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A Needle to the Past


I have always possessed a deep appreciation for things that are old and yet refined. Some of my earliest memories are of going to yard sales in our neighborhood in the Highlands area of old north Denver. The Highlands is an area with lovely Victorian and Craftsman styled homes. My great grandmother’s house was just a few homes down from the stunning Lumber Baron Inn (as it’s known today). Back then it was old man Crowley’s place, and it was the neighborhood mess complete with a murder and weeds mixed with gigantic cabbages growing in the yard. Yikes! All the other homes had respectable rose gardens and certainly no murders in their history! Wink! I digress; I was literally a young girl of perhaps 5 or 6, buying china tea sets, embroidered linens, and bits of old lace. I still have many of these early purchases in my collection today. My great grandmother used to encourage my fascination and tell me stories of fancy stores and who all the old families of Denver were. I think she had the same fascination for finer things since she herself grew up extremely impoverished in rural Missouri and came to Colorado in the 1940’s to be cured of tuberculosis. She shared stories of her childhood and of her Christmas presents coming from the town dump where the wealthier families threw away wonderful practically new toys. Her family was only too glad to take them. She insisted I understand the importance of frugality but also possess proper etiquette so I would be respectable. Because of Dorothy’s own poor background, certain skills were a given. I was taught to sew beginning at the age of four. I have very clear memories of sitting on her lap learning to using her sewing machine with scraps of fabric. Then about the time I turned 5, a needle and embroidery thread were placed in my hand. A needle and thread have been there ever since. My love of old things, particularly of Scottish, English, and Irish origin has never left me and I’ve never understood where this pull originated from. So recently I decided to do some digging and see if there might be some connection to my family’s past. Wow! Did I discover a connection! While there is too much to write in this newsletter, I did discover that I am a direct descendant of Scottish English, and French nobility! My lineage includes notes of my ancestors having great affinity of grey hounds, music, and needlework! I have learned that my family came here in waves between 1612, 1675, 1866, & 1869. I am so glad I finally took the time to dig into my ancestry! My love of black stags, illuminated alphabets, bag pipes, and roses is perfectly explained! November’s meeting will be extra special! Kim has arranged for a very special multi-media presentation by none other than Nicola Parkman, Hands Across the Sea Samplers! This very special presentation will begin promptly at 2:30, so please do not be late!!! As a reminder, the church doors will open at 2 p.m. for members with the meeting called to order promptly at 2:30.

Until next time, TTFN!

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