dee_burris: (Default)
Dee Burris Blakley ([personal profile] dee_burris) wrote2011-08-05 07:38 pm

"No Larry, we're not putting Grampa out with the trash"

Twenty years ago (or maybe a tad more), before I started tracking my ancestors in any serious way, I got a phone call from my second cousin.

He was one of my Balding cousins, the only son of one of my grandmother's brothers.

His father died in 1980, and his mom couldn't live by herself any more. Larry was packing up her house to move her to Tulsa where he lived and could keep an eye on her.

The call was to let me know he had finished the packing and there were some leftovers in the house - bits of furniture and memorabilia, and he wondered if my sisters and I might want some of it.

I said sure, and we made a date for the next afternoon. I called my sisters to let them know.
I can't even remember now if my sisters accompanied me.

But I will never forget what I saw when I pulled into my aunt's driveway.

This portrait, leaning against the garbage cans on the curb.

Fred Chapin, 1858-1938

I grabbed it up as I went in the carport door. I gave it to Larry when I went in.

He looked at me. I told him I found it out by the trash. That's Grampa Chapin.

What he said just floored me.

Dee, that frame isn't worth anything. That's why it's out with the trash.

I may not know much about the monetary value of old portrait frames, but there's one thing I did know.

At that time, that portrait was 100 years old. Larry, we're not putting Grampa out with the trash.
Grampa Fred Chapin's portrait has hung in whatever humble abode I have occupied ever since then.

I had a very interesting text conversation with my nephew today.

It's his 24th birthday and I texted him to wish him a happy one. We kidded back and forth about where his envelope full of cash was, and I told him I'd remember him in my will.

What he said just floored me.

When I die, he wants this portrait of his great-grandmother, Doris Geneva Balding, Fred Chapin's granddaughter.

Doris Geneva Balding Williams, 1907-1998

I think Grampa may have a new home...

This is a Sepia Saturday post.
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[identity profile] 2011-08-06 04:54 am (UTC)(link)
These portraits are EXCELLENT!

OH NO! I am so-o-o-o-o glad you arrived in time to rescue that portrait - SHEESH! But it's very heart-warming to know that your nephew understands the value of these finds and is willing to treasure them always!

(Anonymous) 2011-08-06 02:57 pm (UTC)(link)
I love both the pictures, and am glad they seem to have found their place for the future!
I'm not anonymous - I'm Jinksy!

(Anonymous) 2011-08-06 03:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, my gosh ... I would have went to grab it if I was just walking past ... I'm glad that you found it first. It floors me how unsentimental some can be.

I really enjoyed your SS post, very much.

Kathy M.
Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy

[identity profile] 2011-08-06 03:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Blessings on you both. It reminds me of a portrait that hung in our family room for years. My parents found it somewhere in a house, or an attic, and kept it because my father thought it looked like his father. It wasn't his father, nor any other member of his family, but we adopted him.

[identity profile] 2011-08-06 03:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Both portraits are wonderful! I have yet to find anyone in our family who is interested in the family history but I have hopes of my niece.

(Anonymous) 2011-08-06 06:35 pm (UTC)(link)
Two very fine portraits. Thank goodness someone still wants them. We havn nothing in our families resembling these. Our memeories are likely to be on digital photos only and that's not the same.

[identity profile] 2011-08-06 09:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow! I also am glad you rescued it, if I had driven by I would have rescued it, but so glad family got it and you can identify who it is! And then to hear about your nephew, we all can hope further generations will treasure these things.

(Anonymous) 2011-08-06 09:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Some people just don't appreciate anything old. It's a good thing you were there to rescue it.

(Anonymous) 2011-08-07 03:32 am (UTC)(link)
It's a good thing you got there before the trash collector! Congratulations on a great rescue.

(Anonymous) 2011-08-07 11:04 am (UTC)(link)
A handsome fellow; thank goodness you saved him!

From Alan Burnett :

(Anonymous) 2011-08-07 11:19 am (UTC)(link)
Fred Chapin had such a face of the times : I have several photographs in my collection that could easily be mistaken for him. But that portrait of Doris is very distinctive. A most enjoyable post. Thanks.

[identity profile] 2011-08-07 05:29 pm (UTC)(link)
How sad that he thought the frame the only thing of value -- and even that was negligible. I'm so glad you had an opportunity to rescue the portrait, and that there is one of a like mind in the younger generation of your family. ou definitely have some wonderful treasures worth passing on!

Don't throw Grandpa out!

(Anonymous) 2011-08-08 03:38 am (UTC)(link)
Oh thank goodness Grandpa was saved! What an odd thing though, even it the frame was junk why throw out Grandpa?!