Grandpa’s Walking Stick


Walking stock, in dark brown wood, 82 cm, representing a serpent winding itself around a branch, that in fact grows out of its mouth, with at the top a naughty little figure who is discharging on a chamber pot. My mother was Anneke (Little Anny) of the Postal Office and married a carpenter from a agricultural family, hence from a lower class, Dolf from Naadje (Leonard) from Lenske (Laurent) from Naadje from Lenske from Naadje from Naadje.  Both were born in 1905, my father in Bilzen, were they met, my mother in Peer, both in the Belgian Province of Limburg. Both died in Hasselt, the province’s capital, mother in 1987, father in 1996. He brilliantly overtook socially his in-laws as a renown craftsman who knew the ins and outs of the building contractor’s trade and even received a medal. Mother was a Jeurissen, her father, Henri, my godfather, whose first name a got a birth (but my call name became my second, Paul, after Mère Paul, a bosom friend of my mother, a nun from the order of Saint Ursula; my third name, Florent, after my godmother, aunt Florentine, the oldest sister of my father) was Post Master, that is director of an office of the Belgian Postal Services, then a nationalized enterprise.  He was a direct cousin of the local writer about the Campine Alfons Jeurissen, who wrote stories about the difficult life of the “heikleuters” (“heather toddlers”), by the way the title of one of his books as well. Her mother was a Rombouts and Frans (later Francis) Rombouts, high up in the genealogical tree, even succeeded in becoming the mayor of New York during 16 months in 1679, but that is another story: wikipedia en: Francis_Rombouts.

At that time the staff of the Postal Office, being civil servants, lived in the office, where one of grandpa’s mailmen practiced woodcarving in his free time. That is how he cut this walking stick, which he gave as a present to my grandpa at his retirement.