Family treasure(s) passed down

Dennis Kirban

Well-Known Member
Mar 5, 2009
I got the idea for this new topic based on a recent one in this thread (Lounge) entitled In Honor of my Grandfather December 7th 1941. In that thread I posted a photo of a piece of one of the few Japanese planes we were able to shoot down that fateful Sunday morning. My father in law got it that morning and kept it all these years. He saw one of the planes as it was shot down.

It occurred to me, that many of you probably have one unique or perhaps several unique (treasures) that has been passed down to you or to a member in your family from your parents. The older you are the older that object(s) would be.

It may be something that has no real value outside of your family or maybe it has greater value. May be a signed baseball from Mickey Mantle, or Babe Ruth, or a autographed book signed by Abe Lincoln, or a personal autograph of John Kennedy.

My Dad as a child during the 1930s and early 1940s during the depression spent his youth at Girard College all year round. A school for folks that lost a parent or had hardly any money. (Well known institution in Philadelphia, Pa) along with his older brother. For a hobby that required little money he sought autographs from well known politicians and of course movie stars etc.

He had two large scrap books that I remember since I had them in my possession up until about a year ago. He wanted to borrow them back for something and when he passed away earlier this year I could not find them again.

The 1930s and 1940s was a unique time period as famous people where not charging for autographs like many do today. My Dad had about 200 different autographs. Some of which were well known back then and others who would become even more well known.

Of note, he had Walt Disney, Ronald Reagan, Nelson Eddy, and Shirley Temple. Most were signed with a black and white photo of the personally to my Dad.

Although I don't have either of these scrap books today, it would have been nice to have them as a rememberance. Another item we do have that we will photograph and post later is also very unique and one of a kind. Its something we stumbled on by accident when we were cleaning out one of the storage garages my parents had.

The scrap books my Dad kept is what gave me the idea for having Molly autograph the trunk ID labels at the 2 events he did for us. Fewer than 250 lucky owners have his autograph on their trunk ID labels.

Watch for this story in a few days.

Meantime, post what treasure(s) that survived from your parents generation and you now have and cherish as a rememberance.
Appreciate Bill for posting the above two photos for me and the copy shown here.

I remember my Dad starting his own advertising agency in the late 1940s early 1950s which he ran for many years. Even as a young teenager I ran an addressograph machine which basically was the same type of machine that they stamp military dog tags with. I would do names & addresses onto these metal plates.

I am not sure how it came about but the man that developed the original Slinky employeed my Dad to do his advertising and my Dad actually designed the early style Slinky box. The slinky was quite a hit back in the mid 1950s and of course expanded into other formats.

In more recent times with the huge popularity of the Toy Story movies the Slinky Dog is now very well known among an entire new generation. My Dad remembers actually at nite they would box Slinkys up on the kitchen table in the very beginning.

What we came across in the one storage building was the original artwork my Dad had done and the original ad for when the Slinky Dog was released. I believe this was probably the first Slinky animal the company did. I remember my Dad telling me at some point the Slinky company dropped my Dad' Advertising Agency and went with a New York advertising firm.

This is the original artwork and color brochure for the new $2 Slinky Dog from the early 1950s. I now have it framed and hanging at home. Hard to believe the artwork was still in very good condition having survived all the moves and cold storage for 50-60 years.

I never knew my Dad did the advertising for the Slinky Dog........

Since then I have bought on ebay one of the early Slinky Dogs which matches in the same detail as the artwork does.

True Story


i have a Luger 9mm that was a german ofiicers weapon. It was passed from my grandfather to my dad to me.
a zippo lighter with all the countrys engraved on it from the european campaign also from my grandfather. also has 1st allied airborne engraved on it.
I have a hutch that has some damage to it from the berlin bombings. It was brought over with my grandmother when she and my grandfather wed after the war.

my favorite stuff though is a ****load of old coins. My grandfather owned a healthfood store from the 40's-85. He started hanging on to the rare stuff way back.
I have a pocket watch(before cell phones) from my great grandfather.Someone asked me what it was worth i said priceless for everything else theirs Mastercard:biggrin:

Good to see some stories starting......on the old coins. I remember traveling with my Dad selling his books in the 1970s in the west getting silver dollars....and couldn't wait to cash them in at the bank as they were so bulky.....
My dad was in the service during the end of korean war 1953 to 56 and stationed in Italy.
He brought back my mother ( she is a real treasure ) :biggrin:

Actually he was simple guy, worked hard 6 days a week, just got by working for his Dad (Gramps). Didn't have any real hobbies or anything of value to hand down EXCEPT my memories of the great things we did together while I was growing up. I loved going to Gramps family grocery store and work with my dad so I could be with him as much as possible.

We went to the Meat markets, Fruit markets, bank, lunch it was all great.

After dinner he played stick ball with all the other dad's in the hood & drank 1 shlitz with supper.
We played catch, went fishing, watched the PATRIOTS always get creamed,

We went to see the patriots, red sox & bruins & wrestling.

He took me to see trains, he took me to dairy queen so he could check out the chicks & me the cruise night cars. Yes they had cruise nights in the 60's

Later in life before I left home we use to watch HBO boxing in the 80's, play cards, go to dog track.
Stuff we did was less frequent as I got older and then moved out.

So it may not be a physical item, But those memories is what I have.

So the moral of this if you have kids try to do something with them before they move away. Any little thing you do no matter how simple they will remember.
Dad gave me some of my first wrenches and stuff.Still have them and they are front and center in the tool box:cool:.Still have the knife he gave me when we started hunting(the one that almost cut my finger off):rolleyes:

I remember my dad got me for xmas a 1/2 SK tools socket/rachet set.

The rachet is lone gone, but those sockets are still in my current tool box.
dont have any grandparents, never got a chance to meet any of them on both sides of my family :( I think its cool to pass down family mementos
When my grandpa passed away we found an old yellow one dollar bill in his wallet . It was in two pieces from being carried for years . When we unfolded it we saw it was from the Philippines ? A ten Pesos looked kind of like a dollar bill with Washigton's pic in the left corner . It has a 1936 date on it and says it is payable in silver from the united states . Found the bill online . Our government put them out to keep the Philippines going before we got into the war . It doesn't have much value but what was it doing in his wallet and why had he carried it all those years ?

My dad and great aunt had never seen it before but we think we have figured out the story behind it . As a young man his best friend joined the service and was captured in the Pacific . He went on the Bataan death march and was never heard from again . We think he sent the bill home and grand pa kept it in his wallet the rest of his life . It's a shame we will never know for sure because it was a story he never told .
Single parent upbringing for me, dad was never around when I was a child and i think the first time I ever remember his face was when he showed up unexpectedly when I was about 5 and bought all four of us kids new bicycles. This was my first new bike ever. His years of absence didn't seem to matter for that few weeks:D. He was a traveling (or hiding,laying low, trying to avaoid paying up to whomever he owed money to at the time) salesman, I would of never thought that I had the ability to do sales but 11 years ago I jumped into that world. I was making $70K/yr as a private 'scrub nurse' in OR and jumped to sales. I promptly made $21K my first year doing that:frown: But something made me stay with it, and my income doubled the next and the next etc and now I make more than enough so bill collectors don't call anymore:cool: I'd like to believe that though Dad was not around much (we did reconcile in the 4-5 months before his passing 8 years ago) he did pass onto me the sales 'gene'. Not exactly an heirloom but it is what he passed onto me.

My grandfather in WWII was a navigator on a Navy ship in the pacific. He and his roomate on the ship setup a black room to develop photos in the bow. Most of the pictures are like they were taken yesterday. Many of them were label on the back (us and local girls) or (us, the chief and princess of the island). My mom has a huge photobook of all the pictures-pretty cool stuff.

Ah photo's nothing better:D.When my kids complain that Grandma is bugging us for another pic i say"some day you will be thankful so get off your a$$ and do it":eek:My most prized posessions are all the pictures I have:cool:

I have, passed down from my late Dad, a lot of his engineering abilities, which had to do, I guess, with me becoming a mechanical engineer.

Dad, when he worked at Ft. Belvoir, Va. for the Engineering Research Developement Laboratories, came up with the idea of the mine clearing roller, which is still in use by the US Army today. I was with him watching him do years of research and the final end results: a set of big rollers in front of an Army M48 tank to push across a minefield to clear the way for the troops. You wouldn't believe all of the different designs he came up with to reach the final one. Of course, being a government employee, he surrendered his rights/ideas/projects to the US Government. But he got a lot of rewards/awards, etc. for this.

I have a picture that Dad gave me of him driving an M48 tank over a Russian mine at the Engineering Proving Grounds....the picture was taken the moment the mine exploded.....and I was there.....even far away from it, (about 200 yards?)the explosion knocked me on my butt and the concussion gave me a headache that lasted for weeks. Really a cool picture. Dad even signed it for me.

Of course, him being a bomber pilot in WWII made me very proud of him...I have his graduation photos, his flight books, his pilot pictures (with a leather jacket, silk scarf, flying goggles and leather helmet) and his Air Force pictures, some with him in his B25, Stearman, and PT17. I also have his dog tags, gold watch from that era. All of these means so much to me, and it's still kind of painful to even mention. But.....getting it off my chest is a good remedy to feeling better.

And, again, I will say, he left me his '87 Grand National, which I cherish so very much. This got me into the TurboBuick world, to which I so much enjoy. I'd only part with that GN if my beloved wife got very sick, and that's the only way.

He also left me lots and lots of duck decoys that his father, Capt. Jesse Urie, and his brother, Capt. Roger Urie of Rock Hall, Md. made during their lifetimes. They were both well known duck decoy carvers on the Chesapeake Bay. You can still find them on eBay. My house is full of wooden ducks!!! It was just great to spend the summers with them, fishing, crabbing on the bay for a living back in the 50s. Dad also left me his first and second shotgun (for duckhunting) Dad, Grand Dad and I used to go duckhunting at 4:30 in the morning down at Rock Hall, at Swan Creek. Man, was it cold!!! We shot ducks for dinner, can you believe that? I had some good and not so good times with Dad, but I must dwell on the good times.I miss all of that so much. Life was so different then.

Everytime I see a WWII plane, I think of Dad...everytime I sit in my '87 GN, I can almost see him there next to me smiling.....he knew I'd take very good care of his baby when he was dying.....and I always will.

I'll try to post some pictures here soon. Christmas season/rushing around/wrapping things/going here/going there/decorations, etc. What a busy time of the year. Strange, I got to missing Dad so bad today and just couldn't understand why I started to's been four years since he passed away. Wonder why I feel so emotional like that? Will I ever get over it? And here, my Mom is 86 and not doing too well either. Man, getting older not only means getting more creaky, cranky, stiff, sprains, aches, pains, more effort to do strengtheous things, but also loosing the ones you love so much. That's the hardest.

Look at that, sometimes I just yap on!:redface:

Bruce '87 Grand National