In 1963, a soon-to-be father, local Tom Esper, wanted to craft a special gift for his newborn baby.
A newspaper syndicate had posted an article about “How to Build a Cradle.” The article began with the statement, “Nothing is more soothing to a baby than a gentle rocking motion. So if there’s a baby in your future, welcome the newcomer with a hand-made cradle.”
This ad caught the attention of Esper who wished for an idea to create something special for his fourth child, Susan Elaine. He then went about crafting the special gift.
Jump ahead 25 years, Susan and her husband were expecting their first child. Without a doubt, the beloved gifted cradle would be used for Tom’s grandbaby, Bradley Daniel, born in 1988.
Another 32 years passed, and the treasured cradle is now offering that same gentle rocking of love to Tom’s great-grandbaby, Annistyn Elaine, born this year.
A 57-year-old gift of love in a hand-built cradle, a dearly loved family heirloom, has passed through the generations of Tom’s family.
With Tom being enlisted in the Navy for 21 years, the family was stationed throughout the United States. The cradle made its move from Texas to Massachusetts, to Tennessee, to Michigan, to Wisconsin and to Ohio through the years. From the abuse of moves, enduring two floods, and regular wear – the ole’ cradle has needed repair and “touching up.” Each time, Esper gave proof to his craftsmanship in preparing the cradle for a baby to be laid within.
The cradle bed is of its original wood complete with the decal baby lamb.
A nameplate garnishes the headboard listing the babies who have received and used the cradle.
This cradle that holds and bonds the generations of Tom’s family will continue to offer the soothing comfort of rocking a baby to sleep for future babies to come with love.