© 2018 Bill Murphy
Today, another heirloom from the Murphy’s past has exited the scene, stage left. I had mixed feeling about this one, both sad and glad.
A few years after my Carthage grandparents passed away, their beloved old barn was torn down. Now that was a relic to be sure. My Dad helped split the cedar shingles which formed its roof. As a child, all the young Carthage-Cousins practically lived in that old barn. Knowing it was to be demolished was like seeing an old friend on his death bed. Before the barn was no more, I removed dozens of those worn and weathered cedar shingles. I still have many of them… kept as unusual, but treasured keepsakes – heirlooms if you will.
This very morning, a formal dining room table which had been among the first pieces of furniture my parents acquired after marriage, left my possession – sold in a yard sale.
Mom and Dad married in the mid 1930s. Dad was working for Jitney Jungle. One of their customers, who owned a moving and storage business, approached my father with an offer. He explained that several years back, a local doctor put an elegant dining room suite into storage. Now they’d moved away, and could not be reached. He needed the room, so… would Dad be interested in buying it? He did. For only $35.
This was NOT particle board and veneer furniture… but GOOD stuff. Included was 6 padded chairs, the table with 2 extensions, felt table pads, plus a china cabinet and large buffet. All for $35. I sat for 19 Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations around that table while living at home… and many more after moving away. Yes, I had a fond attachment for it.
After the deaths of Mom and Dad, it became mine. As nice and elegant as it was, it really wasn’t 100% practical. The legs were large, and the ornate lower bracing seemed to always get in the way. Coupled with those tree-trunk-like legs, it could be annoyingly uncomfortable. When Carol and I moved to Illinois, we put the thing in storage! One of our daughters attempted to use it, but soon discovered it’s annoying ways. She bought a new set, and back into storage the treasure went.
This weekend, we’re having a yard sale. We decided that its about time to part company with this uncomfortable heirloom from the past. A couple paid $75 of the table and chairs… more than doubling Dad’s original investment. I think he would have been proud.
Bill, my name is Wayne Brown. I am originally from Carthage, MS. I now live in Arlington, TX. I am working on a project with another high school classmate of mine to identify and short-bio of each by graduating class. This spans the years 1929-2010, the official time frame that the name of the school was Carthage High School. It is quite the undertaking but we are making considerable progress. I have been working on the siblings of the Matthew Monroe Murphy family. Most of them I can account for through census data and grave registries. The exception is your father and mother. I have your father’s full name, his birth date and place of birth and the date and place for his passing. I cannot locate a grave for either him or your mother. The only thing I have on your mother, Edith Eloise Fairchild is a birth year of 1915. I have the date and place of marriage to William. I do not find a date of passing or a grave registry for her. I was wondering if you could fill in the blank spots and add any other information you might elect. Any help is appreciated.