This item will strike a chord of memory with any one in the Hodge family. This little blackboard has been around, I'm guessing, almost 50 years. It started off as a Christmas present to my aunt, who is a mere 3 years older than me. It became the family's instant messaging tool. Back before Blackberries and the Internet, when you arrived at my grandparents' house and they weren't at home, you knew to go check the blackboard. My grandmother would almost always have left a note there to let whoever arrived know where they could be found. "At the peanut field" or "Gone to town".
It's fairly beat up nowadays and it almost made the trash heap when the family was clearing out the house after my grandmother died. I couldn't let this vital piece of Hodge family history go in the dumpster, so I rescued it, brought it home and hung it in my utility room where it remains. Every so often I'm tempted to write a message to let whoever comes in know where I've gone.