Dad’s Clippings

I cannot say exactly when it began. I do not recall the first time I received an article clipped from the pages of the newspaper with my name scribbled on it by my father. I imagine it began in high school when I would sit down for breakfast and see a clipping on the table, as I would be getting ready to start my first meal of the day. I was born the youngest child of seven siblings. I have five sisters before me and one brother who is the oldest of the siblings. My brother and I are referred to as the book ends in relation to sisters who fall in between the two of us.  The other day I was visiting my family for a quick visit and noticed some clippings that I had left at my oldest sister’s house. A few months earlier I stayed with her and her husband after returning from a two year stay in Central America and inadvertently left a collection of clippings behind that my father had saved for me. When my sister saw the collection she smiled and quickly said “Dad’s tweets”. My brother in law questioned the reference and she explained that she refers to Dad’s clippings as “tweets”.  Dad’s collection of clippings is not just limited to me. For years he has saved articles, personal interest pieces, advertisements and reviews to name a few for all members of the family.  My father’s preferred newspapers are the Wall Street Journal and the Local Chronicle in Augusta, Georgia.  Over the course of the year each child would be given a stack of clippings that my father thought may interest us or that had do with something in our life at the time. Looking back at my collection of clipping I imagine they would act as a time line of my life and what job or activity interested me at that time.  When I left home to attend culinary school in Charleston, South Carolina I would return home to visit and receive my collection of articles having to do with culinary art. They included restaurant reviews from Charleston, recipes, job market forecasts, want ads and news stories of family friends. The clippings changed as my jobs changed. When I waited tables I would receive service tips, tip calculator articles, menus and wine lists from the restaurants my grandfather managed in the 1940s. When I managed a garden shop in Aiken I received articles on plants, water gardens, landscape design and local interest stories on Aiken, South Carolina. As of late I lived in Central America and like clockwork the clippings changed to articles about Central American economy, adds for Rosetta Stone and of course want adds based closer to home.   Understand that these clippings were not placed in bound scrap books or pasted to a paper backing. Some are cut with scissors while others are ripped by hand leaving the edges uneven and tattered. The preferred mode of transfer is a large manila envelope and as of recent clear plastic page protectors. I would not go as far to say that the clippings are jammed in the envelope or page protector but because they are randomly collected over time they are a folded, creased collection of bent edged clippings. As sure as the sun would rise you are assured to receive a batch of clippings when visiting my father. I guess in a way they are his personal way to communicate with his children. They are Dad’s Clippings.

Frankie Scavullo June 2012

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1 thought on “Dad’s Clippings

  1. Oh, Frank, I have clippings that my Dad mailed to me or placed in an envelop with a note or two on them. He even did a few to my son and daughter that they still have on their mirrors in their rooms at home. His ranged from a poem by Rudyard Kipling to a snippet from his favorite the Kiplinger Newsletter! What a great generation!

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