Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I bought my husband a pewter salt cellar shaped like an open clam shell this week at Amos Pewter in Mahone Bay. It has a tiny, handmade spoon that goes with it and the cellar itself is supported by three tiny conch shells as feet. You might wonder why I would buy my husband a salt cellar but I had to because when I first spotted it such a feeling of nostalgia came over me that I just had to. It brought back warm memories of his grandfather and I knew it would do the same for my husband.

I first met my husband's maternal grandfather, Norman Stultz, when hubby and I began dating. He was a tall, slim, elegant gentleman in the richest form of the word. He was a true renaissance man with varied interests and a keen knowledge in many areas. He was self taught in the art of wood carving and furniture making.

He was a gourmet in the kitchen and had refined tastes. He believed that if you were going to have a meal it was worth having it done up right. He loved Spode china and linen tablecloths and silverware. He believed that every plate should have a garnish no matter how simple the meal was. And he never had a salt shaker on the table, instead he used salt cellars: tiny clear cut crystal bowls with little silver spoons to dish out the loose salt.

 He was meticulous in detail and fastidious in his dress and appearance. For all his love of finery, he was a man's man. In his younger days he would go hunting, carrying a gun, but never actually shooting anything. He enjoyed being in the woods with all the sights and smells.

And he was a romantic. He loved his wife Effie Rooney more than anything on earth. He spent his life trying to measure up to be the man he felt she deserved. He was the son of a stone mason and she was the daughter of the mine supervisor. He always felt that he had married above his station in life. Twice a year he would tell her it was time for her to have new dresses and he would take her to Mills Brothers in Halifax for new clothes.

When I was working at Birks Jewelers he came one day and told me he wanted to buy Effie new dishes because the old ones were 'old'. So I started showing him the inexpensive, everyday patterns but he stopped me and said Effie deserved the best and he wanted to see the Spode patterns. He ended up buying her a service for 12 that day in the Spode India Tree pattern. It wasn't long afterwards that he asked me to order 12 creamed soup bowls and saucers just because she should have those too and he liked the look of them. He was a romantic.

He loved the Lord and was active in his church. He had a rich baritone voice and would often sing solos and in cantatas and with the choir. Once he even played the part of a pirate in a play, complete with a dashing red sash tied around his waist. He loved poetry and could recite long verses.

 He served in the Second World War and was stationed in England and later Labrador. He never talked about the war except to say how bad the food was and he would sing silly army songs that had everyone laughing. He always said that he fought so that our generation wouldn't have to know of war.

I helped him build a small cottage one summer and I loved our time together. When we were married he made us a beautiful, drop front corner desk. The grandfather clock he built for himself is now in our dining room and I have a bowl that he carved. He was a painter and one of his paintings hang in our living room. His memory is all around us. He was the type of man that every man should want to be like. He loved his family and he loved the Lord. He was a gentleman and a self taught scholar. He was an interesting, wonderful person.  He was an easy person to be around and when he died I felt like I had lost a grandfather too.

None of our children ever had the chance to meet Gramp, but we have told them many stories about him to keep his memory alive. He was the Christian influence my husband needed in his life and he made a profound impact on all of the lives he touched. Even his memory continues to influence others to be like him. I miss him.

" not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them." Deuteronomy 4:9

Post a Comment