Recently he sent me our grandmother's book Before the Dawn of Dinosaurs. (We think she probably used it to teach her junior high kids in the Wellston School District. And if my cousin were here, he'd most likely crack wise and say she was teaching in the classroom just minutes after the last Triceratops beat feet out of St. Louis. I wouldn't say that, of course. She was sensitive about her age.)
His further excavations yielded this:
A collection of silver plate that probably belonged to our family. The servers on the right were rumored to come from Germany, the natal home of 98 percent of both sides of my tree. (I'm thinking our grandmother picked them up when she sailed there to "close the estate" of her father, who had died when she was very young and living in Mexico. In writing that, I realize we are more complicated, geographically speaking, than I first realized. I'll stop with the genealogy before I lose too many of you.)
The serving fork is my favorite:
I like a grape cluster when dishing up sole meunière. It's pretty and completely over the top.
The only other pieces that match this one are seafood forks. No spoons or knives, leading me to believe that silver, like land and hearts, is something to be broken up and passed on to family and friends. (Or tossed inadvertently down the incinerator chute in one's New York apartment.)
I've been a bit too busy to polish up the collection to see it in its most extravagant form. When I do, we'll have a show and no tell.
Until then, thanks to John for sharing these treasures. It means a lot. Thank you.