Monday Mayhem – Immortally yours

Yesterday morning, one of my best friends in the world sent me a text telling me that she was cleaning out her pen drawer and came across a piece of immortality:


Yes, that’s a pen with my parents’ names and home phone number on it.

Don’t fret, I’m not exposing them. They have both passed away, and that number is no longer in service. But it’s a nice piece of nostalgia on many levels. My mom’s birthday was on Saturday, so she was already on my mind. It’s a relic from a time when the telephone was our best means of instant connection with one another. And having these made was just soooooo quintessentially my father.

Bob Kidwell was here.

My dad loved having his name on things. Pens, pencils, notepads, calendars – wall and pocket versions. He loved putting our names on things. I still have a few #2 pencils emblazoned  with MARGARET MARY KIDWELL around here somewhere. He ordered them for me when I was in college. He knew I hated filling in those little circles, and I suppose he was afraid I’d forget my own name amidst the test anxiety.

When I showed the picture of the pen to Fodder, he commented that it was my dad’s bid at immorality. And I don’t think he’s far off the mark.

Twenty+ years later, they are still turning up in pen drawers.

He left behind seven children – five of them boys destined to carry on the family name – and enough custom-printed stationary items to last decades beyond his passing.

Way to go, Daddy!

Many authors have pens, notepads, and other swag imprinted with their name and brand. Other than the bookmarks I had printed once, but haven’t gone much beyond that. My books are my bid at immortality. I wrote them and put them out into the world. After I am gone, they will be like the pens my dad left behind.

Margaret Kidwell Ethridge (aka Maggie Wells) was here.

They may end up out of print, but there will likely be the random paper copy floating around a used book store or flea markets. Friends and total strangers will have a part of me embedded in Kindle libraries, on their hard drives, and tucked away in cloud storage systems. The pirated copies people upload and download illegally?  I may not get paid for them in my lifetime, but the internet is forever. I’m not inclined to thank those who steal my work and post it for their own gain, but they are helping to make me immortal as well.

Immortally yours, Margaret.

3 Replies to “Monday Mayhem – Immortally yours”

  1. What a cool thing to see. My mom always had note paper around with her name on it. Well this person here will have your books living on on her shelf.

  2. Love this post! I may not have pens or pencils with my name on them, but I definitely have t-shirts, towels, and tote bags. 🙂 You will forever live on in my heart and on my book shelves. xoxo

  3. I love your post today. It really makes you think back to a time where you had a telephone on a wall or even a telephone bench in a hallway. Where phone calls were welcome company and people call for no reason what so ever but just to chat. Now a days, you scan the calls as they come in. Even if the person is on your contact list, you can decide whether to even answer the call.
    Today you hide if the doorbell rings instead of the entire family coming to the door to see who is visiting.
    I absolutely love the nostalgia your dad left behind. I’m betting no one gets those made anymore. Very cool.

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