by Chad Elliott
Grandpa Alma Blair called me on my birthday Monday. He told me he was proud of me and was excited about the new art studio. He also urged that I shouldn’t waste time and energy thinking about the house I just left. It was the house he and Grandma built for the family many years ago.
He said, “You can’t get stuck in life. You have to go with the changes. Don’t sit still.”
After all of this he wisely added, “But I hope you took the pencil sharpener.”
I learned how to draw on the floor of my family gatherings. I used this pencil sharpener thousands of times as a kid.
It is built well. It has seen lots of use over the years.
I had nearly forgotten about it, until my brother Eric Elliott and I were walking the rooms one last time. He saw it and said, “You gotta take the pencil sharpener.”
He, too, understood the significance of this sharpener to me as a kid.
I love my family. They get me. They see the big picture.
So…this old sharpener will be installed at the new Elliott Art Studio .
Only a couple days left to pitch in. Thanks so much! Keep your pencil sharp.
P.S. Happy Birthday Grandpa!
Scroll down through Chad’s creative offerings. (The one of the meadowlark on the post is mine!)
Our old pencil sharpener is still on the frame of the stairs going down to our basement!
It’s fascinating how something as mundane as a pencil sharpener can become an heirloom, isn’t it!
I love this nostalgic story about a pencil sharpener. My husband has his father’s pencil sharpener that’s probably about 70 years old. It works great even though it hasn’t been oiled since we’ve had it. It’s a Boston Champion.
The only thing better than an heirloom is one with a story, huh!
This is a great story. Thanks to you and Chad for sharing it with us.
I hope a version of it ends up in a second book of poems. His first one, “Rumble & Flash,” is one of my favorites!
What a touching story! I didn’t take the pencil sharpener. I took the entire desk on which it was screwed in–but the holes are still there!
That works! I sure hope a version of Chad’s ends up in his next book of poetry. His “Rumble & Flash” is one of my favorites.
My dad and I had many a philosophical, theological, and historical discussion over that old desk.
Oh, that gives me goosebumps.
I learned a lot from him in those late-night conversations.