Thursday, November 11, 2010

You Are My Sunshine

When I was 13 or so I was given this Paddington Bear that plays "You Are My Sunshine".  You may be thinking that I was a little to old for such a gift, but this wasn't just any ordinary musical bear.  This bear held onto a very special memory for me and every time I wanted to visit that memory he was there to help out.

File0009My grandfather was a chemist who came up with the amazing idea for Super Coil. Yes, those fantastic key chains everyone uses?  My grandfather invented them.  When I was little he would give my mother the scraps and she would use them to put pigtails in my hair.  Then when I got older and jelly bracelets became the thing to have, he would make me the bracelets using the uncoiled material. You can see in my silly picture to the left I am sporting a bracelet and a coiled necklace. 

 The factory was just a few miles from their home and visiting it was one of my favorite things to do when we went there.  He would show me all the bars that had the various colors of coil wrapped around them.  He would demonstrate how the workers cut the coil and then prepare the actual key chain by putting the two ends on a hot metal plate and then sticking them together.  I don't remember interacting with him much beyond our trips to the factory (not necessarily because they didn't happen, just that I don't remember), but those trips were pretty cool.

But of all the trips we made to the factory, there was one trip that sticks out in my memory.  As usual we had gone to the factory and he showed me what they were working on.  Then we headed upstairs to the Woolworth's that was just above the factory.  There he ordered something for each of us (my memory is failing me, but I think they were ice cream sundaes).  He was clearly friendly with the man behind the counter and they talked back and forth.  Then at some point they began to sing to me.  The song they sang?  You are My Sunshine.

My mother told me at one point that he had sung that song frequently to me, but right now I only can remember that once.  I remember feeling so incredibly special at that moment. 

DSC_003020101110_3805Last week my son had woken from his nap and we were cuddling in the rocking chair.  He started to climb up me and reach for something on the bookcase behind us.  I turned to look at what he was reaching for and saw Paddington.  So I grabbed the bear, turned the musical key on the back and began to sing to my son "You Are My Sunshine".  I have sung it several times since then and each time he lights up with the greatest smile.   I imagine he feels a lot like I did when my grandpa sang it to me.

Hugs to you all!


Mommy C


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