Better Than Scrapbooks

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OK. So, you know I went to Charlottesville, Virginia yesterday to visit Katie Wilson Meade’s granddaughter, Elizabeth.

It was a great visit. I promise to give you the details about what it was like, but I need to get something out of the way, off my chest first. It’s big. Big, big, as Barney Fife would say.

First, Elizabeth doesn’t have Emmett’s scrapbooks; at least, she doesn’t think so. She does have several boxes of family artifacts and memorabilia in a closet that she simply hasn’t gone through yet. She’s assured me that she’d absolutely let me know if found anything related to Emmett.

But what’s better than scrapbooks?

The back of the envelope of a letter Emmett wrote to Katie in 1913.

The back of the envelope of a letter Emmett wrote to Katie in 1913.

The front of Emmett's envelope.

The front of Emmett’s envelope.

The envelope back has not been opened. It, along with an accompanying letter in Emmett’s handwriting, has been kept in a folder for years. Both are in excellent shape, the folds were crisp and clean.

What’s the big deal about this envelope?

DNA, people.

As in, Emmett’s DNA.

Sheldon realizes he holds the DNA of Leonard Nimoy in his hands. Source: CBS, via YouTube

Sheldon realizes he holds the DNA of Leonard Nimoy in his hands. Source: CBS, via YouTube

I don’t know if you watch the show, ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ but there is an episode where Sheldon Cooper is given a napkin that Leonard Nimoy used to wipe his mouth. Cooper’s reaction is priceless.

Watch the video at the link here, and you can imagine the reaction I had when I found the envelope that Emmett had licked over 100 years ago.

Of course, I didn’t suggest anything about finding a healthy ovum to grow my own Emmett Wilson, but you get the idea about how thrilled I was. I did gasp a little when I realized what it was I had in my hand. Elizabeth wanted to know the significance and I told her — she chuckled at my explanation, as I ran my finger — carefully — along the sealed edge of the envelope.

Here’s another thing about the letter — it’s also something in Emmett’s own words that I hadn’t found yet. I held the letter itself in my hand, and told Elizabeth, “I’m holding something in my hand that he held in his hand. This means a lot to me.”

She got it. Elizabeth is a kindred soul in the sense that she appreciates and treasures family artifacts.

I’ll be back after I dig through my notes and photos today. I have more to share.

 

 

 

 

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