If Our Walls Could Talk Series: Object #7 Scottish Man

If Our Walls Could Talk Series: Object #7 Scottish Man: This is one of a few figurines on the bookcase that is not a souvenir from my travels. It was actually a gift from my best friend Linda from her trip to Scotland several years ago. Linda and I have been friends for over 42 years. We met in a grocery store after 10 o’clock one Friday night with our husbands and very brand new first babies. We also had both newly moved onto the same street in the Blossom Valley of San Jose and, coincidentally, Linda’s husband was the new dentist my husband Tom and I had visited for the first time just that week. Over the years, Linda and I have stayed close although our families moved before long to different areas in the valley, me to Los Gatos and Linda first to the Almaden Valley and later to the Silver Creek area of San Jose.   We have shared many family vacations and all of the important family and personal events and achievements of our lives – both the joyous times and the hard times. She is someone to whom I can tell my deepest and most personal secrets and can count on to “be there” if I need her, as I am there for her. Linda, if you read this, I love you my friend.

If Our Walls Could Talk Series: Object #6 Guitar Man from Argentina

This figurine is a souvenir of my trips to Argentina. Yes, “trips!” I have been there twice, first was in 2000 with my husband Tom and daughter Lara when we went to the Rotary International Conference in Buenos Aires. On the way to Argentina that time, we also visited Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Some of my favorite memories from that trip to Argentina were our visit to a nearby Gaucho Ranch for a show and BBQ (where I had my first–and last!–piece of blood sausage), our walk through the Caminito in the colorful La Boca neighborhood, and the tango performance we attended in the San Telmo district of the city. In 2010, I returned to Argentina with my best friend Linda, her daughter Sue and friend Jan. The highlights of that trip for me were our visit to the Bodego and Estancia Colomé winery in the Calchaqui Valley of northern Argentina, featuring the highest vineyard in the world and the James Tyrrell (artist of light) museum, and a visit to Argentina’s majestic Iguazu Falls that rival our own country’s Niagara Falls. Although, I admit that I can’t now remember which trip it was that I found the little figurine of a Gaucho guitar player, it doesn’t matter that I don’t since both trips were amazing experiences that I will treasure the memories of forever.

Object #5: World Books

“If Our Walls Could Talk” Series, object #5: These are part of the set of World Book Encyclopedias that we bought when our children were in grade school. These were the years before I went to law school, which I entered when our children were 9 and 12 years old. When our children were babies and later in grade school, I was mostly a stay-at-home mom. However, I held a few part-time jobs over these years, such as doing bookkeeping for a small business. After seeing what a wonderful learning tool the World Book Encyclopedias were for our children, my last part-time job before going to law school was selling them to other families in our community. When I see the encyclopedias on my office bookcase, I often think back on the memories of those precious early years at home with our children. Priceless!
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Object #4: The “Story Teller”

“If Our Walls Could Talk” Series, object #4:  Entitled the “Story Teller”, this signed, dated and numbered collectible figurine was created in 1962 by C. Alan (Bud) Johnson. I bought it as a souvenir on a family vacation to Alaska in 1999 that we took together after our daughter Lara graduated from college. The trip started with us traveling by float-plane to a remote cabin at the foot of Mt. Denali built on the last property homesteaded in Alaska. Our host was the actual homesteader and his second wife who lived year-round in the cabin he hand built in the middle of the 20th century.  We were the only guests there as few people know of it or ever get there as the cabin is accessible in the summer only by float-plane or jet boat up the river and in the winter only by dog sled or snow mobile.  On leaving the cabin, the four of us, with two river guides, traveled down river in two rafts to the village of Talkeetna where we joined a van full of mountain climbers traveling to Anchorage.  We learned that Talkeetna is the jumping off point for people headed to climb Mt. Denali and the other passengers in the van had all just come back from climbing. We were regaled over the 3 hour ride with amazing stories of their adventures. After a night in Anchorage, we boarded one of the Princess Cruise Line ships for a 5-day trip through the inland passage, stopping at many of the historic Alaskan towns where we had more day-adventures, down to Vancouver, Canada. It was on this part of the trip where I found the “Story Teller” to bring home as a remembrance of one of my most favorite trips.

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