Thoughts from the Crossroads

A new temporary storage facility has been built on Route 15 here in Zion Crossroads. I am constantly amazed at how popular these types of places are. Apparently many of us have more stuff than can fit into our home, so we rent space to store it. And not just any space, but space that is both heated and air conditioned! Our forefathers would not understand this phenomenon, I’m sure.

Speaking of stuff, when my father passed away a few years ago, I brought home boxes and boxes of his belongings, to go through at my leisure. As I’ve been opening them, I found that several boxes were actually from Dad’s parents. So there were items from the early 1900s through the 2010s. With Covid keeping us home, I’ve finally gone through everything – all the old photos, correspondence, and memorabilia. Quite an interesting look back into our family history, I must say.

My grandmother had done quite a lot of genealogy research, and discovered that she was descended from one of Virginia’s first families. If grandma were still alive today, I think she would be pleased to know that I am living back in Virginia, where it all began in America for her (and my) forefathers.

I found one old black and white photo of a man (unknown to me) holding a large fish, with a lake in the background. The man was smiling broadly, delighted at his catch. On the back of the photo was the date, the length, weight, and type of fish, as well as the bait used to catch him. Not one word identifying the man or the lake. I had to chuckle at the priorities here; clearly the fish was the the star of the photo.

There were four small envelopes with a name and year on the outside. My dad’s name (1945), my name (1972), and my twin sisters’ names (1975). Kind of exciting, until I opened each envelope. They all had a child’s baby tooth or two in it. Yuck. Into the “discard” pile these went. Not every discovery is a keeper!

When my grandparents retired in the early 1970s, they relocated from Chicago to Sun City, Arizona. They built a new home, and my grandfather kept records of the process. In letters to his friends (grandpa typed all his correspondence and kept carbon copies for his files), he complained about prices. But those prices are laughable compared to current costs. Their brand-spanking new home was just over $17,000!

My father joined the Marines out of high school, and I found several certificates of marksmanship awarded to him. Very cool. I also found his report cards from elementary through high school. Ouch! My Dad could do anything with his hands, but apparently book learning was not his thing. There was also an engraved plaque from the local chamber of commerce declaring dad, his brother and sister, and his parents “The Family of the Year” in 1957.

I discovered postcards from the 1920s and 1970s of the same Utah formations that Rick and I visited in 2017. Delicate Arch, hoodoos from Bryce National Park, and the Owachomo Natural Bridge were all pictured. The monuments barely changed during that time period, and yet we humans have passed through several generations. Probably a lesson there for all of us. Life is short, perhaps?

So now when I drive by and see that Zion Crossroads storage facility, I try to remember that whatever is in there tells stories about people’s lives. Dear readers, let’s all try to make our story a good one!

Laura Schupp resides in Zion Crossroads with her husband Rick and two cats. She would love to hear from you at hallielaura@gmail.com.

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