A keepsake passed from generation to generation tells the story of a family. When we behold such a sentimental object it becomes a powerful force of beauty for it has the power to connect us in ways we may not expect. If we’re lucky when we hold it ….time itself… seems to evaporate for a moment or two as we glimpse both the past and the present and the interconnectedness of us all.
According to Georgina Davila, “We live through the memories of things.” She is the third civil engineer in her family to cherish the family’s heirloom measuring tape that has traveled around the globe through family milestones. Built in the 1920’s the measuring tape is imprinted, Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina. (See photo). Her Uncle Hugo received it upon graduation from engineering school in Argentina. Family legend has it that when Georgina’s father, Emillo prepared to immigrate to the United States, Hugo bestowed it upon him saying, “You will need it in the new world to do engineering and construction.” In turn, Georgina received it when she graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering from California State University of Fullerton in 1993.
So how has this the “tape” measured in the United States for Georgina’s family? Technically it is in the metric system and when Georgina Davilla’s father, Emillo began life in America in 1968 he soon found the American measuring system to be quick different. Her father learned English over time and installed drywall first as a craftsman then later as a business owner. All the while, he played music at night. That’s how it measures…it tells a family’s story. Georgina shared, “My Dad played music with famous people…Quincy Jones….Santana… and the Downey Symphony in the 1960s and 1970s.” Oh the stories….like the measuring tape itself, it measures….a good life.
When Georgina took the measuring tape and its 100-year old carrying case to Chemers Gallery she wanted it preserved for generations, a reminder of the ties connecting a long line of engineers. She said, “Karen made it beautiful…and when I see it now. I see my Dad.” Karen noted, “When we frame family heirlooms for our clients, memories and emotions surface as we unwrap their treasures.”