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Have Trunk will Travel

By Susan Carlisle

trunk

My father never knew his dad. He died two months before my dad was born. My grandfather was from the panhandle of Oklahoma and my grandmother from the green hills of Tennessee. When my grandfather died she moved back to Tennessee. I know a few things about my grandfather but not much. My grandmother didn’t talk about him and I only know the things I do from asking her questions when I was a teen.

A year and a half ago, I was visiting my cousin who lives in the family home place in Oklahoma and she offered me the trunk that belonged to my grandfather. How do I know this for sure? Because his name is written on it in his handwriting. I jumped at the offer telling her that I certainly did want it. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t fit in the car I was driving. I would have to return with a truck. I did that this past week. My husband and I rode to Oklahoma in his pickup, wrapped my precious trunk in a tarp and brought it home.

The trunk has seen a lot of miles — 3,500 this past week alone.  I think the miles that are the most important are the ones where my grandfather used it to travel to college. That’s where he met my grandmother. I’m glad it made that trip.

As an added bonus on my trip I got to visit with my Petit Fours and Hot Tamales sister, Carol Burnside on my way to pick up my trunk.

Do you own something special you would travel miles for?

Carol Burnside - April 1, 2014 - 1:45 am

Oh my, Susan, that trunk is awesome! I have my daddy’s army footlocker/trunk from WWII, but it’s not in as pristine condition.

I’m so glad I got to see you, even if it was way too short a visit. You’ve got an open invitation, girlfriend!

Marilyn Baron - April 1, 2014 - 8:04 am

Very interesting post. Knowing you, I think there will be a story about that trunk in the near future.

Susan Carlisle - April 1, 2014 - 9:00 am

Carol,
I was tickle with what good shape it is in also. I now have it in a bedroom upstairs waiting for just the right place to put it. It is too high for a coffee table. Always good to see you!

Susan Carlisle - April 1, 2014 - 9:01 am

Marilyn,
There just may be. Something about my grandkids hiding in it?

Pam Asberry - April 1, 2014 - 9:28 am

What a thrill it must be to have that trunk in your possession! And I am jealous that you got to see Carol. It is too long between M&M’s! :-)

Susan Carlisle - April 1, 2014 - 9:46 am

Pam,
I was tickle also. I now have my grandfather’s trunk and the trunk that my great grandfather had made for my grandmother when she got ready to go off to college.
It was fun to see Carol.

Sandy Elzie - April 1, 2014 - 10:57 am

Susan, What a wonderful gift your cousin offered you. I have so little of my grandparents and my parents. A couple of things I cherish…and would drive miles and miles and miles for…are my father’s military flag and the handwritten letters he sent to my mother during WWII from the Phillipines.

In fact, I’d drive miles to help any close friend or family member, regardless of the time it took…some things are just too precious to lose. I’m with Pam…waiting to read the story that includes someone’s grandfather’s trunk.

Walt Mussell - April 1, 2014 - 11:47 am

A very meaningful and upflifting gift. I have a few items that belong to my maternal grandfather. He died when I was seven, so I remember very little about him. But, I have an old radio, which reminds me of him. There are also books I recently found that actually belonged to him.

Maxine Davis - April 1, 2014 - 2:13 pm

Susan, I enjoyed your blog. I know you’ll treasure the trunk. I also love the way it looks. No, I don’t have much of their things. I do have an old china cabinet that was my grandmother’s, which we moved from my Mom’s when we sold her house. I like it better than the china cabinet that came with my dining room suite.

Connie Gillam - April 1, 2014 - 4:02 pm

I would travel miles and miles to get pictures of my maternal grandfather’s family. My grandfather died when I was twenty-two. Being young (and immortal LOL), I didn’t ask him questions about his mother and father or about his grandparents. There are very few pictures but I’d love to have copies of those that are around.

Susan, you have a piece of history.

Susan Carlisle - April 1, 2014 - 5:16 pm

Sandy,
You are right too few things are precious. Friendship is one of those things.

Debbie Kaufman - April 1, 2014 - 7:11 pm

LOL, when we spoke I thought you said “truck.” Trunk makes so much more sense. And how cool is that. I have two hand-painted cranberry vases that belonged to my grandmother. Grandma died when I was only five, so I only have a few memories of her. These are a nice bit of “pretty” to remind me of her.

Susan Carlisle - April 1, 2014 - 10:45 pm

Walt,
Those sound like nice treasures of your grandfather. I hope my kids are interested in keeping some of my treasures.

Susan Carlisle - April 1, 2014 - 10:47 pm

I bet the china cabinet is beautiful. It’s often not the things but the memories they bring that is important.

Susan Carlisle - April 1, 2014 - 10:50 pm

Connie,
The older we get them more important the past becomes. I have all kinds of family I wished I’d asked more about and talked more to growing up. For some reason we think we know everything when we are young and the older people know nothing. We miss out on a lot.

Susan Carlisle - April 1, 2014 - 10:51 pm

Debbie,
That is funny that you thought we were going after a truck. We were in a truck but came home with a trunk. The vase sound wonderful. I hope to see them sometime.

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