Monday, July 12, 2010

Silver Bits and Buttons

Bit Templates for bridles - One is called the 'Santa Barbara'. 

Grandpa sat on a stool in a dusty workshop 
with one lonely lamp. It had a sorry light. I 
would pull my smaller stool as close as 
possible to watch him work. He didn't laugh
when I played with the dust sparkles, lazily 
floating on the current of the open door. He
engraved silver bits, buttons, and buckles 
for belts. The scent of oil-rubbed leather 
mingles in my mind with his graceful 
hands braiding reins in the round with
six strands. I still see the whip in the jaws of 
the stitching horse to keep it firm and taut. The 
knots he created with leather were choreographed 
pieces of art. Heavy waxed thread through a
leather needle followed the hole punched with
the awl. Sometimes, when a tool dropped, I found
it for him. Tooled leather designs came from 
his tap and die set. Intent as any tattoo artist, the
impressions marked the leather, silver, and me - 

There is a lovely fold in the timeline of my life -
a pocket shaped sort of fold. It holds Glenwood time, 
which is entirely different than regular time. 
Bulging heavy with memories, I reach in and
grab a handful.  


katdish said...

Thanks for your words and pictures. Felt like I was sitting there with you. And Yay! Your comments are back!

Jenny said...

Is this the grandpa that you wrote the tomato story about?

Anonymous said...

i like buttons, i even like the word.
good memories make a good story.

Joyce Wycoff said...

Very lovely and rich memories. Thanks for sharing and it's really nice to have the comments back.

Kathleen Overby said...

Thanks girls! :)

Kathleen Overby said...

Different grandpa. The tomato guy was cranky!

A Simple Country Girl said...

Love this. My husband inherited his grandma's leather-working kit. He and my son made a belt together. What a blessing to hold the templates and memories in your hands.

~ Good to be able to leave a note. Missed ya!


Anonymous said...

beautiful. :)

L.L. Barkat said...

" Sometimes, when a tool dropped, I found
it for him."

Such a sweet, simple picture of companionship.

Maureen said...

Beautifully written and presented, Kathleen. Those are wonderful keepsakes. To be able to work with the hands and turn out such art. . . .