Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

December 14, 2011

Id Bracelet and Tallulah Gorge

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

One of my “slip-away-to” places as a teenager and young adult was Clayton, Georgia.  There are so many memories from those days.  There seemed to be something that would draw me to the lakes, mountains, and the general terrain.

After I had my own car, I began to make regular journeys to this area. It really began when I was a junior in high school.  If I found one or two people who just wanted to go somewhere on a Sunday afternoon, or sometimes for the day during the summer, I would always head for Clayton and the surrounding area.  Just 13 miles south of Clayton is Tallulah Gorge.

I always stopped at the gorge.  There was a souvenir shop beside the road.  It was a good place to stop for refreshments and view the gorge.  There was also an overlook.  It is a spectacular canyon.  Over 2 miles long and nearly 1,000 feet deep.  Today there is a wonderful state park where you can hike down the gorge and other activities are available.

On one  Sunday afternoon, I made the trip with several friends.  We stopped, as usual, at the overlook.  As we did often, we began to pick up some stones and throw them across the gorge.  Not that it was possible, but you always tried.  We could not cast a stone far enough to even clear the steep terrain and hit the river below.  But it was fun to see how far we could throw the rock.

On this day, as I threw a stone — someone remarked with excitement, “What is that silver thing?”  I didn’t really have time to see the object.  But a couple of the friends saw it and knew it was not a stone.

In that quick moment, I had the awareness and yelled, “It’s my bracelet!”  Yep, that it goes!  My favorite gift from the Christmas past!  I had so wanted that bracelet, and my parents had given it to me.  It was a Speidel Photo Ident bracelet!

For those who don’t know that famous product, let me introduce you to it. The Speidel Photo Ident bracelet dates back to the time of drive-in movies.  Often “steady” couples had them.  (By the way, no girl had one to match mine — you figure that out!)

Some similar bracelets are back in fashion now, especially as medical Id bracelets.  But those in my day came on the scene in 1951.  Before that date, Id bracelets were a chain which featured a solid metal plate about an inch and a half in length.  The person’s name was engraved on the plate.  Many times, seriously dating couples would have them and exchange them to identify to whom they belonged!

Again, I had one — and unfortunately, there was no match since there was no one to whom I belonged!  But this Photo Id bracelet had an expandable wristband rather than a chain.  The plate on which one’s name would be engraved, opened and inside was a place for a small photograph.  How I treasured this bracelet!

But, alas, there at Tallulah Gorge, it sailed through the air.  The force of throwing the rock caused that expansion band to enlarge enough to slip over my hand and follow the rock through the air!  I was stunned!  It took me a few second to comprehend it was gone forever!  Some of my friends did not think so.  One of the young ladies said, “Let’s go get it.”  She began to climb below the overlook.  I insisted it would be foolish.  There would never be the possibility to find it.  It might be hanging it a tree!  We could never know how far out it had gone!  And besides, there was no way one could climb very far down that steep gorge.

I had to accept it was gone — and gone forever!  Well, maybe not gone forever  — but separated from me forever!  And I realized the other day — even after about 60 plus years — that bracelet is possibly still there!  At least wherever it landed!  Could it have survived?  Yes, if it is true what they say about stainless steel!  That bracelet had a stainless steel back, with sterling silver on the top where my name was engraved.  That part of the bracelet might be unrecognizable because of tarnish and corrosion, but that band is probably still in those lonely woods!

And what about the picture inside?  You are waiting probably for me to confess what picture  was inside.  Did I have a picture of a sweetheart inside?  Oh, how I wish!  Did I have a picture of my beloved dog, Pug?  No!  Did I dare have my own picture?  Now, come on — can you imagine how conceited a person would have to be?  Did I have cheat notes in it for some exam?  Quit guessing.  I will confess.

My confession is that it was none of the above!  In honest confession, I don’t think I had anything in it.  I suppose I was waiting for some young lady to give me a picture of herself so I could put it in that bracelet.  But it never happened.  Woe is me!

So, somewhere on the side of that beautiful gorge lies one 1951 Speidel Photo Id bracelet.  Now that I can afford it, I am offering a reward!  Looking for adventure — a hunt — a challenge?  Go find it!

I don’t grieve over it.  But I have enjoyed the memory.  And the loss of that Id bracelet reminds me that my identity was not defined by that bracelet. I lost a bracelet, but not my identity.  I am still the same person.  I am not defined by material things or things that I own.  I am identified by whom I am in Christ Jesus!  I won’t need an Id bracelet to get into heaven . . . or for God to know who I am!  He knew me before I was ever born . . . He has never forgotten me . . . and now He knows me as His child because of my faith in His Son.

“The Lord knows those who are his . . . .”  (2 Timothy 2:19)“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!  (1 John 3:1)

Lawson

 

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