The Legacy Box

Legacy boxes have been around forever. The current trend is to send photographs, home movies off for digitalization, forever memorialized. Seems like a good solution, but only until technology renders them as obsolete as their original source.

The other problem with this method is what to do with old letters, news clippings and such. Often people save old letters, passing them on in the belief the “correct” version of family history is recorded and undisputed. Or, maybe they simply want to spiff up their image.

Legacy Box
Legacy Box
My grandmother didn’t have a legacy box as such, just an old box whose original purpose had worn beyond recognition.

Many of the pictures were mystery people; no clue whatsoever about their identity.

I have enormous guilt about what to do with them. Is it a form of murder to shred photos that are approaching 200 years of age?

The situation gets worse. There is a lock of hair encased in a tattered ribbon.

I have a serious character flaw; I cannot bear to touch hair from an unknown individual. Eons ago, people clipped hair from deceased relatives. It gave me the willies to think I had a lock of corpse hair hanging around. I threw it out. Thus far I have escaped a lightning strike or unpleasant visit from an angry grandmother on the “other side.”

I decided not to burden my descendants with a legacy box. I am fairly certain that the perfectly darling photos of me as a curly-haired tot would not merit anything more than a passing glance by future generations.

As for letters, I burned them all, except one letter from my Dad saying he “smelled hell” paying off his mortgage. It is too funny to destroy.

People who pass on old letters in the belief their truth is irrefutable, forget there is always someone who remembers and knows that legacy box was highly sanitized.


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