Brice Stump, a reporter with the Salisbury ‘s Daily Times specializes in local history pieces on the lower shore. Whenever I surf over to www.delmarvanow.comI look for his columns. In tidying up some stuff on the blog as midnight approaches tonight, I surfed over and found an excellent article he wrote Saturday on peserving family treasures. It is a fine, well done piece and I’ve clipped part of it here. Click on the link at the end to read the full column on the newspaper’s web site. Thanks Brice for an excellent piece. I always enjoy your work but found this one to be not only well done, but moving.
Daily Times — Oct. 11, 2008, Shore History Offered to Stranger to Ensure Its Preservation
by Brice Stump
About a month ago, a elderly man called me and told me he wanted me to come to his home because there were things he had that he thought should be in my possession. I had only met him once, years ago, but he wanted to entrust me with a variety of things.
This week, thinking about that call and follow-up visit, I now understand what is going on.
Older people are increasingly afraid that the things that have cherished for so many years will be treated as junk by those handling their estates.
Over the years, I have witnessed important photos, documents, antiques and the like thrown in the trash, on the dump or taken by family members who sell the items as soon as they get their hands on them. The worst is when family “cleans out” the home of the deceased and valuable historical material ends up in a landfill.
Often, too, the person I meet is the last in the family. All are gone and there is no one left who cares.
Over the past 20 years I have spent considerable money trying to save what I can of our Eastern Shore legacy, from buying antique deeds to furniture, glassware and photographs. I was so surprised when folks started offering things to me.