I've been using rescued potholder for about a year. I retrieved it from my grandparents' kitchen when they moved into assisted living. My mother, who believes in keeping only new things, had already tossed out all the cast iron frying pans and skillets before my arrival. But, I was able to salvage two old wooden rolling pins, miscellaneous utensils and some potholders (like this one).
Today, as I was removing the lid to a pot of boiling beans, I became curious about the printing on this particular potholder as I set it down print-side up.
Who is Walter Karabian?
From a Google search, I found Mr. Karabian, listed on USC's History Alumni page. Walter Karabian was a California State Assemblyman from between 1966 and 1975 and is now a practicing lawyer in Los Angeles, CA at Karms & Karabian.
Obviously this potholder was a campaign giveaway during his 1960's election, and it was a clever choice, considering my family kept and used it in their kitchen ever since. Funny how one piece of bric-a-brac uncovered a small slice of California's history for me.
I continually implore my father to record stories about the mementos he has packed away in miscellaneous boxes in the garage. So much history exists within our elders that won't be accessible when they are are no longer with us. We aren't always lucky enough to have something printed on each item. I look forward to asking my grandfather his what he thought of Mr. Karabian's campaign and why he saved his potholder.
So if there is anything to take away from this clever little potholder, it's a reminder to record our stories today.