Monday, December 1, 2008

Reverberating Memories

The Stratford family maintained their farm with their 5 children. On special occasions they would receive guests in the main room displaying their culture and wealth to the community. Being able to take a break from farming and relax with the “upper crust” bringing people together and helping entertain was a welcome break. The chocolate pot became a utensil to show culture and assist with bringing people together. Communities were small and farms were typically farther apart than our homes today. You knew your neighbors and you could “call” on them if you needed something. In contrast we don’t know the people on our block today.

The Jones took over the farm in 1960. Today they use their chocolate pot when they bring their family together. The pot is no longer an item to show wealth but a touch from the past to bring tradition to the youth. Distances have increased and neighbors are more distant. The Children live in other cities and states but they all know the taste of the chocolate treat as part of their holiday tradition. The fine china, the “real” silver, the silver chafer, and the family star for the tree are all brought out of storage and removed from the display cases for the celebration. These are no longer daily use items due to their worth and delicate nature, so, they are preserved to continue the tradition in generations to come.

Having history touch future generations helps put a thread between us and the past. Preserving ideas and traditions is part of what we are doing here, but, the rest of the point here is to put these ideas in our own tongue and express ourselves.

Reverberations of an object in a space throughout the community and across the country shows how a small object can bring us back to a space and remember an event.

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