The Family Heirloom My Family Doesn’t Know About
Weird Man Finds Solace in Ordinary Object
I never thought much about family heirlooms. My parents, two brothers and I lived in a three-bedroom, one bathroom apartment with my grandmother, who owned the two-unit building. We weren’t the kind of family who could afford things we would consider heirlooms, at least not in the traditional sense. I would have considered a second bathroom a family heirloom. 6 people + 1 bathroom = no privacy
My parents are in their mid-eighties now. My brothers have each laid claim to one item we boys grew up with. For my younger brother, it is the solid gold coin pendant that was ever-present around my grandmother’s neck. Though now in my mother’s possession, my brother claims my grandmother promised that he could have it once our mother died. Fine with me.
My older brother has his eyes on the vintage slot machine that has been sitting in the building’s basement for more than fifty years. As kids, we begged my dad for quarters to play the machine, whose overly generous payout ratio kept us playing for hours. It would make a nice conversation piece in any rec room. My brother can have it with no argument from me.
Though what my brothers have chosen as keepsakes from our early years are worth thousands of dollars, what I have chosen is worth so much more. And I came upon it much by accident. Continue Reading…