After a few years of being stored in the attic, we found a woman in West Shokan, NY that made bears out for old fur coats. We commissioned her to make several bears. Lynn, Elaine and JoAnn all have bears. There was still fur left over, so we decided to have more made. We gave these bears to Grandma's other granddaughters (our cousins), Lorraine and Barbara on their 60th birthdays.
I wrote the following poem to go with the bears to explain its history.
The Bear Facts
by JoAnn Bell
I come to you from far away,
A place you used to come to stay.
Where family gathered and food was shared
And hikes abounded if one dared.
Quite unique a bear am I,
Sit back, listen, and I’ll tell you why.
My fur is made of a special coat.
Not any old skin, off some meaningless boat.
A hand-me-down that brought such pleasure,
Only its owner could properly measure.
Of course my beginnings were that of a beaver
But my form has been changed just for you the receiver.
I once warmed your family and kept chills at bay
First for your Grandma; and then your Aunt Faye.
For her use as a coat for your Grandma, some scorn
And then as a jacket for her daughter was worn.
And now on to you, I am passed down in love
With best wishes and blessings of God from above.
Though I came to you from a tattered past,
My latest makeover for decades should last.
Hand-sewn and stuffed for your special day,
From West Shokan to St. Johns I come to say:
To all Muller cousins you’re special indeed
And we celebrate with you and offer this seed.
Record your life stories and events you have seen
The people you’ve met and the places you’ve been.
Write down all your memories or those that you dare
Include pictures and journals and even this bear.
Some eyes may get teary, like dusted with dew,
As you share my beginnings with somebody new.
And who knows what bears or secrets abide
In someone’s old coat or jacket or hide.