Sunday, August 18, 2013

Antiques, Jewelry, and Howard Hughs

My mother was, what you might call, a preservationist.  She wanted to save everything from the past—books, letters, furniture, clothes, typewriters, and more.  You name it, she wanted to store it.  I did not share this philosophy of life until I read a novel by T. Davis Bunn.

In the novel “Florian’s Gate, “by Bunn, we learn that this gate, Florian’s Gate, is the main entrance to the medieval city of Cracow, Poland. But for Alexander Kantor, now a successful antiques dealer in London, the place holds only one memory. It was here that the Nazis arrested him as a young man.  Years later, while living in London, he learns about the people starving under the cruel, atheistic Communist rule.  He decides, at the risk of his life, to help the hungry people by smuggling their antiques that they had hidden from the government, out to London, and sell them.  Then he smuggles the money back in so they can buy food.  It was then that I started to value old stuff!  I do like food!

Many women love jewelry, (diamonds are a girls best friend, and all of that.)  Chris, my husband, thinks a woman needs to wear jewelry to have a finished look for her outfit.  I don’t share their interest in such things.  You might say I’m a secret Amish or Mennonite.  I just don’t have the patience to take the time to put on earrings or necklaces and certainly not bracelets.  My mom, sister, and daughter never wore much jewelry either.  It must be a genetic thing.  Anyway, after reading “Winter Palace” by T. Davis Bunn, I began to understand that jewelry might have some value other than just being pretty.  I have heard of Russians during the revolution smuggling gems sewn in their clothes out of the country, so that they would have something with which to buy food and shelter.  I do like food and shelter!

Then there is the movie “The Aviator,” which included Howard Hughes obsession with always experimenting with airplanes.  Because of his fixation, his contribution to the knowledge of the United States defense in building airplanes in World War II was invaluable. 

So I plan not to judge anyone’s interests or likes because some day we may need to have some use for these things!

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