One summer many moons ago, my grandmother Maw-Maw and I were cleaning out her attic. (This was my maternal grandmother, Ruth Anderson Ledford.) Over in one corner, hidden behind the detritis of several generations, was a chest of drawers. As best as I can remember, it had four drawers and was made entirely of wood, except perhaps for the drawer pulls. It was even held together by wooden pins rather than iron nails.
What was so remarkable about this piece of furniture was not its craftsmanship but the identity of its maker: My grandmother’s paternal grandfather, Robert Alexander Anderson (1857 – 1928). Maw-Maw was not quite seven years old when R. A. died, so this piece was a treasure to her, a reminder of a man she had barely known.