Friday, March 17, 2006

Grianghraf An Teaghlaigh

That's Gaelic for "family pictures," sort of. Slainte agus saoghal agat on this St. Patrick's Day.

I have not even scanned the papers for the fresh horror of the day, but instead, being inspired by Homer's pictures of old family dishes, forthwith, some old family material culture of my own.

This is my great great grandmother's teapot. I'm realizing now that I don't know her first name, as my grandma always just called her Grandma Keller. Come to think of it, she doens't really talk about her grandmother much; her grandfather (John Alfred Shad Keller, Esq., J.D. from Ohio State, thankyouverymuch) seems to occupy a much higher pedestal in her personal pantheon. Anyway, this is the unnamed wife's teapot, which had sat on a small sideboard in my grandparents' formal sitting room for as long as I can remember. My uncle and I always carped about who was going to get it, since we both wanted it. When I visited over the summer Grandma wrapped it up in some flannel sheet scraps and put it in my hands. Ha ha!

Here is another object of childhood fascination, a wooden box filled with teeny tiny dominoes, each about the size of a half-stick of Trident gum. I have no idea who it belonged to, but I always liked it.

And this is a gaggle of cast iron toys that belonged to various dead ancestors in their childhoods. They have been on the shelf in the entry hall forever, dutifully taken down and scooted around on the floor at every family gathering before we headed up to attic to play with the actual fun toys our dad and uncles had when they were kids.

The attic closets were treasure troves of fun. That's where the old Carrom board was, and the tattered board games like Uncle Wiggly (dug it!) and Pirate and Traveler (dug it so much I nabbed it to take to college with me!) and some game involving nested rings you rotated to drop marbles from the outermost to innermost rings (don't remember the name, but totally dug it!). What the hell was that one called? This is going to bug me now. There was also a set of ceramic dog figurines that I liked to take out and arrange by breed and size (apparently preparing me for my career of arranging prehistoric spear and arrow points by type and size), and some oversize floor puzzles I put together over and over again as a wee tad.

My favorite games these days are Quiddler, Cranium, Mad Gab, and several different card games. Never learned bridge and don't intend to--why bother with all that ritualistic crap when you can play several hands of euchre in the same amount of time?



glenda said...

Happy St. Pat's Day from another Irish. Nice family heirlooms! Glenda

Anonymous said...

Go raibh mile maith agat! from someone whose at least 1/8th O'Malley (O'Maighligh?).

Have good days now and forever.

Anonymous said...

That was from me!