Monday, January 12, 2009

Fun Monday - Quirky Things

Jan, matriarch of The Prytz Family is hosting Fun Monday this week:
What is the quirkiest thing in your home that you will never give away?


The timing of this question is pretty amazing, given recent headlines and my quirky object...

This thoughtful man would be Harold Pinter, who died recently. He was a well-known, highly respected playwright who wove silences into his plays so well that they were considered statements.

Many of his plays were on Broadway and later translated into movies. The 1960's were his golden years in that regard, and in 1964, a little play called The Homecoming was playing out in the city that never sleeps.

One of the main characters was a grumpy old curmudgeon named Max. The actor who played Max (both on stage and in the movie) is my grandfather, Paul Rogers. Max was a nasty old man.

My mother had never met my grandfather (he lives in England and didn't make the wedding), so when he came over to do the play, Dad took Mom to New York to meet him. They stayed in Sir John Gielgud's apartment and went to the play, planning to meet Grandpa afterwards.

The play is a bit of a shocker. And this was my mother's introduction to Grandpa. When the lights came back up, she really wasn't sure if she wanted to meet that guy. Grandpa was a very convincing actor.

Luckily, he is also a sweetheart. Dad convinced Mom to meet him and she's loved him ever since.

Harold Pinter also loved my grandfather and was very appreciative of the excellent acting he brought to his play. As a gesture of thanks, he gave my grandfather this:

Pinter's cup

Hmmm... I think I need to clean the leather up a little.

Pinter's cup

It's a silver, collapsible drinking cup - given to my grandfather by Harold Pinter.

Pinter's cup

My husband pretty much freaked out when I showed him this after hearing of Pinter's death. I'm sure dollar signs were dancing in his head - he even mentioned going on Antiques Roadshow to see how much it's worth. Unfortunately, there is no inscription, no way to prove that that is what the cup is or where it came from.

But even if we could, it doesn't matter anyway. Because this is MY cup and I will never give it away or sell it. It's part of family lore, part of who we are. And a reminder of who we've been.

As a side note, I keep this IN the Pinter Cup:

1922 Silver Dollar

My friend Steph's great grandmother gave this to me when I was a child. I have no idea why she gave it to me, but everytime I see it, it reminds me of the times we (Steph and I) spent together as children. I can smell the pot roast, taste the sweet tea, see the pliers Steph used to pull up the zipper on her jeans (she believed in TIGHT jeans). I can hear us laughing. All from that coin.

This is a clip from The Homecoming movie. It's rather long, and Grandpa doesn't show up until about five minutes in, but if you watch it, you can see why my mom was nervous about meeting him!



17 comments:

Jan said...

Sayre, you've outdone yourself. Marvelous post and visuals. I would never get rid of the drinking cup, either; not only is it unique, it has history.

Janis said...

What a great story, having an actor in the family is really something to talk about and be proud of. The cup is a wonderful keepsake as a reminder of your Grandpa and his hey day. Love the coin also, always nice to have something that brings back fun happy memories.

kath said...

What a wonderful story. My husband works in theatre and has some wonderful keepsakes given to him. There is such a community of thoughtfulness and support that exists in that world.
I popped over from Lisa's Chaos.

Jientje said...

I watched the lip. He was a great actor, your grandfather. And never ever ever give that away, treasure it like you do now! Thanks for sharing this, it's special!

m (the misanthrope) said...

Wow, what a great story, Sayre! And yeah, phooey on Antiques Roadshow...it is YOURS! I don't have much of anything from my grandparents. I think my parents have a few bits and pieces, which will probably end up with me one day. But since I never really knew any of my grandparents, I would truly value anything they owned, no matter how small. Great post, and happy FM!

Faye said...

Oh my goodness, Sayre! What a fabulous story(by the way, I don't use the word "fabulous" often). I have not seen Homecoming but will definitely try to rent it from Netflix or--even better--hope it comes to our local Actor's Theater. I can't wait to "meet" your grandfather. This is what I love so much about blogging. Everyone has the most interesting life stories. All for the sharing!

koehmstedt said...

What a great story and I wouldn't get rid of the cup or the coin either, both have so much sentimental value.

hulagirlatheart said...

Wow! That. Is. Just. Too. Cool. I love this story. You have quite a treasure.

karisma said...

Wow that was a great post Sayre. Very interesting. I also would not part with something so special, I just hate the way people put a dollar sign on everything. SB always says to the kids, something is only worth what YOU are willing to pay for it, not what the dollar sign says. We use that philosophy in all our purchases. I think sentimental value far outweighs material gain.

WT said...

Wow, what an amazing story! An in an amazing coincidence, my first choice was also a collapsible cup, but as it had no intrinsic value, I would give it to someone if they asked.

ChrisB said...

What a wonderful story and a delightful family treasure.

Pamela said...

"you'll drown in your own blood!" wow!!!
and WOW!
great acting. I'm quite shaken!

Julie said...

Those are both awesome items. The collapsible cup only because of it's previous owner, but wow. And the coin. I know it is valuable, but I think your memories are more valuable than the money it would bring. I agree that you should always keep it.

I will have to come back when I have time to watch the clip.

Molly said...

Both your cup and he story about your mom, your grandfather, and harold Pinter is quite fascinating. I understand that you would not want to sell it. However, going on the Antiques Roadshaw to teel your story would be wondrous fun.

The Church Lady said...

That is some story! I would never part with the cup either! You will always have the cup as a reminder of your grandfather and the story behind it to be handed down from generation to generation.

Gattina said...

What a nice story ! of course you can never give these things away !

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