Monday, January 28, 2008


probably a hundred yellow golf pencils

blank pads, empty notebooks of every size, graph and accounting paper, greeting cards for every occasion and their envelopes, three-by-five cards, lined and unlined, and thousands of return address stickers

faded sepia pictures of my father and his brothers from 1916 when their mother was alive, my little dad in his pudding bowl haircut but looking exactly like my later dad's eyes and face

canceled checks in envelopes by year

a note from the White House to my mom's father, the General, and her mother to a state dinner during the Coolidge administration

unwrapped Hershey Kisses in an old plastic box, alongside M&M's in a prescription bottle

filled notebooks, the smallest ones with wire binding, filled with my dad's henscratch, listing what he did that date in 1995 and 2003

calendars with trains and wolves and dogs, many from 2005

a collection of plastic shopping bags

a box with a ring of beautiful skeleton keys, no idea what they might open

prescription stickers

battery compartment backs of electric clocks, tape recorders and radios

an envelope stuffed with Campbell Soup labels

pennies, pins and nails

a letter from the Town of Greenwich, Connecticut, dated 1957, informing my father of electrical code violations in our house

record albums, 33 1/3 and 78 rpm

service medals and bars from World War II

an ancient New York City subway token with the Y cut into it (when you could ride for fifteen or twenty cents)

color slides from my trip to the 1969 Boy Scout National Jamboree in Farragut State Park, Cour d'Alene, Idaho

old butter tubs full of canceled stamps

a cane tip

ancient strike-on-front match packs from restaurants long closed and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge

a desktop hole puncher

genealogical research for the Holsapple, Livingston, Dearborn, Burdwin, Curtis and Bracewell families and pictures of the Holsapple family plot in Hudson (and yes, there's a space for me)

the last stacks of a once-massive collection of National Geographic magazines

lots of ball-point pens, most dried up and wrapped together with a rubber band

a big old bass-heavy Magnavox console stereo with easy-listening albums unplayed since the 1970's (and my copy of Ray Stevens' "The Streak" on Barnaby Records)

the private log of the commander of the LST-560

an old glass juice bottle labeled "hummingbird nectar" and the tiny beat-up funnel he used to fill his feeders

empty 'loose change' envelopes and some with small bills still inside

a cup full of bread bag ties

an object called an "Owl Grater" (don't ask)

the metal ice cream scoop my family has used since before I was born

thin and empty wallets

a dozen safety razors, a dozen old electric razors, coupons for disposable razors and cat food

Russian tea balls

a box of procedural disposable face masks and three boxes of tissues, one with the top completely cut off

liquor bottles, some decorative and empty, many sample-size and full, many full of sherry, his favorite

a white rotary phone

Chinese tapestries, photographs, furniture, maps, fabrics, chests and objets d'art

a bottle full of golf balls, tees and ball markers

books, ancient sets, recent mysteries, hardbacks, paperbacks, oversize, dictionaries, outdated encyclopedias, yearbooks, glee club songbooks

a pair of Harvard chairs, black with the school seal (Veritas)

audiobooks on tape and cd, and the cd player my father could never get to operate for him and I could never explain

a portable tv with rabbit ear antennas, connected to a reading magnifier he used for his last few years

pages of columns of figures, ciphers and sums with no illumination as to their source or importance

fifteen pairs of sunglasses and a pair of regular glasses with a built-in hearing aid that belonged to the General

ten sweater vests

flower arrangements

1 comment:

Sarah said...

There's some treasure in there.
I love you.