Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Favorites #39 --- Turning out Grandpas pockets

Sunday Favorites is a meme hosted by Chari at Happy to Design. Chari asks us to drag one of our older posts out of mothballs and repost it. After all, only so many posts can be on the first page and once they move down the stack they are seldom ever looked at again.

You can check out this Sunday meme by visiting
Happy to Design. Heck, you might find some great stuff and be inspired to join the fun and repost some of your favorites that have been long forgotten.

My repost today was originally posted in September of 2005.
Turning out Grandpa's Pockets

I was a little girl I always loved visiting my Grandfather because he would let me turn his pockets inside out. Grandpa always wore bib-overalls with more pockets than a small child could count and he carried the most amazing things. Each time was a new adventure. This post would be far too long if I tried to list all the unusual things that turned up in Grandpa’s pockets or the stories he had to tell about them. But,I could always count on finding some of the same items every time I turned out grandpa’s pockets. There were plenty of lemon drops and pennies for him to share, a toy cricket (a tin bug that made a cricket sound when you pushed on the snapper in the back), a kazoo, a buckeye nut, a well-worn 1878 Morgan liberty head silver dollar (year he was born), a rosary (tied up in the toe of a old sock) that had been his Mother’s and was broken and missing 2 beads but he would sit in the barn everyday at noon and pray those beads, a big flat washer tied to a long piece of string, a fish hook stuck in a cork, a small medal tin of stick matches, a flat wood pencil and a folding ruler.

I started to write this story about my Grandfather and his pockets as a children's book for my grandson and it got me thinking about the men in my life and all the stuff they carried in their pockets. My husband and father have passed on now but I still remember the contents of their pockets.

My father never wore bibs and there was no way he would have let me turn his pockets inside out, but growing up, I learned that he had special items that went on the night stand each night and back into his pockets each morning. Dad carried a buckeye nut, a buck pocket knife, a 1922 half dollar, a small flat stone he picked up in the Philippines during WW2, a St. Christopher medal, and a small square nail.

Over the years I discovered that my husband’s pockets were also never without a few prized items. He always carried a small pocketknife, a buckeye nut, a set of handcuff keys, a painted rock (daughters first craft project) a Zippo lighter (my first gift) and a 1899 Liberty head half dollar (his Dad’s).

These memories prompted my curiosity on the subject so for the last few weeks I have been making a nuisance and possibly a fool of myself by asking all the guys I know and the ones I meet if they would empty their pockets for me.

I have discovered is that today's men seem to be more streamlined in what they carry to avoid the nerdy stigma of pocket bulges. Based on the responses received I have to assume that sentimental items like pet rocks, lucky coins, and buckeye nuts have all become passe or at least found new homes to make room for modern electronics. Lots of cell phones, memory sticks and palm pilots these days. The high school boys are carrying MP3 players and tiny remote controlled cars. The pockets I viewed also contained much less change than I would have expected. And, it seems today's men have fewer keys on their personal key-rings and wallets that are much slimmer as well.

I have been surprised by the number of religious items I encountered. Many medals or small crosses, among the younger guys and more rosaries among the old men. I was surprised at how many men no longer carry a handkerchief. Also surprised, by the number of pill boxes men are carrying these days. Not a good sign, but it could mean that men are getting more proactive about their health than in years past. I have not found as many cigarettes and lighters as I expected which is a good thing.

But, over all if men's pockets reflect the times, then I think it speaks badly for the state of the world. I find it sad that it is no longer safe for old men to carry lemon drops and pennies to share with children, and so many men seem less willing to show feelings, or expressions of family, by carrying sentimental tokens of love.

So what about you guys out there in blogland, what are you carrying in your pockets these days?

Footnotes: This was one of the first posts I did when I started blogging and including photos never occurred to me. So, I did a web search and was amazed at how many blog post I found on this subject with photos included. Some were guys recording the contents of their pockets, some were taken at airport security stations and some were by wives showing what came out of their husbands and children's pockets on laundry day.

The "Old Salt" has come into my life since this article was first posted. So I feel that I should also mention that his pockets carry the least amount of stuff of any man I know. It must be a hold over from all those years of living in a uniform, but he never has more than a mini flashlight and a small buck knife in addition to his wallet and keys.


  1. Hi Rita...

    My friend, I must apologize at being so late to come by to see your Sunday Favorites post...but we had to go out of town yesterday! I also wanted to let you know that when I clicked on your post link that you left with Mr.linky that it was a broken link and would not show your post! I hope you don't mind that I reposted the correct link for you!

    Well my friend, this was a very interesting read! I always stand amazed at the male mind...and the things that are important to them! They are a different "breed"...that's for sure! It seems to me that while men tend to carry more sentimental items...most women I know, carry more practical items in their purses! Too funny! Anyway, I really did enjoy your thoughts and also reading about the sweet memories you have of your Grandpa and his overall pockets!!! I just have to ask though...what is the significance of carrying a buckeye? I have never heard of this before. I do agree with you about the contents of our pockets being a "sign of the times" and I'm saddened as well!

    Well my friend, thank you so much for joining in with the fun of Sunday Favorites again this week...I really did enjoy this post! Have a wonderful week, Rita!

    Warmest winter wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  2. That was fun to read and brought back old memories! But what the heck IS a buckeye nut? Probably I grew up in the wrong part of the country?


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