Thursday, September 15, 2011

Collections and destinations

One of the interesting, if sad, parts of taking care of a family member's possessions after they no longer need them, is deciding about collections. HP was not a collector in the sense of seeking out items, but did accumulate stuff around his interests.

Three chess sets, and a raft of chess playing books, ranging from Easy Moves for Beginners to Capablanca's philosophy of chess. I gave one of the boards plus the books to an eager novice, a young woman, and HP would have very much liked this. he and I used to play many years ago, in fact we replayed the Fischer-Spassky matches during that famous tournament, and we helped found a chess club at his workplace. I was the only woman in the group, which caused many ruffles among the guys who were scared to death of being outdone. Not too much danger of that. I had a great opening game, a very good middle game and a very tired and bored endgame, very much to the advantage of my opponent!

The sad part about chess, to my mind, is that they've abolished the lovely poetic usages for the moves, and replaced them with simple numerals, on the grounds that this is more internationally fair. But what about expressions like Queen's Moroccan Defense Discovered? I think you have to say something like square root of 64, to 33, take away the number you first thought of, or words to that effect. Doesn't have that ring.

Then there's the little collection of pen knives, one of which HP had as a schoolboy, one a gift from his aunt in Canada, complete with picture of Mountie, when he was a very young man, one a craftsman made inlaid one from the American southwest, which I gave him, one a hunting knife some sort of award from work, funny sort of award, but I don't get the corporate mind anyway, one a gift to him from himself.

Left of the group is a precision measuring tool, which I'm guessing will be treasured by HS, who loves low tech high engineering! I think this collection might be welcomed by HS, and I'm going to ask him about it.

Part of his bridge collection, a case of all the items you need to set up a small duplicate bridge tournament, since he used to run these at work,too, I gave to a keen bridge player, probably one of the few people I know who actually understand the function of all these boards and organizers.

But his collection of bridge books I'm told are probably now in the nature of bridge history and collectibility, since the game has changed its conventions to the point where HPs books are probably archaic.

Then there's the stamp collection! mainly of pictorial rather than of philatelic value, I'm guessing, totally disorganized, one of those things he was always going to organize one of these days...he has a great collection of first day covers, though, which ought to go to an appreciator. The jumble of singles probably would make nice art material. I used some of them in the paper weaving I made for the summer group show I was in, but they're not exactly my preferred material.

It occurs to me to ask: do any of you blogistas fancy a handful of stamps, random collection, for your own art or crafting or collecting fun? that would be a great way to share them around. Just email me with your address and I'll get right onto it.


  1. No thank you, but I love the knife collection. I once had a variety of pocket knives and had two that were very much like HP's. The white bone one and the one to the left of it.

    Sounds like you have made good decisions about re-homing his collections. His memory lives on in a multitude of places.

  2. I know how hard it is to decide who/where to gift such things. I wonder how many people just throw this type of treasures away and don't stop to consider how much they might bless someone else.


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