[lit-ideas] Re: It's gone quiet

  • From: "Julie Krueger" <juliereneb@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2008 03:24:49 -0500

Having come upon my Great Grandmother's text for her 1927 course in
cosmetology, I believe that I have learned the origin of the electric
chair.  I have to lay my hands on the book again to quote it -- I
believe it's in a box along with her antique basket of hair devices
and the first lock of hair she ever cut off a customer's head.  A year
and a few months on, I am still going through my Mothers' things (it
is definitely becoming a life-long career), and finding the most ....
interesting.... things.  (Forgive me if I've mentioned this before --
I have spent several months wandering lost through the wonder and
detritus of her life.)  'Course, there *are* some 1920's Ladies Home
Journals (the ads are enough to keep me laughing all day), a (real)
slate my Great Grandfather used in grade school when he was a child,
signed with his name & dated 18something (before the advent of now
antiquated paper & pen, when PDAs and laptops were not even a gleam in
the teachers' eyes).  There are also bank statements from the 1970's.
And every greeting card and piece of correspondence anyone in the
family ever received, every picture ever snapped, every slide, every
reel of film, every bit of her childrens' homework from public school,
and glass....milk glass, depression glass, Avon decanters, chachkas
beyond belief, blown glass miniatures, clip on earrings, cookie tins
filled with random buttons, mounds of fabric & dozens of shoeboxes of
sewing patterns (her seamstress days), hundreds of paints oil &
acrylic, and brushes (her painting days), sheet music from the
beginning of the century to the present -- wonderful and tacky alike,
hand-painted China her Dad brought over from Japan when he was
overseas in WW2, dried flowers (my God, the dried flowers!), at least
4 book-boxes (the size box you pack books in) of recipes clipped from
newspapers & magazines over the last 5 decades (never mind the
hundreds of cookbooks), enough wrapping paper to last me from now
until eternity if I celebrate every cultural holiday that exists, 148
pairs of shoes at last count (some of which she wore in College but
look like they just came off the rack at the store -- she was
incredibly meticulous and "dainty"), 5 large hanging closets filled to
the brim with garments owned from her College days to present, enough
scarves to wrap around the world if tied end to end, dozens of skeins
of embroidery thread & patterns & material, dozens of skeins of
crochet & knitting yarn and half finished projects...  and that's just
what's in my back bedroom, several dozen quilts in varying stages of
completion.  And a few thousand books.  I won't talk about the
furniture right now.  I.  simply.  can't.

But I do think that I have discovered how someone stumbled upon the
fact that electric chairs were ... well ... dangerous.  It was a
misguided attempt at treating facial complexion issues.  Trust me on
this one.

Julie Krueger
rapidly becoming a ruthlessly discarding minimalist (my trash man hates me)

On Thu, Apr 3, 2008 at 3:00 AM, Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >> Erin has an electric chair?
>  Another game you win by losing ... musical electric chairs!
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