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An appreciation of ethnic jewellery and adornment
A little piece I wrote on my dad in my blog, I only hope I can find such great things....
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Thank you for sharing your wonderful story Cordelia and Ethnic Embellishments. I thoroughly enjoyed reading both. What interesting lives your ancestors lead!
Loved that blog, Cordelia. My grandmother got a divorce in the 1940's when that wasn't done. She raised two daughters who both went to graduate school. She opened shops in Massachusetts and even owned a nightclub and antique stores in Puerto Rico, until she was robbed for the third time at knife point. She taught herself everything from pewter work to stained glass to refinishing antique furniture to silver and goldsmithing. She traveled the world collecting amazing items from all continents to sell in her stores. At 6 years old, I was gluing glass into antique platinum Art Deco ring settings, with her smiling over my shoulder.
When she was 17, she had an offer to go flying, but her Swedish immigrant father refused to let her go because flying wasn't proper for girls.... It took her a long time, but she surprised her two daughters one day after he 65th birthday...by taking them up in an airplane that she piloted solo! She went flying again on her 90th birthday and this summer, she just turned 100.
My great grandfather came from Sweden not speaking a word of English. He worked his way though law school while working as a night policeman, got shot and was allowed to take his exams late (getting the best marks of all his classmates). He went from lawyer to judge and finally sat on the Massachusetts Supreme Court as chief justice. When someone suggested he run for the Senate, he said no, politics were too dirty for his taste! Somewhere there is a photo of my grandmother sitting on Calvin Coolidge's lap when she was little. Needless to say, the love of antique and ethnic jewelry skipped a generation and went from my grandmother to me. I only hope that my daughter takes after me, though as her third word was "bead", I think we're safe!
Yes, it is always later that we really appreciate our parents, when we can understand them properly. I want to do so many things with him now, ask him so many more questions.. but its hard as he is quite ill now. He loved so much giving me these photos and his old spirit came back for a little while.
Thank you for this wonderful essay. In the end, everybody has to forgive their parents and admire what they were able to accomplish because we realize that they did the best they could do just as we do for our own children. What an accomplished and exciting life they lead -- I think I might have wanted to try Bangladesh, however, before I retired -- it seems a fascinating and energetic place.
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