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Old 12-14-2008, 02:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
JamesB's Avatar
Location: Ottawa
The oldest thing you own ...

Hey gang, I just came up with an interesting question that I asked myself today while up a pole ..

What is the oldest thing you own?

1. Oldest in relation to the earth (ie. really old coin)
2. Thing that you have personally owned the longest (ie. first pair of shoes)


To answer my own questions is rather simple:

1. When I was a child living in Alberta, we camped in the southern part of the province for a few days. I was exploring a river bed while on a family walk and found a piece of petrified wood. It must be at least a couple thousand years old. I'd love to have it radio-dated.

2. My teddy bear. The very day I was born I was given a yellow teddy bear and I still have it to this day. I have had it for a little over 29 years now.
-- apt-get install spare_time --
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Old 12-14-2008, 02:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: out west
The oldest thing i currently own is my body. And i dont really own that, im just kinda borrowing it.
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: on the back, bitch
Three Victrolas from before 1915, my house(same vintage) and a 1949 Cadillac(Yes, BOR, it's still here).
Don't blame me. I didn't vote for either of'em.
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
The oldest thing I own is a pocket watch that belonged to my great great grandfather. It was made in 1885. The thing I've owned the longest continuously in my possession now are some books from when I was about 6 years old.
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Oldest thing I own: I have a few fossils, which are millions of years old. Oldest man made objects - some arrow heads from North America and some Roman coins from Europe. Debateable about which is older.

The thing I have owned the longest? Probably a baby blanket.
Si vis pacem parabellum.
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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1. I have an iron statue of Shakespeare from my grandfather which he picked up during WWII in Italy. It was made in the mid 1700s.
2. I have a picture of myself at maybe age 2 with a mall Santa Claus in a music box shaped like a teddy bear. I generally bring it out for Christmas. I've had it for almost exactly 23 years. My actual teddy bear, Radar (named after the character on MASH), was given to me by a close family friend the day I came home from the hospital after being born. I don't know if it counts, though, as it's simply in a plastic bag in the basement.
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Oregon
I have a penny from 1849. I do believe it is the oldest thing I own with a date. I have some fossils that are obviously much older than that.

The oldest thing I own that I have personally owned the longest would have to be Blankie, my childhood blanket. I have a couple of other blankets, including a beautiful A-B-C quilt, that are the same age. I've had them all since I was born.
If I am not better, at least I am different. --Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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Old 12-14-2008, 04:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
Getting it.
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Location: Lion City
The oldest thing I own is my house. It's over one hundred years old.

As for what I've personally owned the longest... I must have something from my childhood but I can't think of anything. Most of my stuff is packed away in a basement in Toronto. I don't have any particularly old items here. Perhaps a pair of shorts I've had for 10+ years.
"My hands are on fire. Hands are on fire. Ain't got no more time for all you charlatans and liars."
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: The Windy City
Well, excluding a couple of fossils and pieces of petrified wood, the oldest things I own are a silver kiddush cup (a Jewish ritual wine cup), which seems to date from about the 1880s: it belonged to my great-great-grandfather. Also belonging to him, I own a brass chanukiah (a "Chanukah menorah") from about the 1870s. Other fun old things I have: a commemorative coin from the 1892 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, a siddur (Jewish prayer book) from around 1896, and a first American edition of "Dracula," published in 1899.
Dull sublunary lovers love,
Whose soul is sense, cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
That thing which elemented it.

(From "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" by John Donne)
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
lonely rolling star
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Location: Seattle.
I have matter from the origin of the universe.

Oh no wait, everythings made of that.
"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone.
The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.
-Lin Yutang

hearts, by d.a.
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Probably the oldest things I own are some coins I found, washed up on the lake Michigan beach. But the coolest old stuff I have are my grandfathers turn of the century medical equipment from med school, I have his microscope & balance. I also have a personalized cigar box, with my last name, special 5c selection dated with grease pencil 1908 on inside lid. From my great grandfather's Drug store that was located at State & Randolf in Chicago before Marshall Fields.
"That's a joke... I say, that's a joke, son"
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Old 12-14-2008, 06:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: out west
Originally Posted by laconic1 View Post
The oldest thing I own is a pocket watch that belonged to my great great grandfather. It was made in 1885. The thing I've owned the longest continuously in my possession now are some books from when I was about 6 years old.
did he give it to a freind who hid it up his ass while in a prison camp? (sorry, couldnt resist the pulp fiction reference)
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Old 12-14-2008, 06:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: Louisville, KY
The oldest thing I own is a china doll that was my great-grandmothers...date unknown, but probably turn of the 20th century.

I would say the oldest thing I have had in my continuous possession is my Snuggle bear. Yes, it is Snuggle bear of fabric softener fame. It's been everywhere with me, including the hospital for my tonsillectomy, Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Portugal, and various places around the US. It's still in my bedroom today--I keep it and a few other stuffed animals on top of this trunk in my bedroom where I store my extra sheets.

I also have a needlepoint my Mama made shortly after she got married that reads "God Bless Our Home". It has been continuously displayed in my home since I can remember. She decided to take it down a couple of years ago when she redecorated, and I quickly snatched it. It's not exactly my style, and I'm not exactly the first one in the pew on Sunday morning, but I like it. Plus, it bears our surname and the date it was completed in the bottom corner, so it's a tiny piece of family history.
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: Between Boredom and Nirvana
The oldest thing I own is a small gold cross that I was wearing the day I was adopted by my parents, when I was 3 years old.
"I need compassion, understanding and chocolate." - NJB
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
Darth Papa
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Location: Yonder
The most antique thing I own is my house (and technically the bank owns the vast majority of it). It was built in 1890.

In terms of oldest possession... The first thing that comes to mind is my classical guitar, which was my very first guitar. I started playing it when I was 10. I don't really have any cherished artifacts of my childhood, I don't think...
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: Edge of the deep green sea
The oldest thing I own is an Italian sword my Dad gave me. I don't know how old it is, my Mom said they got it at an antique shop 34 years ago.

The oldest personal thing I own is the dress I was sealed in.
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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BadNick's Avatar
Location: S.E. PA in U Sofa
Some old things I have that come to mind:

Of course I have a few fossils that are the oldest. My house is only about 80 yrs. old.

I still have a pair of ledderhosen (little leather shorts decorated with Austro-Hungarian motifs) from when I was about 2-1/2 yrs old still living in Austria where I was born...now I'm 59 so those little shorts are about as old as I am. When I was a young kid I was so tempted to cut chunks out of them to make pouches for slingshots...glad I didn't.

When I was about 8 or 9 yo living in Philadelphia, at our local playground I dug up a copper commemorative medallion that looks like a giant penny about 3+ inches in diameter and more than 1/4" thick, it was minted in 1876 to commemorate the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia; it has beautiful relief details all over it and a name of somebody from South Carolina. I still have that medallion. I found pics of it online so it's a real historic item.

I had an original newspaper from about 1774 or thereabouts, I forget the exact date, but when I got divorced my ex ended up with it. It's printed on what almost feels like cloth rather than paper. It mentions cool things like ships that were in colonial ports and what cargo they carried, plus some political stuff relating to the conflict with the King/English...obviously the publisher was a royalist. It was given to my ex and I by a friend whose great great great...etc uncle was the famous publisher of that paper back then.

Other cool stuff like photographs of my parents, grandparents, and other family when they were very young, some of those photos are about 100 yrs old now.
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:18 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Location: melbourne australia
Leather bound books I got from grandfather, dont know what date but sure are older than me early -mid 1900's they are packed away otherwise I woulda checked age
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
I don't have fossils or rocks or anything like that but I do have a couple of oldish documents. One is my great grandparents' marriage certificate from 1912. The other is my great uncle's release papers from the army in 1919. They have my family's old name (name was changed for some odd reason between 1900 and 1920.) on them so they are cool to see. These are kept by me for all of my family.

The oldest thing I have in my personal possession is my mom's diamond from her original wedding set. She gave it to me to put in my own wedding set. My dad replaced the old set with a newer one for their 25th wedding anniversary. It is 25 years old that we know of but since it is a diamond, it had to come from the deeps of the earth.
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Old 12-15-2008, 01:09 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Location: UK
1. A British infantry sabre from 1822.

2. A Victorinox pocket knife I got for my 10th birthday... had it for 17 years.
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Old 12-15-2008, 02:50 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BadNick View Post
I had an original newspaper from about 1774 or thereabouts, I forget the exact date, but when I got divorced my ex ended up with it. It's printed on what almost feels like cloth rather than paper. It mentions cool things like ships that were in colonial ports and what cargo they carried, plus some political stuff relating to the conflict with the King/English...obviously the publisher was a royalist. It was given to my ex and I by a friend whose great great great...etc uncle was the famous publisher of that paper back then.
This paper sounds interesting nick!
"That's a joke... I say, that's a joke, son"
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:47 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Location: S.E. PA in U Sofa
Originally Posted by Brewmaniac View Post
This paper sounds interesting nick!
Thanks, I love that thing. If you/someone wants me to, I could go to the ex's and take a couple pics of it, both sides, and get more specific details. It's now mounted in a glass front/back frame with archive type mounting and glass to minimize UV etc.

The friend who gave this to us has since written a book about his great.... uncle, but it was such an eternal project I'm not sure if it was published, I think he told me it was. The uncle guy was James Rivington. Many historic info about it, but this excerpt from "Jefferson's Second Revolution" By Susan Dunn mentions him:

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Old 12-15-2008, 05:09 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Location: Yucatan, Mexico
Currently the oldest thing I have is a pocket watch which belonged to my great grandfather. It's an Elgin National from 1890. It's really not worth much, you can find them on e-bay for around $50 to $100. But to me it's priceless. It has a watch chain made from my great grandmother's hair and it has dent on the back. I guess one year while GGF was plowing the field he lost it. The next year he plowed it back up. Considering he hit it with a plow it's dent is really small, literally did to know where it is to see it. He had it fixed. I'm told if you wind it it will run. I don't wind it.
I used to drink to drown my sorrows, but the damned things have learned how to swim- Frida Kahlo

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Old 12-15-2008, 05:58 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Location: Indiana
I have a gold double eagle from 1890 something (forget exact date).
It's time for the president to hand over his nobel peace prize.
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:17 AM   #25 (permalink)
But You'll Never Prove It.
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Location: under your bed
I have a set of silver flatware from either 1938 or 1936. It belonged to my husband's grandparents. I think that's the oldest thing we own.

The thing I have had the longest is a record player that I got for Christmas when I had just turned five. I'm *almost* 43 now; you can do the math. I wonder if it still works.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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I bake cookies just so I can lick the bowl. ~ ItWasMe

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Old 12-15-2008, 11:26 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Location: Fauxenix, Azerona
My father has a Bible collection. He recently gave me a family Bible from many generations back on his side. The earliest date in the book is in the mid 1700's. It isn't his oldest bible. I'll take some pictures.

Personally, I still have stuffed animals etc from when I was born.

The oldest item I have an explicit memory of purchasing is my Gameboy, purchased for $74 (with tetris!) at Wal-Mart after saving up for months.
twisted no more

Last edited by telekinetic; 12-15-2008 at 11:28 AM..
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:38 AM   #27 (permalink)
Location: bedford, tx
1) I have a 1902 morgan silver dollar
2) the thing i've owned the longest is probably a handful of paperbacks from 1991
"no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything. You cannot conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him."
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Old 12-15-2008, 01:09 PM   #28 (permalink)
We work alone
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Location: Cake Town
If you don't count photographs from when I was a baby (22 year old pics), then the oldest thing I possess is my grandfather's watch from 1964.
Maturity is knowing you were an idiot in the past. Wisdom is knowing that you'll be an idiot in the future. Common sense is knowing that you should try not to be an idiot now. - J. Jacques
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:02 PM   #29 (permalink)
I've always liked old things, and been somewhat distrustful of the new. Like, I'm the one with the cell phone that's just a phone. I still have my first computer --a Mac from 1986, with its sharp little 9" screen.
My oldest possession is an 1832 Old Farmers Almanac, found in the barn on a farm that my Granddad bought.
I have a nice ladies size upright bass built by Pfretzschner in Germany in the 1880s. Sadly, I don't play it much anymore. I have a 1981 AMC Eagle (that's a car) and a 1953 Chevy both now stored in a barn back home in Kansas.
But my most prized old thing is my great-great-grandmother's Bachelor's Degree. She was born in Sweden in 1870, came here in 1876, and graduated Cum Laude from Connecticut Wesleyan University in 1888, back in the days when very, very few women went to college.


Last edited by Lindy; 12-15-2008 at 07:40 PM.. Reason: add one more "great" to grandma
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:25 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Location: Upper Michigan
1. A gold engraved bracelet from my Great-great-grandmother (Mary Elizabeth Rapanier) who came over to the USA from Alsace-Lorraine France. From sometime around 1850 our guess is but I don't know exact dates though.

2. I have 'Pink puppy' and my orange 'bear blanket' that Aunt Alice gave me in the hospital when I was born. I also have my own version of the velveteen rabbit but she's pink instead of brown. Just as raggedy though.
"Always learn the rules so that you can break them properly." Dalai Lama
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Old 12-15-2008, 10:52 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Location: Ontario, Canada
I don't have anything that is ancient history old. I do however still own a teddy bear that I was given when I was first born.
"Art is what you can get away with."
- Andy Warhol
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:24 AM   #32 (permalink)
eats puppies and shits rainbows
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Location: An Area of Space Occupied by a Population, SC, USA
I think I have some candy corn around here somewhere....
It's a rare pleasure in this world to get your mind fucked. Usually it's just foreplay.

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Old 12-16-2008, 04:49 AM   #33 (permalink)
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BadNick's Avatar
Location: S.E. PA in U Sofa
I wonder who's the oldest person on this forum? ...even just an age if not a s/n

I'm only 59.
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:33 PM   #34 (permalink)
probably a tv my father bought when i was about 6. we still have it.
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Old 12-17-2008, 04:59 PM   #35 (permalink)
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The oldest thing that I own would be a rocking chair that was handed down to me by the maternal side of my family from Acadia.

I would say that the item I have kept the longest would probably be a few of my barbie dolls from childhood.
I am only a little spoon in a huge world of soup.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:51 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Location: LV-426
A Sherlock Holmes collection by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle from 1960. It's printed in this small old-fashioned font and has that awesome old book smell.
Who is John Galt?
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Old 12-18-2008, 06:52 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Location: Summerville, SC
I have several books from the early 1900's. Tarzan, Robinson Crusoe, and some others.

The thing I have had in my keeping the longest is my father's Bible. I got that in 1983.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:48 PM   #38 (permalink)
Wise-ass Latino
QuasiMondo's Avatar
Location: Pretoria (Tshwane), RSA
1. I still have a Sega Master System that I got for christmas in 1986.
2. I just retired a wallet that I've had since high school that's gone through hell and back. I just can't bring myself to tossing it though.
Cameron originally envisioned the Terminator as a small, unremarkable man, giving it the ability to blend in more easily. As a result, his first choice for the part was Lance Henriksen. O. J. Simpson was on the shortlist but Cameron did not think that such a nice guy could be a ruthless killer.

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Old 12-22-2008, 02:48 PM   #39 (permalink)
I have several editions of "Gleanings in Bee Culture" from 1905 in which the editor describes witnessing some of the early flights by the Wright Brothers. Here is an extract...

"The engine is started and got up to speed. The machine is held until ready to start by a sort of trap to be sprung when all is ready; then with a tremendous flapping and snapping of the four-cylinder engine, the huge machine springs aloft. When it first turned that circle, and came near the starting point, I was right in front it; and I said then, and I believe still, it was one of the grandest sights, if not the grandest sight, of my life. Imagine a locomotive without any wheels, we will say, but with white wings instead, we will further say - a locomotive made of aluminum. Well, now, imagine this white locomotive, with wings that spread 20 feet each way, coming right toward you with a tremendous flap of its propellers, and you will have something like what I saw."
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:06 AM   #40 (permalink)
Leaning against the -Sun-
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Super Moderator
Location: on the other side
1. I'm not sure. I have several heirlooms handed down through my grandparents and I suppose they had it handed down to them. Somewhere along the line the details have been lost. I know I have several pieces of furniture, small ivory boxes and jewellery, and lots of old photographs stored away.

2. That would be some photographs from the day I was born, I imagine. But, thinking of objects, probably my old teddy who has been around since I was 4.
Whether we write or speak or do but look
We are ever unapparent. What we are
Cannot be transfused into word or book.
Our soul from us is infinitely far.
However much we give our thoughts the will
To be our soul and gesture it abroad,
Our hearts are incommunicable still.
In what we show ourselves we are ignored.
The abyss from soul to soul cannot be bridged
By any skill of thought or trick of seeming.
Unto our very selves we are abridged
When we would utter to our thought our being.
We are our dreams of ourselves, souls by gleams,
And each to each other dreams of others' dreams.

Fernando Pessoa, 1918
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oldest, thing

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