I’m still working my way through the detritus of a long life left behind in my dad’s bedroom after he was taken to the hospital last November and then moved directly into a nursing home.
It’s draining, beyond simply the physical activity. It’s an intimate process, trying to decipher the meaning of different items and making quick judgements of value, personal, historical, and monetary. It hasn’t been easy.
I think we often do this kind of sorting after someone has died. In this case, my dad is still very much alive although memory impaired. I’m setting aside things to take and ask him about. On a good day, he’ll remember and be able to tell me.
Yesterday I found a list written in longhand on what looks like a roll of cash register receipt paper. The resulting little scroll was in the back of the bottom drawer in his dresser.
At the top, he wrote, “Mothers treasure…Thy will be done.”
I don’t know when this list was written out, or why its items were chosen, or who it was intended for.
So here’s the list. Most items I’ve located. Some still missing. Some chipped, all dusty, all very modest, with the exception of the canoe paddles. But they cut a broad swath through his nearly 96 years.
For the visually inclined, I also made a short video (in Quicktime movie format).
39. Koa Bowl made by Harris Warren
38. Gold Medal, past president & founder, Waikiki Surf Club
37. Sculpted fish by Helen. (I think he’s referring to the small ceramic fish wall plaque with this message–”Early to bed, early to rise, fish all day, make up lies”)
36. Mantle match holder from Vista Street home mantle (his family home was on Vista Street in Long Beach, California)
35. Desk Pen sets
34. Duffer golf award (a joke award)
33. HBGFC 1971 Award (don’t know what this is, and I’m not even sure that I read the initials properly)
31. Dad’s wood block plane (I haven’t found the plane. I did see a small wood block and saved it, just in case).
32. South American pottery vase
31. Miniature brass Catholic church, Peru visit (Not found yet)
30. Conch shell from West end of Molokai
29. WSC Minature Koa canoe paddle (WSC = “Waikiki Surf Club”)
28. WSC Miniature paddles with engraved plate
27. Koa mallet engraved silver (also WSC)
26. Carved letter opener
25. WSC encased medal
24. Coin “cat” bank from home, Long Beach “Kid Days” (a very old cast-iron coin bank in shape of a cat)
23. Silver ash tray from Peru by George Downing (brought back by Downing from early surf trip to Peru)
21. Mercury Club President’s award
20. Desk Pen Set from Rod Welsh 1959 when Honresco (my dad’s company, Honolulu Restaurant Supply Co.) was started
19. Hokulea Award
18. Enclosed President Kennedy 50 cent piece from my mother
17. Gift from Steve Reese, First Day of the rest of your Life. (Steve is his nephew)
16. Brass Social Security Identification
15. Lima Peru award Agusto Weisse
14. Malia Canoe Award
13. Life Member, Long Beach Surf Club
12. Award from LBJC 1938, Salute to the States (I think this is the Long Beach Junior Chamber of Commerce)
11. Picture of my dad 1904 (not found yet)
10. Rattle from Havana Cuba 1931 (collected when he worked on a freighter around South America and up the east coast after graduating from high school)
9. Wire bicycle set from Bonnie (my sister)
8. Diamond Head Trophy (again from the WSC)
7. Silver plated water pitcher from LB home (that’s LB as in Long Beach, CA)
6. Original compass from Nadu K-2 (his boat, originally owned by Duke Kahanamoku).
5. Award “Bananas on tree” from HBGF Club. (I have no idea what club this refers to, and I didn’t find the bananas item anyway.)
3 & 4 Canoe paddles
2. Koa steering paddle
1. Koa canoe paddle
Quite a list.