In that post about building models as a kid, I mentioned how my old models were left behind at my grandparents’ house, and later demolished (with my permission!) by younger family members. I forgot, though, that there was one rescue, and it came home with me. My grandparents asked me to build a decorative model sailing ship for their mantel, and they bought me a kit.
I worked hard on it, since it was to be a gift for them, and it had to look good and classy. I spent months on it, and remember being a real perfectionist in getting all the shroud lines perfect and taut, staining the sails to get that perfect tone, painting every little detail. I’m proud to say that it was gloriously displayed in their living room for many years afterward, until their deaths. That was the one model my family saved from destruction and brought home for me.
It wasn’t exactly perfectly preserved.
The bowsprit was snapped off, the spars have been torn away from the masts, the rigging is sagging, it’s dusty and stained. I’m thinking, though, that it might be a pleasant project to repair over spring break…a little superglue, some delicate forceps work, I could maybe get the major stuff back in alignment and get it looking battered but presentable. I wouldn’t want it pristine, though — it has a history.
Also, when I lean in real close and sniff, I can still smell my grandfather’s cigars. They added some patina to the sails.