mwahahahahahaha! But seriously, Mel, that stuff has been sitting in a box in my closet for 3 or 4 years doing nothing, and was probably sitting in a basement for decades before that, so it has finally found a good home! (And honestly, you would have been sucked into the whole soldering thing soon enough without my help, I'm sure!)