Wednesday, May 1, 2013



The coffee mug was a Christmas gift for my father, purchased in 1962 at a small pottery shop on south 10th street, across from a side entrance to Jefferson Medical College.  I spotted the mug when Gene, my roommate during our second year at Jeff, and I stopped in to browse during mid-day break in our schedule.  Shopping for my dad more often than not meant a book or some wine related accessory, and this mug caught my eye; it would make the perfect gift to a man who drank as much coffee as he did.

Stoneware (fireware) mug made by Utestar in Austria

The truth is, I don’t remember how he responded to the gift, because of all that was happening in our lives at that time.  While I was up to my eyebrows with schoolwork, my father had the first of what would be a series of crippling heart attacks; so much of that period is a medical school dominated haze and the mug soon became distant history.  As the years passed by, the mug was proving itself to be indestructible, surviving frequent use and three household moves.  Eventually a cup and saucer replaced the mug as my father’s “go to” vessel for his daily coffee, and the mug was passed back to me.  Again, I don’t remember when this happened; I think I’ve been using it for at least 15 years, and maybe as long as 20 years.

The replacement

It has become important to me – a reminder of so many periods in my life, but more importantly, it provides an enduring and humble link to my father.  I have a lot of “stuff” in my possession, but very little that has survived over 50 years of constant use.

The lesson here?  I gotta improve my memory!


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