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Still a bright light...

Updated: Jun 18, 2022

Today, I spent the morning cleaning and polishing my dining room chandelier. It’s industrial design featuring ninety-six crystalline glass orbs made for a meditative experience. Unhook each clear two-inch orb, wash in warm soapy water, rinse in hot water, towel dry, and replace. The resulting brilliance was staggering.

As I worked, the memory of another light fixture—the Strass Crystal chandelier that hung in our dining room on Wenonah Drive in Dallas—came to mind. Perhaps because Father’s Day is coming. From the first time when I was just eight years old until I left for college, my dad and I cleaned and polished that fussy chandelier twice a year together. Always on a Saturday after his golf game and short nap.

Being an engineer, he prepared methodically graphing the parts—dozens of leaded crystal prisms and swags of faceted cut sparkling crystal jewels—as we disassembled the light fixture carefully placing them in order on the quilted mat he had spread on the dining room table.

Piece by piece, we washed each in warm soapy water, towel dried, and replaced. Dad had a stash of diapers that we used to do the polishing; for mine this morning, I used Costco’s bright yellow microfiber towels. I remember cradling the prisms in my hands sometimes as I dried them; they fascinated me like my mom’s rhinestone jewelry. Once, when Dad wasn’t looking, I draped several of the clean, dazzling swags around my neck and peeked at myself in the mirror.

It was all so glittery.

As my dad and I worked together, we talked and laughed and admired the glistening parts of the chandelier as we put them back in their proper place.

A light-filled memory. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.


What a sexy photo: the pose of the self-assured man, the impeccable lines of the car, the mischievous look on the girl behind. Are those your father and you? (or the actors that portrayed you in the film version?) RS

I love that picture of you peeking through the window! Dad was pretty cool,I’d say! SC in Michigan

I remember your dad, but I'd not heard the polishing story. A good one...DI in Texas

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Lovely reminiscence. Brought so many memories of times with my dad. I remember especially him teaching me how to tie a square not as we staked up tomato plants in our garden. Thanks.


Is that a Studebaker your dad is standing in front of? Looks like a car I remember from 1950 or so.


Jun 18, 2022

I love the image of young Marilyn draped in sparkling crystal! And, the photo of your dad (and mom?) suggests a source of your playful whimsy!

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