Charlie's shelves are loaded with all sorts of things. Baby sneakers, music boxes (he fell asleep to many a tinkling tune), endearing bronzes of his hand and foot (remember bronze baby shoes? They're gaining newfound nostalgia fueled by social media). Sesame Street dish & cup, statues & his baby blanket and stuffed animals. Bunny reigns!
His fascination with trains was overwhelming. I think every boy and girl plays with trains. Depending on the level of interest, a collection of trains can be, like it did for Charlie, take over his bedroom, down the hall, and under the tables.
He loved Thomas the Tank Trains and Brio. There were never enough Brio tracks, especially the curved ones. Eventually, there were too many trains, so he donated some of them to “Toys for Tots.
After the trains came the blimps, then submarines, followed by WWII destroyers and aircraft carriers. From there his interest turned to cruise ships, with an insatiable interest in the Titanic. There are models and drawings of ships, and literally tons of books on sea-going vessels and novels.
Charlie became so scholarly on the Titanic that he tried out for a part in the traveling production of TITANIC, The Play. He didn’t get the part but because of his knowledge, the producer asked him to become the dramaturge, which is like a playwright. Charlie loved being on stage and appeared in many local productions. His favorite play was Oliver, because he played multiple roles.
Cub Scout memorabilia, especially Derby cars, are displayed with pride, as is his many bowling trophies. Charlie loves adding things and soon he is going to need a museum of his own.
Charlie was home schooled from the fourth grade through high school. Everyone in the family was his teacher; Papa did science and math, his sister Tiffeni taught English and history, and Mom taught art appreciation and filled in when needed. We all had a blast and Charlie kept a largescrapbook of his work. Because of its size, it is stored behind the curtain on a shelf, along with more drawings, projects and precious memories of his school days.
And today he will receive birthday presents of all kinds and it is certain that eventually some of them will go into his museum. His collections give him a sense of pride and shows not only him, but family members and friends, the learning journey he has traveled, the paths he has taken as he mastered the subjects that interested him . . . a virtual resume.
This is the reason our Family Museum exists: to keep, display, protect the many things that have and continue to part of our life, our heritage. Happy Birthday, Charlie!