Antique Memory Lane


image found on e-bay, but a near-exact twin to the one I own.

In the humid, over-populated jungles of Thailand, baby elephants play kick ball with a group of GI’s while hooch girls scrub linens in giant mud puddles with the supernatural ability to get them cleaner than when they were brand new.  It’s 1968 and there’s a war still going on right next door in Vietnam that’s got the whole world in an uproar, but I’m just a piece of hobilliardcane3llow wood being lovingly carved with dragons.  I’m fitted with a brass tip and handle that hides my dual identity inside.  I’m a Billiard Cane, and I know not yet if I will be clutched in the hands of some hustler in Bangkok or set on a table in the open market, while hordes of people shout all around me, bargaining for wares.  I never expected to be given to one of the GI’s, to find myself traveling the world, from Thailand to Germany to America… what a life!  Who’s turn is it to rack?

Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt am Main


Hanau Main-Kinzig-Kreis

Bell bottoms and disco have taken over the world, but I can’t dance or find any spark of passion in the day’s fashion.  I’m an elegantly crafted, lovingly detailed piece of art.  Okay, functional art, but still.  Do you see the crisp black swirls all about my body?  I am a masterpiece of china and my companions happily follow suit, boasting their vibrantly painted coat of arms for each town in the state of Hesse, Germany.  I am the most superior, for I am the pot that lords over my entire tea set, proudly displaying the coat of arms for Frankfurt am Main.  It is no shame that I was born and raised in Hanau, rather than my city of design.  We are in the home of the Brothers Grimm, can you see their statue there in the town square?  To my surprise, it is an American woman who finally purchases me from my display shelf and takes me home… to America?  Humph. I was meant for quiet afternoons in the parlor, not flying.

Okay, so the first two items are not the oldest things that I own, but they were the first two things I thought of when I read today’s Prompt.  Why?  Because, they have a history that’s personal to me.  My father was the GI that brought home the billiard cane, and as you’ve probably guessed, my mother was the woman who brought home the German tea set.  And a kid.  And a cuckoo clock… hey, they say you never leave Deutschland empty handed.  Unfortunately, the tea set is being held by a dear friend for safekeeping so I didn’t have access to it for a photo op.  I also have old 45s that once belonged to my grandmother from back in the 30’s and 40’s, and my mother’s baby doll that is super creepy so stays hidden in storage.  The oldest thing I own is actually…

confederate money

Smoothbore fire and musket shots do not frighten me.  I am but paper.  An empty promise for something greater.  In the pockets of gentlemen and gentleladies of these Confederate states, I’m known as a “Greyback.”  I will survive the catastrophic war that is tearing our great nation asunder, brother fighting against brother, and the very groundwork of our forefather’s shuddering under the weight of our civil strife, but I will become worthless in the eyes of the banks.  Only in a couple of centuries or so, will I ever mean anything to anyone.  Perhaps to a collector, or where I currently sit under protective sheets of plastic on a shelf riddled with other genealogical discoveries…

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