As a child, I remember visiting Daddy at his work place – a smallish, wooden building divided into an entrance space, where he measured his children’s growth and wrote out the date, name and height on the side of a door that led to his office space, a tight configuration of a drafting table, stool, telephone and thumbtacked to the wall at eye level, a pin up calendar of the naughty-but-nice genre so popular during the Forties and Fifties.
Such illustrations are highly valued by collectors of pin up art, but my purchase of this Gil Elvgren calendar was purely for the nostalgia and the memories it evoked of my dad.
Memories are at the heart of what inspire my creative ventures. But not always are the recollections mine – which accounts for the floor to ceiling bins and cabinets overflowing with inspirational collections of vintage magazines, books, patterns, tins, barrettes, fabric, cake toppers, sewing baskets, lunch boxes, valises, hot pads, hair dryers, aprons… I revel in the cacophony, which is well and very good, except that it has moved outward from my writing room to an adjacent room, a space uninhabitable for the past seven years, and one my prince charming has requested be reinstated as a communal area.
At the time I agreed to clearing the room, I had the best intention to do so; however, the promised date of reclamation is tomorrow – the first day of the new year – and I am not much into the task.
Rather, I am into musing, and perfect to that mind-set has been going
through a cache of cardboard boxes a-jumble with memorabilia, all catalogued by my parents, who saved everything, including several hundred rsvp cards to my wedding in 1975. Almost to a one, those who regretted provided a handwritten explanation, but it was a typewritten response that caught my attention
Despite the gritty sentiment, Robert hadn’t made it, and thirty-seven years later, I wondered what my former fashion illustration instructor was up to. The internet yielded a single match to my google. Leaving a message on the phone service provided, I hoped at the least for a courtesy call back from a stranger also named Robert Carreon.
Instead, “Google” Robert is my Robert!
Revealed in our catching up is Robert’s mission of producing theatrical properties by emerging voices, many of which include collective memories. When he said that, my heart leapt. I told him of my twelve-year apron journey, the discovery that the apron is a memory trigger and a connector to those of earlier generations, and the storytellers I’ve met along the way.
This story has a happy ending: Robert has invited me to join him on a journey to bring my aprons and the voices woven into their fabric to a platform where it will be heard.
But as with any journey, there’s a long road ahead with many twists and turns and no guarantees. However, the only way to get “there” is one step at a time. This task I am up to. The room clearing will have to wait.