Sunday, November 13, 2011

"Good luck, sir."

I realize that "Liza" is not a common name. However, it's no "Apple" or "Banjo" or "Zuma Nesta." I don't have an intelligent way to articulate what I'm thinking, so I'll just leave it at: I don't get weird names, names that seem picked or made up purely for the sake of being different.
My great grandfather's name was Thurston. My dad called him Pa Sewell and I remember CLT talking about how much he loved being around him when he was growing up. If I ever have a son, I'd like to see "Thurston" in his name somewhere.

My grandmother, affectionately known by most as "Mama," recently handed down to me two Thurston-related gifts that I absolutely love. The first was a pair of books that belonged to Pa Sewell in the early 1900s: a 1915 edition of Ivanhoe and a 1916 edition of the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. On the inside cover of both, he had signed his name and the date. His handwriting reminds me of his daughter's, the woman who, for 31 years, has written the most thoughtful messages in my birthday cards, for-no-particular-reason letters, and on my let-me-tell-you-what-else-you-can-do-with-this-gift post-it notes.

And the other gift, well, I'll just let Mama explain...
Mama took the time to write it out for me, too.
I love this story. I love to think about Mama going just with her father, dressed in that navy suit, to catch a glimpse of JFK. I love that she had no qualms about loaning the gloves to my mom, Jacqueline Ann (who did, in fact, remind me of Jackie Kennedy) for Halloween. I love that she has given them to me.


  1. Liza!

    I can't even think of the last time we spoke. I seem to remember some silly political squabble. Nevertheless I wanted to tell you I have been reading Pillow Book from time to time and the description "the feeling you get when you return to your hometown" is dead on. I don't know what it is, perhaps your choice of charming topics or writing style, but something about your blog really puts me at ease on a stressful day. Thanks for giving of yourself in such a personal way.


  2. Richard!

    I don't know what it is, perhaps your choice of charming thoughts or writing style, but something about your comment really put me at ease after a stressful day.

    It was so nice to hear from you:)