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Carol Perkins: Mining for future treasures

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By Carol Perkins

For the last few weeks, I have been going through closets and drawers at my mother's, looking for nothing in particular but uncovering treasures. I found a flimsy dress with holes in the back, tucked inside a bag in the bottom of her mother's chest.

"Why have you kept this?" I asked, holding it above my head. It was a perfect example of the styles of the 40s. She replied, "That was my wedding dress." She and my dad, who was not long home after five years in the Pacific during WWII, married at the courthouse in Glasgow. A treasure I had never seen or remembered.

Picturing our parents as teenagers or newlyweds sometimes is uncomfortable. We like to think of them as parents and not as fun-loving teens who played the jukebox at local restaurants, smoked cigarettes (it was classy back then), piled in a car with their friends, and went to community gatherings where music shook the hills. We certainly don't picture them dating anyone but each other.

While looking through each picture of my mother as a young woman, I wanted to know. She had told me many things, but there was more to learn. I knew about her days at Lindsey Wilson.

She and a couple of other young ladies (One was Virginia Vanzant, who was already married to Albert). "We'd leave Columbia and go through Greensburg to pick him up." Albert was the first editor (and owner) of the Edmonton Herald, which was printed in Greensburg at the time.

Pictures of her two older brothers, Leon and Russell, leaning against a car brought on other stories.

"If I wanted to go somewhere that Papa (her dad) thought was questionable, I could go if Leon and Russell went, too."

Almost every piece of furniture has a story. She had told me about a rocker that belonged to her grandmother, but I had forgotten. There's a clock that belonged to her uncle that he had given her years before he died. I had forgotten that, too. There's a desk my uncle Walter made and several pieces my father, Henry, built when he went through his woodworking phase.

When I was younger, I listened to family stories and they went in one ear and out the other. With age, I am more interested in our family history, in the treasures that belonged to my ancestors, and the memories my mother can share.

My goal is to create a small collection of stories about my family and pass this book to my grandchildren. Right now, they aren't interested, but one day they may find it a "treasure."

Carol's most recent book, based on a true story, The Case of the Missing Ring, is available through Amazon, both paperback and ebook. You can contact her at

This story was posted on 2021-05-20 14:02:58
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