WHICH ICONS TELL CULTURE'S HISTORY?
To be a commodity a good or service has to be of use to the purchaser and produced for the purpose of exchanging for money which can be used to exchange for commodities produced by others and purchased for one's own use.
A thing, a good or a service, produced for one's personal use, or as a gift, or received as a gift, is not a commodity
But, but, but what if the use is to hold it as private property one may exchange for money sometime in the future?
What if the use is to communicate to a loan officer that in exchange for $100,000 today, one will pay $100,050 next year?
Mike and I are 83. We have a lot of stuff we care about. Some, we inherited. Some, we collected that others created. Some WAS created by one of us or by one of our sons. Our sons, Jeb and Clem, are 52 and 47 and interested in inheriting very little of what we treasured. We have appraised value on some of the stuff we inherited in 1980, 1997, and 2003.
Here's the point of this page: Emory University Archives is taking all my papers. Georgia Tech is taking all of Mike's. Mine include papers from Virginia and Texas and Mexican ancestors that invited me to think of historic events differently from what I'd read in published accounts. I inherited things from them too. Looking back through my own papers reminds me of things i thought and said and what I thought about what others said leading up to, and as a result of, events described differently by published historians.
This is not the time or place to go into what I think about memoirs, histories, media coverage and sociological reports. Suffice it to say that when operating as a participant observer of the trials and tribulations of Maggie Bozeman and Julia Wilder, I ended up tape recording continuously from Jan 20, 1981 to Dec 31, 1984. I decided to tape and hope someone else would write it later after realizing whatever I wrote after one visit was contradicted by what I saw the next. I could write up what wasn't so, or find out what was. When I started visiting them they knew and I knew they were being used as guinea pigs for Beta testing the New Southern Strategy devised for white Southern Democrats changing into white Southern Republicans between 1964 and 1974. By 1984 Maggie and Miz Julia had turned the force generated to re-suppress 'the Black vote' upside down. Every white elected official in Pickens County, Alabama in 1974 had retired by 1984 and public jobs only held by Blacks had all gotten a raise.
I remember driving back from Pickens County one late afternoon wondering if what I was asking for was a Faustian pact. I was asking to understand what was actually happening in exchange for not being able to publish it. I didn't mean for the story to not be published at all, nor for me not to share what I knew and understood. I just meant to give up getting credit for it in order to understand it. Now I feel guilty and ashamed for having failed to sacrifice or compromise or whatever I should have done to publicize what I understood was being done to Maggie and Miz Julia and what they did that turned their suffering into a gain for people like them and worse off. Ditto on a lot of other things I came to understand and didn't do enough about.
Now, as I mentioned above, Mike and I are 83 and need to pass on things as well as thoughts. Below is my Beta test to pass on something I'm hoping someone will enjoy having and use as a vehicle for moving thoughts I'm packaging as best I can with them.
They say on Antique Roadshow that things made for the same purpose by the same maker and sold for the same price at the same time command vastly different prices years later, depending on two variables: condition and provenance.
Something offered in 2022 in mint condition will sell for a lot more money than the same thing marked by use.
Unless of course the marks, chips, fading are the result of having been used by some famous person like say a baseball signed by Babe Ruth, or as part of some famous event like the last inning of a world series signed by a pitcher who only played that season.