Monday, July 03, 2006

Attica


Which one did he love?
I have always wondered.
Which girl held his dreams like a bouquet, and broke his heart - more than a century ago?
Attics hold the memories of a house.
Ric commented yesterday how attic accumulation speak of hopes and regrets, dreams and memories. Of things and ambitions set aside or concluded, completed or defeated. And that every item has a history, a story.
One discovers much about the structure and history of a house from the attic.
One may discern original partitions, note abandoned chimneys levelled below the roofline, calculate age and engineering from square nails and spikes and the size and cut of its knee boards and stringers.
The entrance to our attic used to ascend from somewhere near the back stairs. Now, the attic stairs rise from the remains of the sewing room at the front of the house.
And at one time, the attic was "finished."
More than a repository for the out-worn and the out-dated, cast-off junk or "not needed on voyage" material, the attic provided beds for the extra children attached to visiting family, a bedroom for the handyman or the nephew/young cousin from the country attending the town high school or college.
Among the detritus and debris under the eaves, I found, along with other ephemera, an Announcement of Courses, Railway Engineering and Railway Management, 1900-1901, Purdue University.
And the torn picture and jeweller's card pictured above.

Reminder: Flood continues her Monday blogger/writer interviews.
Also, Bonnie has resumed her Maass workshop posts and has a link to a comprehensive gallery of flood devastation photographs.

20 comments:

jason evans said...

Attics are such amazing places. The air of past years sleeps in the dust.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Wow! Is Blogger being a poop? Where is everybody?

I lament the fact that I built my house...well not that fact but the fact that it is not old and there are not things laying in wait to be found.

Oh, and did I forget to mention, my attic entrance is a ceiling panel in my bedroom closet! Never put anything up there.

No mystic to that! But I am jealous of people who have old attics to explore!

M.E Ellis said...

I always think when looking at old photgraphs, that at the time it was taken, they had no idea years later people would look back at them and wonder.

Do I make sense?

I mean, the way they lived was so different to us. Simple things gave them pleasure. Making daisy chains in the garden or sewing, whittling wood.

And if we told them when they sat for that photo, that many years later it would be scanned by a 'machine' and loaded onto something called 'the internet' so that many people could see them, they wouldn't believe it.

Amazing how times change.

Another great post, as I'm thinking of girls in petticoats and straw bonnets, seated on a rug having a picnic while parents watch on from their lawn chairs, a rich house in the background...and of course, the nasty gardener lurking behind a bush.

I might just have a story brewing...

:o)

Bernita said...

Attics are patient places, Jason.

It's a holiday/long weekend for many, Bonnie.
Now, you and I... they say there's no rest for the wicked...

I sometimes wonder if they did, Michelle, otherwise why - in so many old photographs and daguerreotypes - do they look so terrified...

jason evans said...

Oooh, Bernita, what a great line!! "Attics are patient places." That's a story hook if ever I heard one.

Ric said...

Ah, the hook for thousands of Victorian novels, the forgotten love letters, tied in a satin ribbon that reveals the man you thought was your father may not necessarily be...
Or that wizened old woman in the wheelchair downstairs was once a wild child, disregarding her parent's choice of suiters...
Or the old trunk of Nazi memoribilia...
Perhaps beneath an old hat box, a working computer far beyond anything available at Best Buy?

Attics are wonderful places.

Bernita said...

Glad you liked it, Jason.
Thank you.

Sorry you think it is a cliche, Ric.
My attic, I'm afraid, is a garage sale waiting to happen.
BTW, that was a touching story you posted about school. Don't think the children needed to be "taught", think they already learned and understood something very vital.

Gabriele C. said...

No attics for me. War, flight, bombs, escaping the communists, leaving behind everything ... that's my parents' and grandparents' history.

Ric said...

Not a cliche, no, no, no. A treasure trove of memory.
I was simply pointing out the time-worn narrative device used extensively years back. One that could still be useful except it would send Miss Snark quickly to the gin pail.

Carefully taught - like the man who complains to everyone who will listen how the Canadians are going to take over the world and doesn't understand why his children go bananas when he wants to take them to Niagara Falls for vacation.

Bernita said...

Exile and the loss of familar, connecting, identifying things is bitter hard to bear, Gabriele.
Many families at some time in their histories have known it.
Mobile families, new types of house construction and disposable trends also make attics anchronistic.
Garages don't have the same ambience.

Ric, I am dim. I will be dim all week.Is that why I don't follow, or is there something queer in someone's attic?
BTW, you mean someone's tumbled to the Plan?

M.E Ellis said...

LOL @ terrified!

Maybe the camera was a new thing when their pic was taken and they sat waiting for it to blow up, God bless them! It must have been frightening when you think about it, that flash of light.

Aww. Just awww!

:o)

Ric said...

Bernita, I simply think we are one frequency off from each other today. Happens in long term relationships.

I always told my kids that the attack will come on the Fourth of July because we won't hear the bombs for the fireworks.

Bernita said...

That's the real reason why, Michelle...was just being facetious.

Probably right, Ric...remember, I love you anyway.

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