Sunday, June 8, 2003

Small tin holds memories of grandpa

Prize possessions

By Marsie Hall Newbold
Enquirer contributor

[IMAGE] Dottie Reinhold Mullins one day would like to give daughter Emma Mullins, 7, the MacGregor golf tin that her grandfather gave her when she was a child.
(Tony Jones photo)
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Who: Dottie Reinhold Mullins, 42, of Batavia, a part-time accountant for the Fenton Rigging Co.

What: An octagon-shaped, decorative metal tin that her paternal grandfather, the late Norman Reinhold, gave her. It is approximately four inches tall with a golf ball on the lid and detailed pictures of golfers and golf courses. The inscription on the bottom reads: "Made in Belgium for MacGregor 'The Greatest Name in Golf.' "

Where: On a bookshelf in a hutch in the bedroom she shares with her husband, Greg.

Personal attention: "I grew up in a house full of seven brothers and sisters," Mullins says. "We didn't have a lot back in the '60s, and one of my favorite escapes was to Grandma and Grandpa's house just two doors down the street. They both adored me and would listen to what I had to say, and would treat me to sweets and (their) unwanted trinkets from time to time."

Treasure chest: One of those items was that little tin. It became the keeper of Mullins' childhood valuables: jewelry, penny candy, jacks and pencils. All these years later it still provides safe haven for a pair of diary keys.

Mentor: Reinhold, who died 13 years ago at age 89, gave his granddaughter another gift. He inspired her to become an accountant.

"Grandpa worked as a controller for MacGregor most of his adult life," she says, "and I used to help him with his accounting. On Saturday afternoons he would have me recheck his addition on huge spreadsheets all written by hand. The calculators then were as big as microwaves and I seldom found any errors in his work."

Mullins now holds a degree in accounting from the University of Cincinnati.

Precious reminder: "When he gave me that little can," she says, "I'm sure he didn't have any idea what it would mean to me. It reminds me of those Saturday afternoons working with ancient machines, the sweet smell of his pipe tobacco and the soothing quiet voice that would listen and give smart, sound and loving advice."

Generations to come: Now that Mullins and her husband have a daughter of their own (7-year-old Emma), she is beginning to wonder if she should pass the can on to her. Her only concern is whether it would ever mean as much.

"If you have a young person in your life," Mullins concludes, "treasure them, for your words and actions may become part of them forever."

Share your prize possessions with Marsie Hall Newbold by mail: c/o The Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, 45202: e-mail: Please include a daytime, weekday telephone number.

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