The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Memories of Girlhood: The Grandpa Figure


From the author's personal collection.

According to a notable archaeologist, "Our childhood memories constitute our own personal archaeology." I for one am totally on board with this saying; digging in the past is utterly meaningful and revealing as regards the interpretation of present and future experiences.

What I remember most vividly about my childhood are the summer holidays at the family's cottage house situated on an island of Western Greece and the person who is most directly linked with this land. My grandfather was an easy-going and lenient character, making him the coolest company to hang around for both children and adults. Whether he was narrating incredible stories, like the anatomy of a rooster–who was meant to be cooked and served as our dinner–or he was telling hilarious jokes, my grandpa was one of a kind. Indeed, he was a great 'performer' and thus received the lion's share of his offspring's worship. I have images imprinted on my mind of my sister and me blocking the door so that he wouldn't be able to leave our house. I also recollect his aptitude for gardening and general craftsmanship, some of which attributes were successfully inherited by the rest of the family.

Since my grandfather died while I was very young, I came to understand the magnitude of such a figure posthumously and when I was mature enough to reappraise any given education, especially each time life presented me with people who knew my grandpa and reminded me of his unique nature. My answer to such remarks every single time was "I know," because I think it sums up all of my reactions to what I could potentially hear.

There are many turning points in life, when small or big farewells need to be addressed. And this is one of those points considering the end of an era that coincides with the demolition of my grandfather's cottage house. The place where we grew up, where we often mistook the sea for our normal habitat, where we used to collect wet sand to take back with us to the city, where we cried and laughed out so many times that we finally lost count. Above all, this will conclude the most historic landmark, grandpa's storehouse. It was built to store his collection of tools as well as machinery and remains almost intact for more than 25 years with only minor interventions in the space. I am sure that this is another imprinted shelter that will accompany me in the years to come.

So, there goes "my own archaeology."

-Magda Repouskou
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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