Saturday, June 6, 2015

Daddy's Desk

In our childhood home,
this was always just referred to "Daddy's Desk".

Here's how things were usually located at homework time when I was growing up:

Kid #1: "Mom, where's the stapler?"
Mom: "On Daddy's desk".
Kid #2: "I need rubber bands."
Mom: "They're in the top left drawer of Daddy's desk".
Kid #3: "Where is the typewriter paper?"  (Yes, we still used typewriters back then!)
Mom: "Look in Daddy's desk, under the Christmas cards with Santa on the front."

Our parents, like many of their generation, bought this mahogany Governor Winthrop desk shortly after they were married in 1946. I never remember a time when the desk was not in our house.

And it would be a rare evening when my father wasn't sitting at it, quietly sweating over the bills for a family of six, whipping through a crossword puzzle, reading, balancing the checkbook, or drawing detailed plans on graph paper.

 The desk held his phone, pens, calculator and favorite photos.
This was in the time before computers; Dad had everything he needed right in that desk.
Dad passed away in 2005, but the desk stayed in Mom's home, as it always had.

 After Mom passed away in April of last year, the desk was the only thing I wanted. It wasn't just a practical choice; I wanted it for the memories it holds in its many drawers and cubbies.
In this drawer we found a photo of Daddy taken in Europe during WWII.

And when I polished the desk, I found these "secret compartments" I didn't even know were there.
I was hoping I might find surprises, or even a secret message, in the bottom. But they were empty. Maybe Daddy hadn't found them either.

 This antique pewter inkwell always sat on Daddy's desk.

When I opened it, I found some coins he had tucked away.
One was a British "Three Pence" dated 1937.
He must have brought that back from England with him after the war.

The camera Dad carried through Europe with him sits in its well-worn leather case
on top of the desk.

Here's Dad at his desk, probably doing the Sunday crossword puzzle.
He could finish the New York Times puzzle faster than anyone I knew.

I'll sit at Daddy's desk tomorrow morning, the crossword puzzle open before me,
wishing that he was still here to help me finish it when I get stuck.
Which I inevitably will!

Do you have a favorite family piece that brings back
happy memories of childhood for you?
This post is being shared at:
Party Junk at Funky Junk Interiors


  1. Cheryl, I have my Gov.Winthrop. for years now.The exact one, brought it up from Florida.
    I'll never part with it, while I am alive. Funny how we save those European coins. I have them somewhere. Time to start getting rid of my collections. Have a great Sunday, hope you saw the Triple Crown yesterday. Best race I have seen in a long time. yvonne

  2. What wonderful memories from a single piece of furniture! I'm glad you were able to keep the desk and all the good associations with it from your childhood years.

  3. I'm teary eyed as I write my comment!

    We had the same comments, "it's on Daddy's desk", but his desk was a disaster piled high with messages, papers, books, etc. Once I cleaned it up and was so proud of myself, but he was not happy with me.

    Sadly, my sister got most of the family treasures. It isn't that she was the favorite, but by the time my mother passed away and we cleaned out the house, we were in our tiny little cottage and we just don't have space for any of the large pieces I loved.

  4. The picture of Daddy is so special. I love Daddy so much and miss his quiet, strong, kind, smart soul. Love you, Daddy!

  5. What a beautiful post Cheryl! The desk is so nice and holds so many memories for you. How neat that it has the secret drawers too! I remember my father's beautiful old oak desk. It was huge and heavy and had a black leather inlayed top and brass pulls on the drawers. I think it's still at my brother's house. I do have a favourite piece which is a tall narrow book case with a glass door that was once a part of a desk of some sort. It has elaborate scrolling at the top and a drawer with a lock at the bottom. It's quite unique and I love it! The photo of your father doing the crossword puzzle is so nice. Family treasures are so special aren't they?

  6. What a beautiful post. The desk is the most precious of keepsakes because it brings you memories of happy pleasures with your Dad. I know it will always remain in the family and keep the love connection going.

  7. Wonderful post, Cheryl!!! You've put a smile on my face!

  8. aww what a beautiful, through the heart post cheryl...thank you for sharing it to us, that desk is full of sentiments and memories and i am glad that it makes you remember the happy memories of your know what, i would have hope to find some surprises or message on those secret compartments as well♥

  9. I have a desk that my grandparents had given to me as a child. I think someone had given it to them, because it had never been used in their house. Anyway, it is a mission oak piece. I got it when I was about 12 or so and have carted it around with me after I left home. I'm 58 now, so I've had it for about 46 years. It's behind me right now, being held together with a cellophane wrap from our last move because its joints are loose, and I need to find the courage to take it apart and tighten it up. My mom had painted it olive and "antiqued" it with gold paint - yuck - so I will refinish it, too. Maybe when we get a house with some extra space... Come to think of it...this was the only piece of furniture left from the house after my mom remarried. We didn't have any expensive furnishings. No heirlooms. Nothing special enough. Oh, I have some Hazel Atlas mixing bowls (the largest broke after one of my many moves. I'm surprised that the other two have made it!) that my mom and dad got for their wedding, but there really wasn't much.


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