Oh no! Not more treasures!

Sep 11, 2022 | 2 comments

“Self,” I said to myself… “It’s high time to get on with this downsizing project!”  It’s a project Nyel and I began several years ago with an eye to leaving the house in understandable condition when it’s our time to shuffle off. “Understandable” translates to getting rid of all of our personal “stuff” — those keepsakes and photos and endless file folders of written material that will mean nothing to those who will be here next.

We made good progress and between the things that went to museum archives and collections, the things that are designated for family members, the things that we took to thrift stores and Good Will, and the detritus we threw out, we  probably redistributed 80% of the items in the garage and our back forty storage area.  But even so, what remains seems daunting.

I began this morning with a heavy cardboard box labeled Dale’s Photos etc. ’98? “Piece of cake,” I thought to myself.  “Those were the years when mom was at Golden Sands and later at the nursing home.  I probably took most of those pictures myself.  They’ll be easy to cull…”

And the first thing I ran across was an envelope sent from Williams, Arizona on March 22, 1931 — addressed to “Miss Dale Espy” in Redlands California and written in my father’s familiar handwriting  Postage: 2 cents.  It turned out  to be a letter written after my not-yet-dad and a friend had hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back while on Spring Break from the University of Redlands.  Two weeks later, on Easter Sunday (April 5th), Dale Espy and Bill Little would announce their engagement.

Hard on the heels of that treasure, I ran across a postcard in my own tidy 22-year-old’s handwriting sent from Perugia, Italy on March 8, 1958.  The picture on the front was of Michelangelo’s “David” and I reported that we (Charlie’s dad and I)) were still crazy about Italy and that “Quad (which was Charlie’s toddler- nickname) is fine.”

Maybe it’s going to take longer to go through this box than expected…


  1. Cassin R Espy

    I’ve found my own feeble attempts at downsizing to be equally daunting. Everything has a memory attached that you can’t bear to part with. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if all you had were useless receipts from some product you ordered to take ten years off????? Or some crumb bugs love letters, that were yucky then, and the past 70 years did nada zero and zilch to improve them????????

    Ah, Sydney, and with the way you find importance in ALMOST EVERYTHING just because you’re interested in everything???????

    Best wishes on this project, cuz, and I hope you find a mysterious note with specific directions to where those rumored Espy diamonds are!

    Much love, Sydney Cass

    • sydney

      There were diamonds???? (Don’t I wish.) Maybe we should trade places for a while — you could go through my “stuff” and I through yours. But, truth to tell, it would probably not make a whit of difference. Interesting and nostalgic are interesting nostalgic. Period. (If you have the bug!) Love to you, dear Cass!


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