Friday, 16 April 2010

Dad's Clothes...

Bruce Watson is a wonderful singer and songwriter here in Australia. And overseas, too. Sometimes overseas - he and his wife also have Just The Four Boys so they don't do the overseas bit as much as they want - or as much as they will when all the boys leave their nest!
Check out all about him here on his Myspace page.

He has a really great song about sorting through his father's belongings after he passed away. "Dad's Clothes" has been on my mind a lot this week.
On Sunday we went through The Sweetheart's Dad's stuff, and sorted who gets what.

"We sorted through Dad’s clothes today
Working out just who gets what, and what
we’d throw away...
Sifting through
the sifting sands of our family
We cried a little, we laughed a lot
Telling stories of the things we got
stories of the things we got
We didn’t know just what we’d find
Old fashioned
ties – and ties that bind
We sorted through Dad’s clothes today..."

You can find the whole song on that Myspace link, right hand side of the page and scroll through the songs until you find it and have a listen to it.

Dad had lots of stuff. And only two sons and a daughter to spread it around to...

His family history things that are going to a cousin as she is writing it all up.
Except for his war medals - The Sweetheart as the eldest son got them.

There were some paintings by Granma Inez - a stunning one on ivory of an ancestor painted 'from life in 1912' according to the inscription on the back of the frame.

And some lovely pottery. Dad was a really talented potter - he studied in Japan in the 1970s under some of the great Living Treasure potters, and had a lot of exhibitions over the years. A couple of years ago he told me he had worked out he had made over 40,000 pieces over the years. In which case we have bloody little to show for it all!!!! Only the leftovers that hadn't sold.

Four garbage bags of clothes - Pringle tshirts (silky and shiny and lovely to wear - ask me how I know this); and Ralph Lauren shirts and pants (including a rather loud pair of tartan trews), and a box of silk ties - mostly Italian hand made designer sorts of things, and some still in their wrappings. Jackets - pure wool as soft and tactile as silk and suede, and melton. Hats - a Stetson, and a Panama and a real boater.
And a German wool jacket and hat - the sort of thing you see every Sunday in Bavaria for Sunday Best.

And it all got divided up between the "kids" with some treasures to be divided between their kids.

All very sad really. A whole life relegated to memories. And worse - "where did THIS come from????"...
I have washed all the clothes and taken off his name tags. There is a great mountain of wonderful fine cotton shirts (he was very structured with his wardrobe - they are either variations of blue or of red)  to make into a quilt. There are lovely linen trousers that one of my boys will wear cos for them they don't have the "old man" associations that Pop's clothes have for his grandsons. And I reckon S3 will DIE for that Bavarian coat with it's embroidery and the cute hat.
It looks like THIS and the hat like THIS but of course not a cheap crappy party one but a real one.

I haven't got any photos as I left my camera at home, so you will have to just imagine all the rest. Though not to difficult to imagine Ralph Lauren shirts (though you might do a cat cough cough furball thing on those tartan dacks. They are so awful they are almost worth wearing. Not me - one of those Smellies I reckon).

Going home now, and I am going to STAY there - got far too much to do there really. And spending far too much time doing stuff here...


Lindi said...

Amazing the memories that surface. When we went through my Dad's things, we remembered events where he had worn them. I kept a jacket of his that he wore lots in his last year just so I could snuggle in it when I particularly miss him. I aslo kept a tie of his because I remember him wearing it so many times. :)

quiltmom said...

My father in law loved dress clothes- he had a stroke in 1984 but passed away many years later in 2007. For the first few months after his stroke he wore sweats and pull on clothes but after he recovered some- he only wore button shirts and dress pants. My mother in law found things to help him wear tie shoes and do up buttons( tasks that are difficult with one functional hand). He often wore a red tie- funny the things that you remember.

It will be lovely for you to have a quilt from his clothing. Its nice that others will enjoy some of these belongings too.
With sincere condolences in your family's loss - He sounds like a wonderful man.

AnnieO said...

That's a pretty classy wardrobe--too bad none of the sons really wants any of it. I'm glad you're snagging some of it for a memory quilt.