Grandpa’s Wallet

Today’s post comes to us from Jacque.

Recently I have felt a rush of appreciation from family and a newly found old friend.   The most recent appreciation episode is from someone long ago, my Grandpa who died in 1964.  As I have mentioned, I have been sorting through family pictures and papers, slowly making tedious progress.  Last week I took apart my old picture albums, and threw away duplicates (did I really need four copies of the many pictures taken at my first wedding, the ensuing marriage which ended in divorce?  I think not.)  This reduced the picture collection by 75%, to a mere 5 picture boxes to organize and cull more.  I will set this aside for a while.

Now I am starting to pick through the three overflowing plastic bins of papers, letters, deeds, cattle pedigrees and, yes, more pictures that are not mine, but my parents’, grandparents’, and great grandparents’ memorabilia. There in one bin I found Grandpa Stratton’s wallet, which my mother must have kept after he no longer lived with us in 1963.   His wallet contained a 1960 paper driver’s license, hand-typed and signed with no identifying picture, his fishing license much the same as the driver’s license, and my kindergarten picture with a four leaf clover pressed into it.  He and I spent a lot of time seeking four leaf clovers.

Looking at this gives me a poignant moment, remembering a loving Grandpa. My kindergarten forehead is stained with the patina created by a copper snap in the wallet, which ate through the picture sleeve.  The four-leaf clover is flat and fragile and dear.  It brings tears to my eyes.  I cannot throw away the old wallet because of the picture and the shamrock.  It now lies in my desk drawer where I can sneak a peak at it on a bad day(s) in which nobody else loves me enough.

My wallet is remarkably utilitarian compared to Grandpa’s wallet. I carry all my pictures of the Grandchildren on my phone, leaving the wallet to house plastic cards, coins, receipts,  and disorganized bills of various denominations.  No sentiment there at all.

What is in your wallet?

49 thoughts on “Grandpa’s Wallet”

  1. my wallet is a fat slab or credit cards reciepts and business cards to hand out. i have tried to get down to the 3 or 4 cards i use but it always turns back int a castanza wallet named i guess after george castanza on seinfeld show
    its a coat pocket or in the top
    coat inside pocket affair in the winter that is not feasible for the back pocket option
    if i put dollars in there for t really gets stupid
    i remember the seminar i went to where they had everyone pull out their wallet and realize how
    much your wallet says about it you
    i’m working on it is all i can say

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lovely, Jacque. That photo and the four leavef clover speak volumes of the relationship you had with your grandpa. Allow me one small nit pick: shamrocks have three leaves, not four. It’s a distinction that gets pointed out a lot as we get closer to St. Patrick’s Day.

    My wallet is all business. Money, two credit cards, one debit card, driver’s license, various medical insurance cards, and assorted appointment reminders and business cards (other people’s, not mine). Membership card to the Mississippi Market co-op, the Science Museum, and various other cards that give access to discounts on purchases at certain store. No photos, not even one, except for the photos on the two photo IDs I carry.


    1. 4 leaf clovers are 3 leaf shamrock freaks. thats why they are lucky. you have to go through the clover for hours in order to find a 4 leaf clover


  3. My wallet formerly bulged but slimmed down when the cards moved to pockets in my checkbook. That now includes my driver’s license, the discount card for my grocery store, my health insurance cards, proof of insurance and my debit card. I have no credit card, as I am not mature enough to use one wisely.

    What’s left for the wallet? A green metal tag showing that my buddy Katie was licensed to roam the Minnehaha Off-Leash dog park, a piece of paper with contact information for my daughter and her husband and $38 in paper bills. The contact information slip is necessary because I don’t have a mobile phone. The $38 is left over from the cash I withdrew from an ATM so I could drive to Oregon in 2014. Why do I still have cash from three years ago? I just don’t use cash these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I apparently have a designer wallet. My company does a lot of merchandise business so I have access to those items using internal award credits; when I needed a wallet, I looked on our online system, found one that had the qualities I wanted and was on sale for some reason. Whenever I complain to YA about how much she likes name brands, she brings up this wallet. The fact that it was on sale, that I didn’t know the name of the designer or the fact that I’ve used this wallet for almost 15 years and it’s quite worn doesn’t matter.

    What’s in it – very similar to PJ. One photo id, credit card, insurance and frequent buyer cards. Not usually much cash and I don’t take receipts any more.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Today my wallet and plastic cards will go with me through the snow to get some groceries, go to the gym, run errands. That’s it. The iPhone with the pictures gets all the sentiment now.

    I don’t like the wallet I have now–I can never find anything in it, it is too big and it is heavy. The coins get stuck in the coin pouch. The bills don’t stay organized. Many of the wallets out there, I do not like very much. They are too big, too small, have zippers that break or stick, don’t have enough room for the wads of plastic credit cards and premium programs, and they generally Just Don’t Work For Me. What to do. I am going to search on-line next. Maybe somewhere?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. My current wallet/checkbook setup includes no sentiment. That’s queer for such a sentimental old guy! I used to carry photos of special people in my wallet, but I exported that stuff to a file on my computer. When my computer sits idle for a few minutes, it drops into a slideshow screensaver program. (Yes, I know screensavers are irrelevant these days.) That means my computer constantly churns through the 107 photos that are currently my favorites. I see those images far more often than if they were printed on paper and stuck in a wallet.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have never had photos in my wallet – although I have them every where else (phone, computer, cube at work, fridge, and I think every room in my house.

    Even my frequent buyer cards don’t take up as much space any more since I found an app for my phone that keeps track of them for me, including my library card.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. More than one! I used the simplest one but even that wants to remind that things are on sale at my chosen places. Ick.


  8. Jacque, you certain.y have a precious memory and the wallet & photo reminder….beautiful find.

    I have a small holder of credit cards, drive licensee, insurance cards…which are in an unused Bose earphone ziqered case. I seldom carry a purse-this fits in a pocket of a sweatshirt or jeans and only with me to drive usually to the grocery store or church.

    Havent carried the traditional billfold with checks and plastic folders for photos in years. My daughters family are either on walls, furniture tops or in my iPad.

    I saved my father’s wallet after brothers went through…as it housed a photo of my mom…he had taken & developed when they were students at Gustavus. Old, weathered-yellowed….yet still very clearly my mom-a young gal smiling at him….early photo. I saved that. Found a duplicate while going through things and framed it. Stuff like that is meaningful…tells more than just the story of a photo and holds precious sentiment for me.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. All that plastic I need to carry AAAAAALL that plastic I need to carry and I only have one credit card. Rarely money. Receipts but there are not in there long. That is it. My wallets last so long–I am cheap–that the plastic sleeves brittlize themselves to chips and powder so I quit carrying pictures, plus AAAALL that plastic took over. I hate new wallets. With my sensitivities to feel and touch, wallets drive me nuts until they conform to my posterior, what little there is of it.
    I have my screen saver set to randomize me through the few thousand photos in my computer, including all from my childhood and from 50 years of marriage and grandkids and trips.
    Lately my brain gives me random sensory impressions from throughout my life, mostly my childhood. Sounds (axes cutting in the woods), smells (football locker room after hot day practice), touch (oil and grease on my hands during haying season), images (Lake Superior storm). Nothing for a soap operaish here. Sort of pleasant. But has my computer scroll started one in my brain? Are some neurotransmitters trying to tell me something?

    Liked by 3 people

  10. As with most wallets, my wallet contents are dull: a credit card and a debit card, driver’s license, insurance cards, AAA, library cards, a couple of memberships. Never much cash. I don’t do loyalty/discount cards.

    I have a wallet, though, that belonged to my Swedish grandfather who died in 1954. It’s a nineteenth century style wallet- larger, flatter, not a back pocket sort of wallet. Inside are receipts for money cabled back to Sweden starting in 1916, the year he arrived. This was perhaps repayment for money he borrowed for passage to America. This would have been before he met my grandmother (who would have been 11 years old in 1916) and before he settled in Minnesota. The only other thing in the wallet is, curiously, a Christmas card, clearly contemporaneous with the cable receipts and containing two small calling cards- one from a Miss and one from a Mrs.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I did a little research on the names on the calling cards. They were sisters, born in Blue Earth County, Minnesota but living in Skagit and later Everett, Washington. Everett is where my grandfather first went when he came to America.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. My father carried his wallet in the top of bib overalls, which he wore almost all the time. He had the same wallet from 1945 to 1975 because it was there. I was thinking I should start wearing bib overalls with belts driving me nuts and no back porch to hold up my pants. Sandy is not in agreement about the overalls.
    We have a safety deposit box to hold papers, none of which have any meaning anymore. Old mortgage stuff, meaningless certificates, expired passport. Well, there is the car title card. Sandy wants to hold onto all of it. But . . . I am cheap.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I carry some business cards from a job I left around ten years ago, with the contact info crossed out and my current phone number and e-mail address written in. This is because there are some restaurants I go to that have a bowl set out for a contest – win a free dinner for two or some such thing – if you drop in a business card. I have current business cards, but I don’t like to use them up in a (so far) fruitlesss attempt to win something, so I modify the old useless ones instead.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. All the plastic that you would expect , the remnants of a gift card to a local restaurant, some business cards of specific staff people at my mom’s residence, a few coupons, one check and one deposit slip (I stopped carrying the whole checkbook), The end flap from the box that contained the printer cartridges – I can never remember what the heck the numbers are when I’m at Office Max… A card from a local clothing consignment shop where I’ve taken things.

    Not to make you cry, but I enjoyed what son Joel (who died in 2007) had in his wallet: photos of his nieces and nephews, a list of family and friends’ birthdays, his Athens Café punch card, and a list of which gas companies did not import middle east oil. Made me proud.

    Liked by 8 people

  14. Funny – I’ve never thought of a wallet as a female possession or owned one. My purses have all had little pockets in them in which my license, credit cards, and medical cards are kept.

    That being said, I was touched by your reflecting upon finding some treasures in your sorting, VS. Perhaps this project will spring you into action to de-clutter other parts of your home. About a year ago, I cleaned out just one cupboard, then another one. Little did I know that just this small act would evolve into a full-blown de-cluttering of the entire cottage! It took about a month of daily work, 45 yards bags full of disgarded stuff, and hiring a garbage hauler. When it was done, every cupboard, closet, and drawer was emptied. What remained was organized. I could die tomorrow and my kids could walk in and not have to do a thing other than pick out what they each want.

    For you, dealing with tons of pictures sounds like “step one”; for me, it was my final project. I pored out boxes of pictures on the floor, sat there, and tossed each one into several categories (each kid; vacations; holidays; ancient photos; etc.), then put them into several shoe boxes. Next, I stuck in upended index cards with the name of each category. This was a far cry from making albums, but at least it placed them in some order!

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Sorry, Jacque, didn’t mean to suggest that you do. And neither do I have the perception that clutter is an issue for Vs.


        2. No offense taken! Because I am still sorting my mom’s stuff, I dread having my own so I probably don’t keep enough clutter around. A little clutter can be a comfort! I did find a stash of my son’s schoolwork–that us as dear as the wallet.

          Liked by 3 people

        1. It’s a function of how the Daily Post is put up. If you put the post in yourself then the header will say your name. If you send the post to me or Renee and we put it in then that header will say my name or Renee’s name, but then the first sentence of the Daily Post will say this post comes to you from, or today’s post compliments all. Clear as mud?

          Liked by 1 person

  15. My wallet is all plastic or little cards or receipts — no cash. A few old pictures of the boys in grade school I haven’t cleaned out. Bus card, work ID, insurance cards, etc. The one interesting sentimental item is a book of matches from the old Sambo’s restaurant. My brother gave it to me a few years ago. My first job was at a Sambo’s in Green Bay, WI. He told me that if I ever needed a reminder of how far I’ve come, to just look at that little matchbook. Funny and sweet.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Sambo’s–now there is a chain that would no longer be politically correct! There was one in Ames, Iowa near the ISU campus that my friends and I used to frequent.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. My wallet/purse is strictly utilitarian, but a few years ago I ran across a wallet’s photo section that must have been from high school or early college…a photo of my younger sister, the collie I had to give up after my folks broke up and a cousin I had a crush on in his navy uniform that my grandmother sent me.

    Doing genealogy research I responded to a posting on a “cousins” website that listed the surnames of my great grandparents. The woman who answered confirmed we were related…in the exchange of emails I mentioned having a crush on a cousin who had lived with my grandparents one summer…she said, “That would be my husband.” She sent photos of him as a career navy officer…then we determined that they had lived in Duluth and he delivered FedEx packages to the MPR office I worked in…but did not recognize him.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. I have the usual plastic, along with Irish coins and euros from our trip last May. I might also add that I finally sent in a guest post to Sherrilee

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Husband is hard on his wallets. He doesn’t use his much, and it just stays in his back pocket, but every wallet quickly disintegrates to a deplorable state of senility.


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