Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Grandpa's Secret Stash

The last few weeks have been all about moving. Moving boxes, moving furniture, moving little knick-nacks and finding places for all these things in our new apartment. Things are getting more solidified---all the furniture's here, we're starting to put artwork on the walls and are even talking about a house-warming party next month. We still have have a bunch of random things in a storage unit we need to go through---mostly a combination of wedding presents we haven't touched and boxes of books----but we are well on our way to being finished.

Combined with our own move, Miss L and I worked a lot with my dad last week to move my grandpa. We're moving him out of his retirement home into another place where he'll get better care for his dementia and be closer to family. While packing up all his stuff---like me, he mostly has books and music----I stumbled across something I never thought I'd find. Tucked away in the bottom corner of a bookshelf, sandwiched between a book of geological maps of Wisconsin and a biography on HItler, I found his stash of dirty books. Most of them were of the artsy variety---a book of Ingres nudes, a set of Picasso line drawings on pocket-sized cards, and an abbreviated version of the Kama Sutra. But what's sticking in my mind for a variety of reasons are volumes one and two of a series called, quite simply, Female Photographs.


These two little books date back to 1968, and are filled with 80 or so pages of black and white photos of pin-up girls in their undies. Their raciness lies somewhere between Playboy and Penthouse. The back pages are filled with ads for "marital aids" and a strange catalogue of books put out by the same publisher: With Open Mouth, The Talking Jewels, Scientific Curiousities of Sex Life, and on and on. This is old school stuff seems quite quaint and even funny by today's standards.

Now some people may not understand this, but finding grandpa's secret stash makes me feel a little bit closer to him---albeit in an odd manner. In some ways he raised me more than my dad did and I've always put him on a bit of a pedestal. Finding something like this makes grandpa seem more human, more approachable, more real. It makes me feel that despite all my shortcomings maybe I too can live a pretty happy, full life if he managed to.

Back to reviews and other fun things soon.



Lady M said...

When I die, my children are going to find a similar stash of old erotica. A few years ago I ran across a yard sale with a number of 1960s-era paper magazines and about five erotic comics from the 1950s. I have them hidden away in the house--in an underwear drawer, I think.

I hope that when my children find them, they will be at the very least amused and not horrified by the collection.

Hebdomeros said...

I might feel a little icky if it had been my mother's stash, but it would depend on what it was. The types of things you're talking about would definitely amuse me:)

Lady M said...

I don't think I'll label them as mine. Hopefully they'll just assume they were my husband''ll save money on therapy.

Maktaaq said...

I always knew my grandmother had a secret erotica stash but it was still interesting to find it when we had to clean out her apartment. She had to go into a home, too, because she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.