Lifetime of paper documented history

Published 12:07 am Wednesday, September 6, 2017

I need to issue an apology, albeit one too late, to my Dad.

I used to fuss at him about saving, what seemed like every scrap of paper he ever touched. Today, I cleaned out his room and within all that paper, I found papers that comprise a massive family history that my cousin Becky worked on for years, the will of my great-great grandmother, who had a business on her own in Andalusia, which was something unusual for a woman back in her day. I found photos from my fifth birthday in Hawaii, during the time he was stationed in Honolulu. There were news clippings of my great-grandmother’s death at age 100, and her son’s death, my grandfather, after being struck by lightning, leaving behind a wife and 12 children.

A news article about my twin sisters being born on the way to the Opp hospital, in a Volkswagen! There was information about seven brothers, our kin, who went off to the Civil War and some made it back, settled here, while others headed to Texas. I was brought to tears when I discovered Mama wasn’t the only one who saved cards. Dad saved our cards to him too, as well as gifts from years ago. Then, high on a top shelf, I found a series of newspapers, in almost pristine condition, chronicling the week John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I admit, I stood there shamed-faced, as I realized Dad wasn’t hoarding paper, he was saving history, our history, from both sides of our family and things happening in the wider world as we grew up.

I am sorry for ever fussing. Thank you, Dad, thank you so much. Please give Mama and Brother a hug for me, I miss you all so much.


Marsha Phillips