Monday, June 26, 2006

Boxing Day

I'm moving to a swanky new place this week, so blogging will be haphazard, if at all. The heat is withering. And as my friend T. says, every empty room yields three more carloads.

Worst thing about moving: Having to touch every single thing you own. Twice.

Best thing: Finding stuff I thought I'd lost. A favorite raincoat given to me by a Dallas designer, now dead, whom I interviewed in the 1980s. Tons of letters friends wrote me in the 1970s and 1980s (pre e-mail). At some point in the past, I filed dozens of their supremely funny letters neatly in binders. When was I ever so organized?

Found a photo of me with the late actor Robert Urich. Sweet guy. Another of me and that little boy from Jerry Maguire. Whatever happened to him? And whatever happened to my long, dark hair?

Tons of school stuff to sort and toss. Grade cards. Blue books. Quizzes. The hefty file from a grade dispute case four years ago.. Egad, what a freakin' nightmare. Wrote about it in three parts, starting with Double Trouble.

And underneath a pile of books, a yellowed certificate recognizing my performance of "Them There Eyes" in the first-grade talent show at Stonewall Jackson Elementary. I couldn't make myself throw that away.

Question to you: What's the silliest or most sentimental thing you've hung onto through the years? Post your confession in Comments here.

I'll be back with more news of the Alpha Phi hazing trial and other items after the move is over later this week.

23 Comments:

Blogger MAW said...

The little boy was Jonathan Lipnicki and he seems to have had a pretty active career these past couple years -- most recently Family Guy:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005151/

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A baseball, dirty and shredded by a lawnmower, signed by the last guy that ever made me weak in the knees. I haven't seen him forever, but I just found out he has a girlfriend now. Sigh.

11:08 PM  
Blogger TAP said...

The silliest -- old volunteer tags/buttons.

The most sentimental -- a wallet and a deck of cards in a leather case with score sheets. Although I never saw my grandmother use either, I know that they belonged to her and that's enough for me to keep them forever.

11:45 PM  
Blogger Koru's Daughter said...

A picture of me, as a little girl, with Spiro Agnew. It is almost surreal to look at now.

BTW, I go the lovely prize for the advice contest. Thank you. When will we see that article? I am looking forward to seeing your take on it.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Silliest: A note I got from a girl (my date to a dance) in junior high. It's mostly asking about logistical stuff with the dance, but it was folded up prettily, like girls do. And it was the first note I ever got. Now it's wrinkled and the penciled message is fading, but I'm too goofy to get rid of it.

Most sentimental: I have a box full of old license plates from my great-grandparents' garage. They kept all of their old plates. Some are about as old as cars are, but a love of automobiles runs all down my family. I didn't get the car genes, but I'll still keep the license plates.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Cold Potato said...

Skin, ripped from the bottom of my foot.
The comics from the day of the last Peanuts cartoon.
My sled (I am in Texas now).
Old computer parts; some work, some don't.
Chocolate.
Old school papers from subjects I will never study again.


Of course it does not help growing up with a packrat of a mother who goes through your trash and tells you what you can and cannot throw away.
Freedom has never tasted so good.

4:04 AM  
Anonymous gpo said...

There's a bit of a story to this one...
Many years ago I was building some set decoration for a production of "Frankenstein". I was sitting in one of the dressing rooms using a bag of 1/4" nuts and bolts to asemble some knife switches out of parts I had made up in the shop. While I worked, Joe, the Production Manager came in and he and I started to chat. While we talked I continued to assemble the switches. After a moment or two I realized that I had been trying for a while to get one of the nuts to go onto its' bolt with no success. I took a closer look at the (brand new) nut and realized that it had not had threads cut into it at the factory. I had never seen anything like this before and showed it to Joe, who agreed that the defect was very unusual.
About this time, our Technical Director Bob walked up.
I have to break out of the narriative at this point to explain that Bob was known far and wide as the sort of person who collected all sorts of oddities, never drove past a garage sale without stopping, and never, ever , threw anything away. Joe and I would have to wait months for Bob to go on vacation if we wanted to get rid of the pile of 3" long scaps of wood in the shop because Bob would insist that "They will come in handy someday..."
So, Joe shows Bob the defective nut. Bob studies it for a moment and says,
"You know, I think I have a bolt that fits that..."
Bob proceded to go into the shop and rummage through the myriad of small drawers of hardware on the shelves over his drawing table. After a few minutes, he returned carrying what else but a 1/4" bolt with no threads cut into it.
Quirky though he was, I learned more about the art of theatrical scenery from Bob than I could have in any BA program. When I heard a few years after I moved to Dallas that he had passed away after suffering a heart attack in that same shop where we built so many great shows together I realized that I had lost a very special friend and mentor.
I still have that nut and bolt sitting on my desk at home to remind me that sometimes you need to hang onto the stuff that seems useless at the time because you never know when you might find the matching half.
(I know that probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense but I don't know how else to put it)
Cheers,
-gpo-

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Tabitha said...

I have a few of my diaper pins and a pair of child size scissors from when I was three years old (circa early 70's). No, they aren't plastic with safety edges like the big babies of today have. They are sharp and pointy and could have taken someone's eye out.

I also have a trophy that my cat and I both won when I was five.

1:35 PM  
Blogger War Bride said...

I still have the top I was wearing when I got my first kiss...it's in a box with all the "first boyfriend" memories. I'm really glad I ended up marrying him later because saving all that would have been a waste if I had ended up with someone else!

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The journal my third grade teacher made me write in. The entries are ridiculous. Reading it now it seems that she must have difficulty thinking of appropriate comments. Good thing I've improved since then.

Also, an especially positive evaluation from my eighth grade choir teacher. Singing in public makes my stomach churn. Reading her compliments and advice is very reassuring. It helps remind me that sometimes other people have a higher opinion of your talents than you do. I also saved a piece of my favourite music from class.

Ingrid

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A supremely ugly pair of porcelain peacocks. They were thrust upon me at the end of a yard sale in Austin years ago. Their former owner insisted I take them, suggesting that they looked like something I needed to have, and refused payment. So I saved the peacocks from the long ride to the Goodwill. I like to think they're lucky, but really I think they just remind me of a time when I believed in luck.

-Katy

3:22 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Silliest: a round, hand-sized stone that I had when I was growing up. I used to take many walks back then, and I would routinely bring along this "perfect stone" to toss up in the air and catch. 40 years later, I still have that stone. I even still bring it along on walks.

Most sentimental: nails and screws from my father's workshop. When my father died, the only thing that I wanted of his was his tools... because my best memories are of him and I working together. The nails and screws still smell like his workshop and that triggers powerfully good memories.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Silly and sentimental would fit both of these:

Years ago I worked a sweaty, thankless, shirtless a.m. job unloading a truck into a retail store. As one of the two guys inside the truck handing off boxes to everyone else, we could never take a bathroom or water break until the whole truck had been emptied.

I would fill a large pitcher that I found in the employee kitchen and there would I keep my two hour supply of water I desperately needed to get me through the job.

After a couple of years spent working there, I open my employee locker to find that pitcher tucked inside, now labeled with my name. Never found out which employee officially gave it to me. Guess they were cleaning out the kitchen and knew I would miss it if they threw it away.

It's been seven years, and I still have that pitcher sitting in a box in the closet. I don't think I'm ever throwing it away.

Another item. Many moons ago I had a wicked crush on a guy. After a few months of playing hard to get we finally, er, “consummated” our attraction. It was an awesome night. After he left the following morning, I discovered he left his socks behind. I washed them, thinking I’d just hand them back… but I forgot. Soon we both realized it was really not meant to be. A while later I was dressing and stumbled across his socks in my drawer. Cracked me up. Still, I’ve never tossed ‘em. Not exactly what you’d call a romantic memento.

Great topic, Professor!

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found a large blue button on the road when I was in the third grade (I think). It was pretty worn out, and the pin at the back was twisted and close to breaking off. On the face was the faded caricature of a tramp with the words "I am a millionaire in disguise" printed next to it in a comical font. I still have that button.

12:50 AM  
Anonymous emily said...

Hey - whatever happened with Ariel?

Who gave in?

2:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I went to SMU, I took a nonmajors theatre class just for fun my senior year. In the class, we had to make a scrapbook of our lives with personal commentary, so I did it for real, earnestly, honestly, rather than stupidly and carelessly. I spent hours and hours pasting pictures and writing and writing and writing. The prof took the time to read every line of every page of my life scrapbook and to write several pages of comments and responses as he read. His words gave me a clearer understanding of who I was becoming. It shaped me, changed me. I saved his handwritten response . . . for 25 years.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous highschoolkid07 said...

I wrote myself a letter when I was 13. I put it away, forgot about it and found it now that I'm 17. Heh, it's so funny.

First of all, from the looks of the letter, I haven't changed so much. I still love Spice Girls. I still like doing random things. I still piss my mother off. In my letter I said "I hope by the time I read this my boobs are bigger and my hair is longer."
Heh, my boobs aren't bigger. My hair isn't longer.
"I hope I'm a lot smarter. I hope I'm a good writer and a fast reader."
That dream didn't come true either.

As I looked down my list of goals and wishes, I felt more and more disappointed and depressed with myself. Nothing I wrote has been accomplished. Nothing about me has changed.

I'm a static character. It makes me sad. I'm keeping that letter.

I don't know how one can be depressed and cracking up at the same time.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heya HighSchoolKid07,

I promise you at 17 there is still a TON of personal and artistic growth that is still to be had. Don't give up on yourself. Keep your goals in sight, and that's half the battle won (aside from the boobs part, which is unfortunately a call mother fucking nature gets to make.)

7:50 PM  
Blogger Stef said...

Several years ago, a bank I was working at got bought out by a bigger bank. The bank had been tiled, inside and out, with red tile. When the new bank came through, they tore up all the red tile inside. I still have a piece of the red floor tile on my desk - I left the bank on not-so-good circumstances years ago... but can't make myself toss the tile.
I'm sure I have other crazy items I've saved, but none come to mind just yet!

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alpha Phi Alpha is very different than Alpha Phi. I know this is probably an honest mistake, but please don't say Alpha Phi has a hazing trial when that isn't the case.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still have all my old report cards, the good the bad and the ugly. They constantly remind to have compassion for whomever I teach. "She really must try harder." "She's missed far too much school and will be behind in the fall." She could do so much better." etc... Five double ear infections, pneumonia, and a tonsilectomy will do that to a six year old girl. All that made me a far better teacher. Why does it still hurt 29 years later?

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A copy of The Fountainhead, which I've had since my PAP high school english teacher handed me at the age of 14.

11:50 PM  
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8:51 PM  

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