The Thermometer

wall thermometer
My memory is fuzzy but I think my sister, Dee Dee, gave me this wall thermometer in August 2013. Her husband had passed and I was between jobs so I had time to drive from my home in Florida to Ohio to be with her and her family. That was a very painful and emotional time. Terry was a one of a kind man. A Marine, a wonderful father, a loving husband, and the smartest and funniest guy I've ever known. Definitely taken too early.

This wall thermometer belonged to my mother. Dee Dee inherited it along with most of mom's personal possessions when mom died. I have no idea why Dee Dee still had this old thing decades later. I was happy and thankful to receive it.

Earlier, in 2006, after my Aunt Babe, died her family sent my sister a box full of loose photographs. There must have been 50 to 75 pictures from the 1930s to the 1970s. Dee Dee sent them to me. Up to that point I had very few photos of my family. I was over the moon with pleasure to get this treasure chest of memories. 

In 2013, when I got back home from Terry's service, I starting looking closely at the thermometer. Turning it over in my hands. It started triggering memories.

I remembered seeing The Thermometer in some of the historic family pictures from Aunt Babe. It's one of those unexplained cosmic life events, a synchronicity, that I would be separated from the thermometer in 1980 and then be reunited with it 33 years later. The following photo essay documents the history and travels of The Thermometer (you can click each picture to get a better view). 

The first documented appearance of The Thermometer around 1961 or 1962 at our house on Dolby Drive on Columbus's south side. I would have been 4 or 5 years old. I'm holding a Casper the Friendly Ghost doll. Dad appears to be nursing a headache. When the world was still in black and white.

We are still on Dolby Drive. Must be sometime in late 1968 or early 1969. That's my mom, Bettie Jean, and my brother Brian. Mom was smoking Camel non-filters. My dad made two matching lamps from the legs of an ornate dining room table he had scavenged. I think The Thermometer moved to the left.  The world is now in living color. 

March, 1970, Rygate Drive, Reynoldsburg, Ohio. My beautiful sister with big hair. My older brother, Timothy was home on leave from serving as a paratrooper in Vietnam.  My mom and little brother. The chalk sketch on the wall above them was a profile of me done at the Cedar Point theme park in Sandusky, Ohio.

Christmas, 1971. I was 15 and spoiled like a week old banana. I think this was our Roundelay Road home in Reynoldsburg. There's another camel but not the smokeable kind.  And one of dad's lamps still peaks out frame left. 

Approximately autumn of 1973. I'm heading out to audition for a role in the movie Saturday Night Fever. This is definitely our Roundelay Road home. An electric coo coo clock? What the what? This is the last photo I have from the history of The Thermometer. 

June 2022. Here, The Thermometer is on my wall in Florida, 62 years later. It's certainly had a rich life. I'm glad it can't talk. It's true that they don't make things now like they used to because this thermometer still works just fine. It's currently 79 degrees. I think I'll to leave it to the National Weather Service in my will.  Just one of life's oddities.