History Lesson: Part 1

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 3:09 PM


My flat is filled with old things.

A family used to live here, then the children moved out and it was just the couple, and finally just the mother-now-grandmother was left. From the random kitchenware to the bits of newspaper clippings to the out-dated tapestries, you can tell she held onto things.

Then I discovered the buttons. In two tins tucked away in a closet, there is a wealth of buttons: round, rectangular, shiny, spotted, bumpy. I started putting them on strings and hanging them in my room, imagining the grandmother loving the fact that I was admiring all the buttons.

Some friends came over and we were sorting through them in the living room, showing each other when we found a favorite. Then Laura sees a lapel pin. She is shocked.

She holds it up for us to see. "Do you know what this is?"

We all shake our heads.

"This is the sign of the Republic. That means that the people living in this flat were Republican."

I act in awe with everyone else, but I don't really understand.

Later I find out that, during the Civil War, all of Asturias was Republican. Except for Oviedo. Oviedo was Fascist. I start to contemplate the repercussions of being a Republican in a Fascist city. And suddenly, my flat has a whole new history.

Comments (2)

i love the things you are learning.
ps. you misspelled hostia. but you misspelled it in a very spanish way :)

i loved these 2 posts. the buttons one is great. reminds me of my grandmother's button collection and my mother's. I had forgotten about those. wonder what it is about buttons? hmmm...your writing is terrific. liked the poem too, but somehow couldnt't get the the comment page to open.

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