If you have information, stories, photographs, etc., to share about anyone in my family, please contact me - howardka at earthlink.net. If you use anything from this blog, please contact me for permission to post/use elsewhere. I don't mind sharing but would like credit for these original posts and family photos.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mama's Old Suitcase of Treasures

Happy New Year!

On January 1 and 2 I spent time sorting through an old suitcase that belonged to my mother. My sister, Kimberly, found it last year and brought it to a family meeting in Tallahassee last July. Keith took a few things from it and I quickly scanned those items before he left. I took the remaining items in the suitcase (and the suitcase) home with me. I briefly looked at a few photos inside and put the suitcase in a visible place to remind me I had work to do. I finally got to it months later and I'm glad I did. Walking down memory lane is a lot of fun!

I found lots of treasures . . . photos of my English family from the 1940's and 1950's, cards sent from England for my mother's 21st birthday, a Firestone receipt that showed toys my brother and I got for Christmas in 1949 and 1952, proof of addresses prior to my parents buying their first house, menus from the ship "Queen Mary" when my mother and brother came over from England to the United States, my baby books, and much, much more. My genealogist heart is overflowing!

After looking at everything inside, I decided to sort into piles that made sense: photographs, taxes, Navy stuff, Firestone, miscellaneous receipts, and more. That will help when I scan, and I've got a lot of scanning to do.

The photographs were quite interesting. Most I remember seeing when I was a little girl. I saw them many times, and I'd ask, "Who's that?" I wish I could remember a lot more of what Mama told me because many of the photos have nothing written on the back. She had several formal wedding group pictures of family and friends and then pictures of children of some of those friends. There are photos of her Land Army friends. I found one of my good childhood friend, Billy, who died when he was 10 or 11, and another of my next door neighbor, Becky and her mother, Hazel.

When you look at the photographs of the suitcase, look for my mother's name and address on the inside of the top. The suitcase itself is small:  17 1/2" w x 10" l x 5" h. I wonder if she packed my brother's baby clothes in it for the long trip from England to Alabama.

My sisters, brothers and I often talk about how Mama saved EVERYTHING (well, almost everything), but I'm so glad she did. She left us with with reminders of our everyday life.

Old handkerchiefs on the left and Mama's old purse on the right

You can see one of my baby books on top, compliments of Peninsular Life Insurance Company



  1. Karen, this is a terrific post which I'm just getting to. Loved everything about it. I suggest you make your pictures extra large so we can really see them. Fantastic stuff.