Objects' value lies in the heart
November 6, 2010
Where do you draw the line between what is truly an antique, and what is valuable simply because it has value to you? Maybe this line is easy, on some occasions, but there are times when it becomes truly difficult.
The older one gets, the more some of the objects that surround one may be of surprising importance.
Take the handmade wooden race car. No, you'd better not take the handmade wooden race car. My dad and I made it back in the middle 1960's, and it holds a value far beyond what might be its shelf worth.
That shelf worth might be considerable, to the collector of Scouting memorabilia, but I will never know, as it is worth far more to me.
A small boy and his dad, at the time when his dad was still his hero. True, his dad still is his hero, but in a different sense. The little boy thought his dad was perfect — not just a superhero. (In the same way that the 6-year-old granddaughter of the little boy, who is now a man, thinks that her Poppop — the little boy's dad — is perfect. But that is another column.)
So the car is priceless to me, as is the old outfielder's glove — the one on which you can still, though faintly, see the signatures of my childhood friends. This I did not hang onto, but gave to my grandson during his visit last summer, as he showed, for the first time, an interest in baseball.
How old is the glove? I was 11 when I decided I liked being a first baseman and catcher, and saved up the money to buy a combination mitt for that. So, I was younger than 11. No wonder it fit Jason's 10-year-old hand perfectly.
The glass from my great uncle's trip to the world fair in 1904. This was someone I never knew, but my mom did, and when she gave me the glass, I recognize an objective value to it. A confirmation Bible from another uncle, or maybe the same uncle; that part of the family had many children. There again, it's more about a certain objective value, attached to a significant object, though one never knew the person.
The value of such things lies in the heart, not the wallet.