“A few years ago my grandma was moving and of course she never throws anything out! This usually results in her not knowing what she has. This wasn’t found in a wall, but I think the story is pretty special nonetheless. When we were helping her clean out her old apartment in preparation for the move, I found this old yellow pouch stuffed in the back of an old dresser drawer. I took it out and found this old gold pocket watch with my great-grandfather’s (known in the family as “Papa Joe”) initials on it. No one else in the family wanted it, but I definitely did!”
“I later learned that Papa Joe got this pocket watch for his Bar Mitzvah in 1913, and that the watch itself was made by the Illinois Watch Company in 1907. This is very special since Papa Joe was an immigrant, coming to America with his family in 1900, and for enough money to be saved to get him a gold pocket watch for his Bar Mitzvah is so remarkable. His family lived their American Dream and I can just imagine his reaction getting the watch inscribed with his initials. My grandma later found this picture of Papa Joe wearing the pocket watch at his Bar Mitzvah and I just about lost it! To hold in my hands while looking at my great-grandfather wearing it over 100 years earlier – it’s something I can’t really describe.”
Info about Papa Joe: born in Lithuania, Papa Joe owned a clothing company called “Bands Waste Material Co.” Where we lived, there used to be clothing factories called Ohio Knitting Mills. The OG upcycler, Papa Joe would buy up the scrap fabric and make new clothes out of them! He would walk up to people, reach out to touch their clothes and would tell what fabric it was.