Annnabeth Spivey of Bluff City, TN

Picture of winner's bracelet.

Some memories stay with you always. After half a century I still remember when the love of charms first entered my life. When I was a little girl (0352) in the early 1960’s (4763), my family ate out every Friday night. If I was lucky, this might be followed by a trip to the department store (this being long before the days of malls and discount chains). I always wanted to visit the Barbie aisle to look at the latest outfits - and often the record department to buy a “45” (8329). Regardless of the destination, on the way back out of the store, I would steer my mother by the jewelry counter on which there was a rotating display containing tiny silver figures. I was fascinated by these and loved looking at all the little details. One evening as we slowly turned the case, Mom explained that girls bought these to go on something called a “charm bracelet.” Ooooh, I liked the sound of that! So, I was thrilled when on my 7th birthday (in addition to my first Beatles record) I unwrapped a gleaming silver charm bracelet adorned with two of the figures I’d been admiring: a Scottie (0150) like our own little dog, “Tootsie,” and an angel, which my mother said represented me. Now when our family would hop in the 1959 Pontiac (6394) for our Friday outings, I could wear my charm bracelet to the store feeling proud and grown up as I gazed in the glass cabinet and dreamed of the beautiful charms that might one day be mine. As I grew, so did the number of charms on my bracelet. My mother, who was a 2nd grade teacher (3461), was as sentimental as I and took care to buy charms that were meaningful to me in some way. It is very special for me now to look back at those charms and know how lovingly and thoughtfully she chose them. I remember my dad in those detailed miniatures as well: the bicycle charm reminds me of the day he taught me to ride, while the telephone charm takes me back to the thrilling day he installed an extension phone in my bedroom! My dad was a very special person. He grew up in rural North Carolina and told wonderful stories of his childhood there. When we would visit the old home place it was like stepping back in time – even having to use an outhouse (8147). My mom and dad have passed away now and I am married (8165) with a daughter of my own (1252). Like my mother, both of us are teachers. Our hobby is traveling and we have been to several foreign countries. Of course I’ve started a bracelet featuring a charm from each country – our favorite being England (3620), home of the Beatles (8221)! As for all the other charms I continued to collect over the years, they long ago outgrew several bracelets, so I took my favorites and had them made into a charm necklace. Now as I look at a half century of charms, each tiny figure takes me back for a moment to its own unique memory. When people stop to look at (and admire) my necklace, they may not be seeing the most costly piece of jewelry around but are certainly seeing one of the most treasured. And in the center they will see a jaunty little Scottie dog and a winged angel – bought many, many years ago for a starry-eyed seven year old girl who had just begun to be “charmed.”

Annabeth Spivey
Bluff City, TN
Story of Your Life Winner
January 2014

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