Roth on the hypnotic materiality of the world
Ornament Series: Handmade

Ornament Series: The Old Bell

The other day my sister posted to Facebook a photo from Christmas 1977 of me and Grandpa Jones.  

  Me holding Old Bells

In the photo I'm holding a couple of bell ornaments.  These were among some of the first ornaments my parents ever purchased.  They are cheap little things.  The hangers are basically little twisties that you hook over the end of a branch.  The bells themselves have a fuzzy felt-like feel.  They do not tinkle.

My parents purchased them when they were a young married couple living in Honolulu.  They adorned their first tree, which was a three foot table top tree.  It was also bright white, back when those were first in style.

They purchased the tree and ornaments right before Thanksgiving.  After they had Thanksgiving dinner together, just the two of them, they put up the tree and the ornaments.  Then they changed into their swimsuits and went to the beach.  Mom always delighted in telling that story.

This tree was still around when Kelli and I were kids.  Being bright white it looked out-of-date and kinda dorky, but was fun for us kids.  It was always our tree to decorate and play with, including all the old ornaments.

There are only a few of the bells left.  I make sure that at least one every year finds its way onto our tree as a reminisence of my newlywed parents and their Hawaiian Christmas.

Old Bell


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