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(Not so)Wordless Wednesday – Who are you?

September 14, 2011

Lola Fraser

I’m going to break all the ‘wordless laws’ here and explain. Years ago, I bought this platter in a box lot of items at an auction. I hadn’t really given it much thought, other than how cool of a gift it was to receive from friends, until this summer when I started wondering where the tray came from and I decided to go looking for Ms Lola. I took guesses as to her age and assumed she was living in Ottawa, there aren’t very many records for her; she married Maxime Beliveau from New Brunswick in 1896, and was living in Ottawa in 1911 with her husband and adopted daughter Anita, (as well as her mother, brother and 2 nephews) but that is where the trail stops. I wonder if Anita had any children, if they are still living in the area or if the family moved back to New Brunswick. Have I passed them on the street, or bought something from them? Do they work with me now?

And I wonder about the history of the tray. Why were her friends giving it to her? Were they marking a special occasion? How important was this tray to Lola? I imagine her on a sunny day, at a celebratory tea, laughing with her friends. Was it well used or tucked away and forgotten? Is it full of another woman’s good memories, both of receiving and using it? It is worn and scarred so I picture it used often and well loved. Entertaining bosses and serving the Christmas meal. Had it been passed down in the family, and how did it end up in that box lot? My mind immediately goes to an estate sale, but whose? Was it kept in her family or did someone else come across it at some point in time?

What am I going to do with it? Will I polish it up and use it at my next party or tuck it away in the back of a cupboard. Or will I keep looking and find her great-great-grandchildren? What use would they have for that tray? I mean, maybe they’re out there looking for every scrap of info they can find on their roots, or maybe they might not have any room for this token of friendship given on that day in May in 1894.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2011 5:02 pm

    That is really, really neat.

  2. September 16, 2011 8:17 am

    History and what came before is so interesting to me, particularly the personal stories and the culture of things. Very cool story 🙂

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