• Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

An Old Native American Beaded Coin Purse, and a mystery.

The only memento that I have of my late paternal Grandmother Carla Margaret Throckmorton is an old Native American beaded coin purse. I remember seeing it among her possessions when I was very young so she probably bought it in the 1950’s, at a Wisconsin Dell's Native American trading post. Our family used to vacation every year in that area, and in northern Minnesota. This little treasure of a coin purse is in very fine condition, 7” x 4”, covered in tiny glass beads, with an aged rawhide leather lining and tassel. My grandmother kept antique silver dollars wrapped in a handkerchief in it. The zipper still opens and closes smoothly, so the coin purse is probably worth more or less a hundred dollars. I acquired it empty upon my mother’s passing, it was at the bottom of a box of my mother’s papers.

One hundred dollars is also the amount that my late paternal grandmother bequeathed upon me, according to page four of her Last Will And Testament. I do not know the other particulars of her will because my parents kept possession of the will. They tore out page four which had a signature line for me on it, indicating that my late grandmother wanted me to read her entire will. My parents refused to let me read the rest of my grandmother’s will, they bullied me into signing the will so that the estate could be executed, and then angrily shoved a hundred dollar bill into my hand. I do not know why they did this. I felt shamed to receive such a small amount, it seemed to be an intentional slight. I would have preferred to receive nothing. I had had no falling out with my grandmother during her life, I always felt free to call or visit her at any time, so I still wonder what message she left in her will for me. My guess would be that my grandmother believed my mother’s sad tale of malice that I was not her son’s, my father’s daughter (a parentage proven by my recent DNA test—see post on 09-09-17), and my grandmother had something to say to me about that, somewhat cowardly choosing to do so from the grave.

I recall once, when I was about eleven years old, my grandmother was telling my eight-year-old sister Carla what she would inherit from her. I innocently spoke up and asked for the beautifully framed, hand-colored antique photograph portrait of my grandmother as a child. She abruptly informed me that “No, Carla is my heir.” They both turned away from me, I felt humiliated. I had not asked for very much, only a sentimental memento.

I realize that this mystery is not of particular interest to anyone else in the world, but it is to me. Blogging is sometimes painful, but it seems useful in sorting out my life, which at my age of almost-seventy, I appreciate. It is now or never.

Caption: Old Native American Beaded Coin Purse inherited by Annmarie Throckmorton in 2013.

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